Tea can be very profitable in Stardew Valley, here are some tips to make consistent, low effort money with it.
Tea Empire Guide
Tea plants are one of the few plants you can only acquire by crafting in Stardew (except for the rare occasion when you can buy them at the Traveling Cart). To get the recipe, first reach a 2 heart friendship with Caroline. Then, enter the sunroom located at the top left corner of her kitchen on any day between 9 and 5 when it’s not rainy. A cutscene detailing Caroline’s love for Green Tea will play, and the next day you will receive a recipe for tea saplings. To craft the saplings, combine 2 wild seeds (any season), 5 fiber, and 5 wood.
Once you have your sapling, you have a few choices. You could sell the saplings you just crafted for 500g each, which considering the price of ingredients, is pretty good. However, if you enjoy harvesting, but don’t care for watering, is this ever the crop for you. Simply plant these saplings in such a way where you can harvest them (you can’t walk through these plants) and wait. The growth cycle is as follows.
Once this cycle is completed for the first time, you must only wait for the 22nd of each month (excluding winter) and you will have tea! The harvest lasts until the 28th of that month, after that the plants revert back to their 3rd stage until the 22nd. In the winter, tea plants simply appear as dead shrubs, however they will grow back every year.
Once you have harvested your tea, you have a few options. You can of course sell the leaves for 50g each (55g if you chose the “Tiller” profession), however there are artisan goods that can be made with the leaves. The obvious being Green Tea. Green Tea takes 1 tea leaf to brew, and only takes 3hrs in-game to finish brewing. The base selling price for Green Tea is 100g, however with the “Artisan” profession, that price is upped to 140g.
You can also pickle tea leaves (surprising, I know) which takes longer, however, the finished product sells for more. The pickling takes 4000m in-games (about 2-3 days depending on when inserted) and produces a jar of pickled tea leaves that sell for 150g base (210g if “Artisan” profession has been unlocked and chosen). Both options make a good deal of profit, with Green Tea being the better choice for a large tea farm as the quick brewing cycle can be supported by a large supply of leaves, and pickling being the better choice for a smaller farm looking to make the most of every leaf.