Losing an hour of precious tea drinking time by setting your clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time (March 13th this year) is a pretty raw deal. The good news is that Spring Equinox (March 20th this year) makes up for it (at least a little bit). That’s when the hours of daylight and darkness are equal (12 of each) and thereafter the hours of daylight exceed those of darkness. It also signals the start (unofficially) of drinking your tea iced/chilled.
Here in the Southeastern part of the U.S., “sweet tea” is not just a beverage, it’s an obsession, with every fast food joint, chain restaurant, and even the local hot dog stand touting theirs as “the best.” The signs pop up around here at this time of year like dandelions in a pristine lawn. And just as annoying to this lover of hot tea. But, to each his own.
Spring is also the time for flowers, so how better to acknowledge it than tea with floral flavors either naturally occurring in the steeped leaves or added in by the tea company.
A few floral teas hubby and I like:
- Nile Delta Chamomile — a tisane of bright yellow buds that calm; I like a cupful at bedtime to put me in the mood for sweet dreams.
- Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea — a black tea with oil of bergamot and other citrus added; has a rose/lilac aroma; hubby and I like it both straight and with a bit of milk and sweetener.
- Jasmine Dragon Tears Green Tea — a green tea made the traditional way of laying fresh jasmine blossoms in among the tea leaves and letting them wither together; the floral fragrance overwhelms my “sensitive sniffer” but the flavor is mild.
- Oolong Orange Blossom Estate tea loose leaf — an oolong with a jasmine quality.
- Nonsuch Estate tea loose leaf — a black tea from India with a naturally floral character (orange blossoms) along with maltiness like Assams; hubby and I enjoy ours with milk and a touch of sweetener.
- Japanese Sencha Kyoto Cherry — a green tea from Japan flavored with cherry flavoring added, a tribute to the famous cherry trees in Kyoto, Japan, kin to the cherry trees in Washington, DC, that bloom every Spring.
Any of the teas above are worth trying chilled/iced, something that those of you in warmer climes will be happy to hear. And they’re far superior to the “sweet tea” being touted from those signs everywhere.
Take advantage of those extra hours of daylight as we head from the equinox to the Summer solstice, when the trend will have peaked and we will start back toward shorter daylight. Plan some picnics, walks in the park, hikes in the mountains, etc., and bring along the tea!