The floral harbingers of spring – daffodils, forsythia, and periwinkles – are in full bloom. Peach trees, plums, and beautiful Bradford pears (no pears, just flowers) scent the air with their fragrant blossoms.
Bird feeders welcome robins, cardinals, finches, and not a few greedy squirrels. Garden snakes emerge to warm themselves in the sun. Our tortoise, Margarit, is demanding fresh lettuce and dandelion greens after her long hibernation. The first colourful butterflies showed up in our yard this morning.
The other day I received notice from a local berry farm that strawberries would be ready in just a few weeks. That means gathering up friends for a morning of pick-your-own – to be followed by plenty of luscious strawberry shortcake. And what better to enjoy with juicy berries than the teas of spring?
The first glimpses of new spring teas having been making their way to our inboxes and social media walls over the past few weeks. We’re seeing photos of Nilgiris on our Facebook pages, along with twitterings of first-flush Darjeelings. By all accounts this could be an extraordinary year for these teas, and for fragrant oolongs and sweet green teas too.
So it’s time to finish up your winter teas – your smoky teas, pumpkin-flavoured teas, the Christmas cranberry-orange tea – and get ready for light, fresh, new spring teas. You can pack up your snowflake-patterned teapots and your heavy mugs, and bring out the pastel pots and the delicate teacups adorned with butterflies and flowers.
Right now I’m awaiting samples of the year’s first Darjeelings from two of my favourite gardens, and keeping tabs on my regular sources to see what goodies they bring back from the various tea-producing countries they visit each year. I can barely contain my excitement: Will it be a better year than 2011 for Darjeelings? Can the Taiwan oolongs possibly be as wonderful as they were last year? Is Japan back in the game with a new tea crop free of any remnants of the tsunami that caused such devastation?
New year, new season, new teas.
Ready pots and cups
New teas just a breath away
Oh! It’s spring fever …
I don’t know about you, but I’ve sure caught it!
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