Another seasonal transition is upon us. And so is another tea transition, from the lighter, fruity, floral teas many enjoy in Summer to the more rich and robust tasting teas that become more popular, and therefore more readily available, in the Fall. Here are some options:
1 Celebrate the onset of Fall with the Champagne of teas — Darjeeling: Harney and Sons Darjeeling Highlands Tea
|This is a heavenly blend of Autumnal and First Flush teas from the absolutely best gardens. This mellow tea makes for a light afternoon refreshment that you are sure to enjoy over and over again. First flush is harvested in March or April and tends to be light in flavor. Autumnal flush is harvested in September and tends to have a stronger, more fruity flavor. The two flushes balance to a very flavorful but not overwhelming fruitiness. As for “highlands,” we often think of Scotland, but it merely means a mountainous area. Darjeeling, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, certainly qualifies. See also: Harney & Sons Know Tea! and John Harney — Recognizing a True Tea Master.|
2 A wonderful version of a classic flavored tea: Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black
|One of the very symbols of Autumn is the pumpkin, harvested in September and October and used for carving into Jack-o-lanterns as well as being the key ingredient in a variety of dishes, most notably pies and soups. And then there are the pumpkin flavored teas like this one. A blend of black teas and South African rooibos, with natural pumpkin flavoring and spicy notes of cinnamon. Perfectly delicious served hot with milk and sugar. For the best brew, steep for 2-5 minutes in water brought to a rolling boil. (My review)|
3 As the green leaves turn to brilliant hues, enjoy this green tea: Gyokuro Japanese Green Tea
|A steamed Japanese green tea with a full flavor and a character that is satisfyingly light and refreshing. Consists of single buds picked only in April and May. To increase the development of chlorophyll (making them dark green) and to reduce the tannin (giving a sweeter flavor with no bitterness), the tea is covered with black curtains or bamboo and straw shades for 3 weeks in early Spring. The small leaves are extremely fragrant and tender, and are taken to the factory and steamed for about 30 minutes immediately after harvesting. This seals in the flavor and arrests fermentation. They are then fluffed with hot air and pressed and dried to 30% moisture content. The long, thin shape of the tea leaves is then achieved by repeatedly rolling them and then drying to 4-6% moisture content. Usually brewed in a kyusu (see 5 Reasons to Use a Kyusu Teapot) and served in handleless cups.|
4 Soothing and smooth for those nights that are noticeably longer: Bourbon St Vanilla Rooibos
|This blend of rooibos (redbush), which is often called “red tea” but is really a completely different plant, and calendula petals (a type of marigold), almond slices, and other natural flavors is caffeine free. It has a jazzy quality that justifies its name, Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans and a center for American jazz. Hot or iced, this beverage is sure to please without the effects of caffeine. Try making rooibos lattes to get that full feeling of wailing saxophones and the steam whistles of riverboats lazing down the Mississippi River. (See a review on our blog)|
5 Plum good tea: Blue Q Today’s Special Oolong Plum Tea
|A delicious and elegant Oolong with lively plum, safflower, and other natural flavorings. Oolongs are semi-oxidized and are therefore in-between green and black teas. Read more about the company: Blue Mooning Over Blue Q Tea
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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