You're not annoying, you just don't realize what's involved, not having done this before.
I wouldn't know how to bring the tea plant inside to keep alive. IMO, I think the author of that article was rather careless with that statement. I've never been very successful at keeping borderline woody plants over winter. (and I've been growing plants indoors and out for over... I just had my birthday... quarter of a century... now I feel OLD!
Not saying I'm an expert by any means, just that I've had my share of failures
and know my limits.
) The ones I'm thinking of are Zones 7~8. I can manage Zones 9 and over fine. Just check out the [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/search.php?mode=results]problems folks are having with Rosemary[/url] (another woody plant that are usually hardy only to Zone 7 or 8 ). I've been managing it for the 2nd winter in row, but rosemary has needle-like leaves, not a flat "broad" leaf.
I don't know how many times I've tried to keep Sweet Bay Laurel alive over winter... and failed (that one is prone to scale insect and/or mealybugs as well as red spider mite attacks -- not so much in keeping the plant itself alive per se). Oh, that's not to say I haven't managed to overwinter the plant once... it's the 2nd winter that somehow never works out. They don't grow well, remaining rather sickly through the growing season, then get infested by bugs and don't make it during the winter. We'll see how these rosemary plants do for the remainder of THIS winter -- IF they survive, then
, I just might go over the penciled notes on how I'm doing it with ink. The less hardy varieties of thyme, too can be iffy to overwinter.
(Figs is another borderline that I want to try growing, and I know some people, even up towards zone 5 manage to do it. But there seems to be a LOT involved. It's a deciduous tree and is a bit more forgiving though.)
I would not recommend planting the tea plant in a container when keeping it outside during the winter. Container environment, being above ground, is usually considered ONE ZONE colder. The roots need the protection of being under ground. I will be planting my tea plants in the warmest microclimate in the garden I can manage AND heavily mulching for further protection.
BTW -- Have you considered growing coffee plants? I haven't done it yet, having only recently become aware of the possibility and indoor culture-suitability of their requirements, I'm definitely going to in the near future. Currently looking for best sources for the plants.