The calendar may say it’s still Summer, but my mind and heart are saying “Fall is here!” I’m in a Fall-time frame of mind, which means my tea time planning is being adjusted accordingly.
There are certain things that we in the Northern Hemisphere and especially in North America associate with each season. Spring brings a bright rainbow — flowers in bloom in hues of white, yellow, orange, pink, red, blue, and purple — and fresh growth on lawns, trees, and fields in brilliant shades of light green. The air is fresh yet full of the fragrance from those blooms and from grass and crops sucking up nutrients from the soil and from the sun that shines warmer. We tend to eat lighter foods and drink lighter tasting teas or teas flavored with lemon, flowers, and other lighter items.
Summer is the time of continued growth, but heat and higher humidity can make you feel languid and in need of tea served cold, with or without ice and sweetener. Along with the tea, your tastebuds go for lighter flavors and things like mint that make you feel cooler. Fresh salads and light tasting foods go with those Summer teas.
That brings us to Fall. The angle of the Sun is less direct due to the Earth tilting on its axis. The leaves on the trees are triggered by this less direct light to cease chlorophyll production and lose their green, with other colors showing through, from pale yellow like quivering aspens to bright oranges and red of sugary maples to rich browns of the oaks. The air is cooler with humidity lessening. Apples are harvested, along with pumpkins, squashes, corn, and other crops. Even in our modern day this seems to trigger the baker in us all. Pies, casseroles, and much more are produced. Such richly flavored foods, usually served piping hot, need strong teas to accompany them. Autumn Flush Darjeelings are naturals as are black Ceylons, golden tippy Assams, even Japanese houjicha and genmaicha can fill the bill here.
These will not only go well with your Fall-time frame of mind but prepare you for Winter, when spiced teas (usually called “chais” in the U.S.) and heavier Assams and Ceylons call out to give you that satisfying “keep warm” flavor and feeling.
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