A new year begins. Have you set your resolutions — the special things you want to achieve in that new year? And did you include “Try new teas” as one of them? If so, you’re in luck. Here are five teas that may be new to you and in any event can help you get through January. The first month of the year can be a toughie, especially with all the post-holiday clean-up and a bit of a sense of what can only be described as “the blahs.” But trying a new tea can cure those blahs in a big hurry.
1 A British Favorite Earl Grey Tea
Since this is The English Tea Store Blog, I wanted to start out with one that Brits find especially satisfying when that urge to splurge hits them at teatime. It’s a flavored tea that has been around so long it’s a classic, one that has spurred imitations and variations. This one is a larger leaf size Ceylon-based black tea with cornflower petals and natural oil of Bergamot. Steep a full 5 minutes since this tea takes longer to brew than the standard Earl Grey tea. Try it for your afternoon teatime, since it goes great with scones, finger sandwiches, fruit tarts, and sweets. Serve hot with milk and sweetener or cold with lemon.
2 A Wake-up Cuppa Pearl River Green Tea
Always soothing yet refreshing, green tea of any kind is a treat. This one is a top quality green tea with even, curly leaves, achieved by hand-sorting the leaf batch. (The leaves are picked while they are still covered with a very fine dew, which is said to improve the taste.) Treat it gently by heating the water to around 150-180° F and steeping about 1 to 4 minutes. That will give you a liquid with a delicate yet pungent aroma and a bright forest green color. Sure, this may seem like an odd start to the day, especially when many folks chug their caffeine-laden coffee, but green tea has a fairly high caffeine content and so can serve to pop open your peepers after a good night’s shut-eye.
3 Turn Grey Skies to Blue with Taylors of Harrogate China Rose Petal Tea
One of the best brands of tea around with quite a history, Taylors of Harrogate is always one to reach for when the thick grey clouds of January seem to weigh on you like a heavy, damp blanket. This one is a large leaf orange pekoe black tea from China that is also called “rose congou”.
Rose petals are stirred into the tea leaves as they dry, imparting them with a sweet gentle fragrance. This is a delightfully soothing tea that will bring blue skies to your afternoon teatime.
4 An Uplifting Teatime White Tea Called Adams Peak
Adam’s Peak is in the Nuwara Eliya region of Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and this tea is grown at 7,800 to 8,200 feet above sea level. So you’ll get a bit “high” just drinking it, figuratively speaking. This is a hand-picked, hand-rolled tea that steeps a delicate, light copper color liquid with a delicate taste of pine and honey.
5 Don’t Forget a Nice 1st Flush Darjeeling from Soom Estate
This light tea has a rather intense fruity muscatel character. The plucking fields of Soom are about 5,200 feet above sea level, with a terrain that is very severe and some slopes so steep that the estate still uses mountain ponies to carry the fresh-picked green leaves to the factory. The garden has many tea bushes (Camellia Sinensis) that are over 130 years old and still produce a wonderful tea, so good, in fact, that they are part of a rush of teas to Germany in a sort of Beaujolais Run race. You won’t need to race. Steep a cupful or even a potful and sip it for a gentle break from whatever stresses and challenges you’re dealing with.
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