The second month of the year is beginning, and that “special day” with your special someone is just one of the important occasions this month where tea will fit in perfectly. Actually, many of you are like me in that you see every day as an occasion for tea. Bravo! Even so, here are five teas that are a must for February:

Feb-2014-Teas

(ETS image composite by A.C. Cargill)

1 Sweet and spicy, just like true love: Cinnamon Sibu Tea

Cinnamon pieces, rose petals, and natural flavors add sweetness and spice to the base tea a Sencha style green tea manufactured in Hunan Province, South Eastern China. The tea style originated in Japan and is most often associated with their teas. But lately some Chinese green teas are now being processed this way. Start with freshly plucked leaves, immediately steam or heat to prevent oxidation, then bruise them by machine or hand. Heat the leaves by pan-frying or basket firing to give them a distinctive glossy look and feel. They will steep up a pale green, yellowish liquor with a very bright cup and sweet, honey like finish with hot spicy cinnamon notes that will transport you to the warm beaches of Sibu, a quiet town along the Rajang River in the northern side of Malaysia.

2 A kiss in a cup: French Blend Tea

This blend features “crème de la vanille,” Earl Grey, Jasmine, and Lavender. They all deliciously blend with the base teas (Ceylons, Nilgiris, Assams, and Kenyans) to produce a tea tempered with flowery character and malty notes. Every sip is an international experience: richness from Assam, India; a saucy but sprightly flavor from Nilgiri in India and Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon); romance and mystery with superb golden color notes exuding from the Kenyan tea; and an element key to many Parisian perfumes (Chinese Jasmine). The finishing touch is lavender from Provence combined with rose petals – a pairing that will make your feet think they are strolling along the Seine in the Latin Quarter of Paris. What more perfect way to romance your true love than this “kiss in a cup”!

3 Eternal life perfectly flavored: Pomegranate Rosehip Flavored Black Tea

The Pomegranate is a symbol of eternal life and abundance, plus it was the one thing Persephone ate while a captive in the After World (Hades). She ate only 3 pomegranate seeds and so was able to come back to the living world for 9 months of the year and had to return to Hades for 3 months. Oh dear! What better way to get through those Winter months while Persephone dwells below than with some hot tea. This Ceylon black tea, flavored with pomegranate and rosehip flowers, is sweet, tart, and fruity in its aroma, yielding a flavor that exhibits deep notes of syrup, red berry and faint wisps of rose that blend seamlessly with the astringency in the Ceylon tea. Steep for 2-5 minutes in water that has been brought to a rolling boil.

4 All a-bloom in mid-Winter: Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival Green Tea

The Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival isn’t actually a festival as far as I can tell, but there is the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC (the U.S. received a gift of cherry trees from the Japanese in 1912). This tea honors both but also gives you that sense of something a-bloom, even in mid-Winter. The base tea is a high quality green tea. It’s flavored with natural cherry flavoring and rose petals that combine in a wonderfully exotic manner. Having been at the festival in DC, I can say that a sip of this tea is almost like being there.

5 What Santa drinks when not riding his sleigh: Arctic Raspberry Naturally Flavored Black Tea

This naturally flavored black tea has a piquant fruity flavor of fresh arctic raspberries that keeps Santa refreshed up there in the Arctic region where the North Pole is located. The base tea is a high-grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level.

Hope you get to try some of these during February to help you get through the rest of Winter and also treat your “special someone.” Enjoy!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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