I recently read a post, Camellia, meet Camellia on Steph's Cup of Tea, which drew to my attention a post making black tea from your camellia japonica, by a blogger named Kelly in Adelaide Hills, Australia. In this post, Kelly explains her process of making a drink that is very similar to black tea, from the leaves of Camellia japonica.
Camellia japonica, pictured in this 1788 plate from Curtis's Botanical Magazine, is a popular landscape plant, closely related to the tea plant, but, usually cultivated for its flowers, rather than its flavor.
I've been curious about this sort of thing for some time, as I wrote about in my old post on other Camellias for tea. It was interesting to finally read an account of it. Now I'm motivated to try this with the Christmas camellia around the corner from me here; I'm waiting for it to leaf out in the spring, and I hope to try making a tea-like beverage from it as well!