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On Spring, Spring Cleaning, and Tea

Gyokuro Japanese Green Tea (ETS image)
Gyokuro Japanese Green Tea (ETS image)

Spring is always a welcome time for those who live in cold climates and probably a little more so this year for those who live in certain chilly regions of the United States. Spring is also looked forward to quite eagerly by avid tea fans, as it’s the time of the year in many regions when tea harvesting begins and some of the more prized teas begin to make their way to consumers.

Some of the most eagerly awaited of these teas are probably the shincha, or green teas that come from Japan early in the year. Shincha roughly translates to “new tea” and for some tea lovers are some of the most highly anticipated teas of the year. For more on shincha, refer to this article I wrote a few years ago.

Spring is also the time of the year when we engage in the ritual of spring cleaning, though I suspect that it’s a practice that might not take place as often as it might have in the past. Here’s an article from Brittanica Blog that suggests why spring cleaning might be something of a relic these days and gives a history of the practice.

With the new tea harvests getting underway and the weather turning warm it’s as good a time as any to do a spring tea cleaning. If you’re like me, you might find that over time your tea cabinet starts to get a bit congested. In my case, as I’ve noted before, I receive a fair amount of tea samples from vendors, but I’m not really keen on throwing out tea I don’t like, and so they tend to pile up in my tea cabinet.

But spring tea cleaning came a little early for me this year. As I related in a recent article, I finally managed, through one means or another, to get my tea cabinet down the point that it was nearly empty. Which is not as bad as it sounds, and I was actually quite happy to mark this milestone. Most of the tea that I had no interest in drinking had fallen by the wayside and what was left was the tea I really wanted to drink. Best of all, there’s now plenty of room for more of those teas that fall into this latter category.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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