*a long flower bed that you can split up into thirds . . .you can have more than one flower bed btw!!
*seeds from different tea making plants. . . just read what leaves and spices are in your favorite tea and go find those seeds!!
*soil . . . this is the hard part. . .you have to research on what type of soil or what acidic value the soil has to be at for the certain type of leaf you grow . . one of my fav's the senchu fukamushi needs soil to remain damp for the most part of the day while spices like cinammon can be grown in dry dirt. . lol! so do your homework
*space . . . some plants need shaded areas or some need full sun . . homework involved
* natural nutrients and/or growth formula . . . for a smooth more natural taste. . stick to natural made nutrients . . keep away from scotts miracle grow or w/e that contains chemicals that enhance the beauty and size of your plant. . you want to go for quality. . not quantity
*water . . duh
*time and patience
first . . . setup up what plants you want grown together. . .you want to keep the ones that need shade together and the same for those that need full sun. . . . i found that chicken wire with small holes works best to seperate the different soils but still lets water and nutrients flow freely amung the plants . . . setup you long bed into thirds or split in half or w/e tickle's your pickle. . .remember. . too much nutrients/ acidic variation in one bed leads to unhealthy plants. . .
after you seperate you bed. . pour in the soil(s) make sure you pack it down just a bit but not too much so that the roots can get air but still be firm in the soil . .. i always found it best to water your bed and pour nutrient into it atleast a day before you plant seeds or little seedlings. . . (it's just the way i was taught from my grandma in el salvador. . .you dont hafta if you dont wanna!)
next. . carefully plant your seeds or seedling close to the top of the soil . .not too deep or you'll suffocate your plants . . . uh . . . the rest is up to you . . water your seeds . . keep them on a routine. . .like a child. . .i like to water during the morning hours. . but not too early cause you bring in mildew or bugs or you'll drown you plants. . . not in the afternoon when the sun is full because the water will evaporate too fast and you'll plants will starve. . usually water them an hour after daybreak and sometime after three-ish when the sun is turning red and preparing for dusk. . .
other than that you should be good to go. . just maintian and enjoy the beauty and the smells of your new tea garden. . .eventually you're going to want to try trimming bottom leaves to help you plant grow up tall and strong . . . or i like to "shrub" my plants. . . when the get a good stalk so that they're sturdy. . i cut the top part of it and put elmer's glue on the top so that the leaves of my plants grow wider and "shrub" out to make it looki like a bush instead of a tall skinny plant. . .or. . if you want tall plants. . .trim the bottom stems and put glue on those to force it upwards. . but dont force it too hard too often or it'll be to skinny and week and fall over itself :( . .lol . . have fun with it. .
eventaully you're plants will mature. . this is when you want to trim the leaves or dig out the spices that are ready to be dried or made into tea. . . i like to take the mature leaves of my plants and set them on a papertowel thats been lightly saoked in mineral/distilled water. . .i set them on my counter for a day in partial sun. . it's not only pretty. . but very aromatic. . .then. . .when the towel is dried. . i pin them upside down in partial sun till it gets dry. . .as for spices or roots or bulbsi like to take a knife and cut slits into them and place the bulbs/roots into a small tupper ware container in partial sun. . .let them dry. . (you'll notice the cuts become prunie looking and fold back) . . then i chop them all the way through to finish drying them. . . let them dry for a few more day or until you deem fit. . remember. . i dont expect everyone to use the method. . it's a live and learn type of thing. . .you have to find you rhythem. . .
anyways. . after your ingrediants dry then . .TADA!!! . .its tea time. . .
THE HARD PART. . . MAKE THAT TEA!:
so. . .different tea is made well. . .differently!! . . go online or research on how to blend the type of tee you want. . i stick to the good ol' tea bag in to hot water or in the tea kettle. . . . .you can place you leaves in little tea filters you can buy at some stores. . but i find that coffee filters work nicely also. . . . place however much of your mix. . .remember. . more of something gives it a certain taste. . .more stems give it a rough wood taste or more ginger roots give it a kick. . too much cinammon can be spicy. . .live and learn. . .experimenting is the fun part!! . . . find your blend and place in a filter. . .then tie your filter with a thick piece of string like they do in tea bags you get from the store (we're pour in el salvador. . we did with what we could. . lol) and place into your tea kettle. . or into your hot cup of water. . .let it settle until you water turns into a decent color. . .i enjoy green tea with my own spice. . os i wait till it turns into a dark yellowish color. . or sometimes golden hunny brown. . lol . . . then. . .taste. . i have always put a bit of sugar and a small amount of milk in my tea. . so. . i add a teaspoon of sugar and just enough milk to fill the rest of the mug or cup or w/e. . . once again . . live and learn. . .try until you like it,. . . trust me. . i didnt get it my first time. . all i got was a sour tasting cup of dirty water. . lol. . . w/ milk. . .HAHAH!
then i add more cinammon. . or take away some w/e. . .you know. . .try measuring out proportions. . or go online and research. . lol. . practice makes perfect and sooner or later. . .TADAT!!. . your very own tea. . .give little baggies to friends for gifts or throw a tea party. . .make some crumpets or serve with cruellers. . .lol . .
i hope everyone atleast makes and attempt to try making their own tea alteast once. . .but for those of us in search of perfection. . i'm sure you'll have fun spending time making tea for those you love. . haha. . enjoy fellow tea lovers!!