Tea drinkers, the time has come to set some resolutions for your tea drinking in the New Year. Great tea adventures lie ahead, and these resolutions will help you be a part of them.
Start your list with a few of these:
- Learn at least one new piece of information about tea per month.
- Try at least one new tea every month.
- Start your day with a different tea than usual, such as enjoying an Oolong, a grassy Sencha, or a pu-erh instead of a breakfast blend.
- Hold your own little mini-tea-tasting, even if it’s just you and the cat (or dog).
- Have a tea party with a young tea drinker (your child or a niece or nephew).
- Come up with your own special flavored tea, such as adding diced dried apricots in with one of your favorite black or green tea.
- Try a recipe using tea or tea oils. Matcha in a pastry or tea in your stew or soup will add a unique flavor.
The tradition of reviewing the year ending and setting resolutions for the year about to begin has been around for quite some time. Since 153 B.C. in fact. The Romans kicked it off by naming the first month of the year after a two-faced (literally) god named Janus (as in “January”). He was well-equipped to see simultaneously the past with all its lessons learned and the future with all its possibilities.
January 1st is also the birthday of lots of well-known people, including:
- 1947 — blues artist Gary “BB” Coleman
- 1940 — Frank (“Dracula”) Langella
- 1919 — J. D. Salinger (Catcher in the Rye)
- 1909 — Senator Barry Goldwater
- 1735 — silversmith and U.S. patriot Paul Revere
- 1449 — Lorenzo de’Medici, Florence, Italy
I’m sure they were all dedicated tea drinkers. Well, maybe not, especially Langella who might have preferred something a bit more “organic” — and red.
Since tea and New Year’s are both worldwide, here are a few ways to express the traditional greeting of “Happy New Year” in a few countries that also enjoy tea:
- Netherlands — Gullukkig Niuw Jaar
- China — Chu Shen Tan
- France — Bonne Année
- India — Niya Saa Moobaarak (Hindi)
- Turkey — Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
- Brazil — Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo (“Good Parties and Happy New Year”)
A lot of New Year’s traditions have to do with assuring good luck in those coming 12 months, and tea is part of that luck (sort of). For example, in Sicily eating lasagna on New Year’s Day brings good luck (as if anyone needs an excuse to eat lasagna). Assams, Ceylons, and Nilgiris have strong enough taste to pair with this rich dish. In Peru, eating 13 grapes is lucky (and, no, a muscatel-tasting Darjeeling tea will not substitute — sorry!). In Japan, one tradition is kadomatsu, decorating the house with certain items (a pine branch for longevity, bamboo for prosperity, and a noble plum blossom). You could simply serve a nice gyokuro, Sencha, or genmaicha instead.
May your resolutions be achievable, your luck be good, your tea always steep up perfectly, and your lasagna be mailable (to my house!).
In 2011 don’t miss A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!
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