India, East Asia, & Southeast Asia
Evergreen shrub or small tree with white or yellow flowers and leaves up to 6 inches long.
In the wild, tea plants will grow into small trees. In cultivation, however, they are kept waist high to make them easier to pick. As with many cultivated plants, the flowers are rarely allowed to develop. Flowers would mean that the plant had matured, and many agricultural crops are harvested when the leaves are young, fresh, and less bitter.
Two varieties of camellia sinensis make up the majority of tea we drink today: white tea, yellow tea, oolong, pu’er, and black tea. The different flavors come from the age of the leaf when it’s picked, the brewing process, and other herbs that may be added along the way.