There are many tea drinkers dedicated to enjoying only the most fresh, new teas, often only the single garden kind. It’s great to be so specific in your tea tastes, but it does pose a problem: Winter.
Winter is problematic enough for those of us not inclined to cold weather, skiing, snowman building, and so on. But for those who want that tea fresh from the tea garden, this period when the tea plants are dormant can be torture. Even those of us who don’t mind enjoying a bit of Silver Needle that has been around awhile, especially if properly stored, can get a real hankering for some during this time of year. The usual thing in Winter for many tea drinkers seems to be to go for black teas with their stronger flavors that go well with heavier foods typical of the season. It can give you a real case of the doldrums.
One thing that is a sure fire cure is a tea sale. No joke. These sales are often for teas that are a bit out of season, so you can switch from those heavy black teas to something lighter in flavor. And they are usually still very fresh tasting since a good tea vendor is careful to store them to maintain that freshness.
We live in a world where we can have strawberries, apples, and a host of other produce any time of year. This is due to increased farming of these items in countries in the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed from the Northern Hemisphere where most of these crops had usually been grown. Add in the greatly improved modes of transport. So, unlike the fairy tale Twelve Months where a young woman was sent off in the middle of a snowy January to get strawberries for her disagreeable sister and mother, you won’t need twelve mysterious men in the forest sitting around a fire to wave their wand over the flames and make Spring appear, along with some fresh, red strawberries. You can just go to the grocery store.
There is no reason we can’t have fine teas year round, too. Improved storage, faster shipping times, and even growers closer to home are all contributing factors. Vendors of such teas are a bit like those twelve mysterious men in the forest.
So cure your Winter doldrums with tea that you would usually only expect to have in Spring or Summer.