|San Jacinto News Times - Local News
Copyright 2017 - Polk County Publishing Company
'Perfect cup of tea' offered May 13
In an event steeped in tea and flowers, the San Jacinto County Master Gardeners will host their Fifth Annual Mother's Day Tea and Plant Sale at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the Coldspring Community Center, 101 E. Cedar Street in Coldspring. The event will feature the Master Gardeners spring plant sale and specially brewed hot and cold tea as well as a lunch featuring select recipes from the new SJC Master Gardener cookbook. A silent auction, raffle and "show off your hat" contest also are planned. Like many of the exotic plants that are grown and admired in the landscape, the plant used to brew tea is native to Asia. Camellia sinensis is a close relative of our favorite garden camellia, Camellia japonica which produces showy blooms in Texas from early winter through spring. Chinese legends describe Camellia sinensis leaves, brewed or chewed for their medicinal properties, as early as 2737 B.C. This same plant species was used to make a popular drink in Europe in the 17th century. Due to the expense of importing the leaves from China, the British grew tea in their southern American colonies as early as 1744. Lipton Tea Company near Charleston, S.C. made the first successful commercial harvest of black tea in 1960. Today, people enjoy a blend of Camellia sinensis leaves from different growing regions using various production methods both hot and cold. Controlled variations of temperature and humidity produces different types or "color" of tea, with high oxidation producing black tea and low oxidation producing green tea. The popular oolong tea is somewhere in between. Small amounts of fruits, flowers, foods, or herbs are added to the dried Camellia sinensis leaf to create that perfect cup of tea. Area residents are encouraged to put their knowledge about tea to the test during the annual event. To create the perfect setting for the perfect cup of tea, Master Gardeners decorate each table with their own family china, crystal, and silver settings to create the proper setting for a proper tea. Tables will accommodate eight people and offer a perfect way to celebrate Mothers of all ages. Tickets are $20 per person and may be obtained by calling Judi Benesante, Ph.D. at 936-760-5144 before May 1. To learn more about SJC Master Gardeners go to their website at www.txmg.org/ sjmg/ or Facebook at www. facebook.com/SJC-Master- Gardeners.