The last chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” has drifted off into the night air, the last balloon inscribed with “Happy New Year” has popped, the confetti has been swept up, and Dick Clark has been put back in cold storage for next year’s dropping of the big ball in Times Square. Time to close the door on the old year and start off the new year with a new tea!
“New” is a pretty relative term. For many people in their 30s, 20s, and teens, the music of The Beatles is “new” since they weren’t around when “Hard Days Night” and “8 Days a Week” were first performed to a large crowd of screaming adolescent females. To me, watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on cable TV is new, but not to my parents who grew up going on dates to the cinema to see this star couple glide gracefully through their routines. Thus it is for tea.
The New Year is a great excuse to shake things up a bit, so why not with tea? We tend to be creatures of habit, and thus can slide into ruts both in our lives in general and in such things as our tea enjoyment. So, we need to make the effort to pick something new.
A few options:
- 100 Monkeys White Tea — A nice way to take the plunge away from black and green teas into the wonderful world of white teas. This is a premium grade, loose leaf white tea from China, and a best-seller. Prepare with care, though. This tea needs water that is heated to about 170-185° F but a longer steeping time of 15 minutes is recommended to let the flavor fully develop.
- Bubble tea — A treat with its origins in Taiwan, where some of the world’s high-end green and oolong teas are grown. This beverage mixes tea, milk, and tapioca balls into something quite unique and very popular in many countries.
- Oolong Orange Blossom Estate tea — A “twofer” that’s great to get you to try oolong and also get a refreshing burst of fruity jasmine notes. Perfect for those who like jasmine but want to explore oolongs.
- Flowering Tea – 3 Flower Burst – Green Tea — A “threefer” not only by design but by effect. The dry tea “bud” contains lily, osmanthus, and jasmine blooms, and is tied together with steamed full leaves of Yunnan green tea. As it unfolds, you will see an impression of the Yunnan Province countryside in China, with its perfect climate for growing flowers. You get a full green taste with peach, lily and jasmine notes. Use boiling water and infuse about 5 minutes.
- Izu Matcha — Powdered green tea from Japan with a bright Spring green color and a rich planty aroma. Go all the way and prepare it in true Japanese fashion, complete with bamboo whisk.
The bottom line is to get out of your tea “comfort zone” and go for something completely new. Who knows, you could like that new flavor so much that it’ll become your new daily cuppa!
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