Spring has been slow to arrive this year, but it appears that later this week, it should finally be here. The trees have leaves again. The snow is gone. The world is definitively, finally more green. We may even start to see the sun again, soon. I’ve moved my plants outside. And the warm cup of Hot Cinnamon Spice which you’ve been drinking since October no longer feels quite right for the situation. Here are a few teas which are a little more refreshing, for mornings upon which you may be debating breakfast in the backyard, or quiet evenings listening to the birds.
White Peach- This tea was one of our best sellers all summer. It’s a white tea, and therefore has a very delicate taste, which allows the sweet notes of the chunks of dried peaches in it to really come through. It is one of the only teas which I will drink cold, but is also wonderful hot. Because it is a white tea, it should be brewed in water which is 160-185 degrees, rather than properly boiling, so by the time you’re drinking it, it’s more warm than burning-your-tongue hot. It’s fresh, fruity, a little sweet, and an absolute delight.
Gyokuro- If you’d like a tea which is a little more serious, I recommend Gyokuro. This is a Japanese green tea which spends the last few weeks before it is plucked under tarps for shade. The shade forces the plant to produce more chlorophyll, in order to continue to feed itself with less light, and therefore becomes extremely green. As a result, it is our finest green tea. If you aren’t a fan of green tea, it may not be the tea for you. It tastes like vegetables and the smell of freshly cut grass in a way that distinctly reminds you that tea is in fact made from something which is green and growing.
Silver Needles- This is the spring tea. It is the tea which you drink in the spring. Silver Needles is the hand-picked first crop of the season. The leaves are still folded up, hence their being needles, and covered in a soft, fur-like covering, in order to protect them against any late frosts, hence their being silver. They are a white tea, with absolutely no flavoring added. They also contain more caffeine than any tea in the shop, aside from matcha and mate, which are sort of exceptions. This is because the plant uses caffeine to protect itself against pests, and those soft, new leaves in the spring would be irresistible otherwise.
Citron Green- This tea is notably very fresh. It is a somewhat standard green tea, but with a kick of citrus. The citrus flavors cut through the vegetably flavors, which makes this a lovely tea for folks who aren’t quite familiar with green teas yet.
Moroccan Mint- This tea was given it’s own post here, because it has a rather complex and interesting cultural context and history, but it is very fresh. This green tea has dried peppermint leaves in it, which gives it the sort of sharp, fresh taste that will absolutely wake you up in the morning. This was the closest we could get to preserving a dewy, crisply cold May morning.
Angel Falls Mist- This is the only caffeine-free tea on this list, and the only tea which isn’t a true tea (If you’re interested, we go over the details of how that works in this post). Most tisanes are delicious spring teas, but all of them, this is the most spring-timey. The hibiscus and citrus make it a bit tart, and the strawberry makes it a bit sweet.
Orange Blossom Oolong- This tea is mostly just a personal favorite. Oolong teas are halfway between black and green teas. They are allowed to partially oxidize, which is the process which turns black tea black, and breaks down those vegetabley flavors, and then are steamed, to preserve a bit of that green freshness. The resulting flavor is something complex, but with just a little bit of room left for interesting flavor to be added without muddying the taste. The orange in this tea comes through strongly enough to be noticeable, but not at all overpowering.
3 Flower Blooming Tea- This one is a little extravagant, but really quite lovely. It works best if you have a glass teapot, but can also be brewed in a glass mug. This tea blooms into three separate flowers. It is quite the impressive drink to serve if you're entertaining, and captures perhaps the most amazing element of spring itself- blooming flowers- in a glass.
What teas are you drinking this summer? Let us know in the comments below!