A shrub, native of the East, and cherished there with great care. It is six or seven feet high; the branches are slender; the leaves are numerous, oblong, serrated round the edges, and sharp pointed. The flowers are as big as orange flowers, and white; they stand in a very small cup: the fruit is dry, and of the bigness of a nut, containing one, two, or three cells.
All the kinds of tea are the leaves of this shrub; they only differ as they are gathered in different states: the bohea tea is gathered when the leaves are in the bud, and more heat is used in drying it. The several sorts of green are got from the young shoots or older branches, in spring, in summer, or in autumn, and dried with different degrees of care, according to their value.
Good green tea, drank moderately, strengthens the stomach, and assists digestion; it is good against sicknesses, and will prevent the colic: but when bad tea is drank, and a great deal of it, nothing is more pernicious. Bohea tea is more astringent, and it is restorative and strengthening; this should be drank with cream, but with only a moderate quantity of sugar.