Of course, you don’t need a special occasion for taking tea. Tea is its own reason. But special occasions are made better with tea. The Spring Equinox is no exception.
Since our planet tilts on its axis, the hours of daylight and night time tilt back and forth, too, like a pendulum scale where first the daylight hours outweigh the night time hours, then they’re even, then the night time hours are the dominator. And every year we go through this tilting to and fro, seeing the sun setting later and later and then earlier and earlier. Just as with that pendulum scale, there is a point when the sides are equal. In fact, each year there are two points, called equinoxes. Time has come around again for the Spring equinox.
For tea drinkers Spring is definitely a time to rejoice. The tea plants (Camellia Sinensis) wake from their Winter dormancy and will be ready for the first harvest. When these harvests begin will vary depending on the teas. Here are a few:
- Yin Zhen white tea — From eastern China’s Fujian Province, a bud-plucked tea harvested from mid- to late March.
- Zhu Ye Qing — In Sichuan Province China, plucking for this tea begins in mid-March.
- Bi Luo Chun — From eastern China. The earliest plucks occur from mid to end of March.
- Longjing (Dragonwell) — From Zhejiang Province, China. The earliest plucks occur from mid to end of March in eastern China, and the leafy and bud green teas from Yunnan Province start to appear. While the tea is well known for its characteristically smooth flavors, the early spring pickings are more fruity, fresh, green, light, smoothly chestnutty with a touch of honeydew melon rind finish.
- Mengding Mountain Snow Buds, Huang Ya — From Sichuan Province, China. Plucking for this tea begins in mid-March.
- First Flush Darjeelings — In Darjeeling, a region in northern India, they begin their first seasonal plucking in early- to mid-March following spring rains. The tea has a gentle, very light color, aroma, and mild astringency.
- First Flush Assams — In Assam, a region in northern India, they begin their first seasonal plucking in early March.
- Nepalese black tea — Eastern Nepal begins to harvest its 1st flush black tea in March.
- Taiwanese Oolongs — In central Taiwan the production of semiball-rolled oolong begins in early Spring.
- Emerald Lily — From Yunnan Province, China. Harvested in Spring and in Fall, this green tea has a lush lightness, a tingly-freshness, but also a creamy mildness.
- Yunnan Spring Buds — From Yunnan Province, China. Harvested in early Spring (pre-Qingming season), the leaves are slightly twisted and steep up an incredibly subtle, yet flavor-rich brew: creamy, sweet orange-blossom aroma and light sweet-nut cup. Neither dry or astringent.
- Boseong Standard — From the Boseong tea-growing region on the southwest coast of South Jeolla Province, South Korea. This green tea is part of their early spring harvest, full-flavored, light-bodied, grassy, smooth, and with the aroma of green floral sachet, subtle yet big tasting, slightly astringent and delightfully complex.
Celebrate Spring Equinox with any of these teas and watch as that scale tilts further and further to longer days and shorter nights.
Spring Equinox Means Time for Tea
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