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Delights of Four Seasons Teas

Exploring the Delights of Four Seasons Teas: The Perfect Brews for Every Season

Jun 23, 2024

Shanika Dasanayaka

Exploring the Delights of Four Seasons Teas: The Perfect Brews for Every Season

What are Four Seasons Teas? These are special blends crafted in each of the four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and autumn. These teas are designed to warm your body during chilly winters, refresh you on spring mornings, cool your mind and body in the summer, and enhance your enjoyment of the autumn season. Let’s explore more about these unique seasonal teas.

Four Seasons Tea - Tea of Spring Season

Spring follows winter and precedes summer, bringing longer days and melting snow as temperatures rise. How do these climatic changes impact tea? During spring, new buds and young leaves emerge from the tea bushes after the dormant winter period. This results in the most precious buds, rich in flavors and nutrients, being stored over the winter.

Spring teas encapsulate the freshness of the season with a floral, green, light, and delicate taste. Enjoy a warm cup on a cool evening or a glass of iced tea on a warm afternoon during this lovely season. Some of the best spring teas include Dragon Well (Long Jing), Darjeeling 1st Flush, Baojing Gold, White Tea, and Sencha.

Dragon Well or Long Jing

Dragon Well, or Long Jing, is a tea expected in early spring. Originating from eastern China, it is the most famous and valuable green tea in the country. With the seasons changing rapidly, the production period for Dragon Well is around four weeks. This pan-roasted green tea is renowned for its high quality.

Dragon Well tea boasts a vegetative and sweet taste with a hint of astringency. Some describe its flavor as smooth and creamy, with a characteristic sweet hazelnut note. After steeping for 2 minutes, it yields a green-yellow brew. Loose-leaf tea provides the best flavor compared to tea bags and should be made with filtered or spring water. Generally, it brews at a lower temperature, between 170-180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Darjeeling 1st Flush

Darjeeling tea is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas, where tea bushes experience cool and long winters. The spring season marks the time to pick the first shoots and leaves from the tea bushes, known as the "first flush tea" or "spring flush." The harvesting period typically starts in early March and continues until early May.

First flush of Darjeeling is lighter than the second flush, featuring less oxidized leaves with green and silver highlights. It has a distinct, delicate flavor with fruity and floral notes, earning it the nickname "Champagne of Teas" due to its unique and refined taste.

Baojing Gold

Baojing Gold Tea is an ancient, rare type of spring tea from China. This unique tea can be developed into three different kinds of tea products: green tea, black tea, and white tea. The final brew of Baojing Gold tea offers a silky and soft mouthfeel with a milky character, making it a treasured experience for tea enthusiasts.

White Tea

Silver Needle White Tea is a captivating tea known for its light, pale liquor and mellow, delicate, gently sweet flavor. This tea is primarily produced using soft, downy buds, harvested once a year around the end of March. The tiny buds are dried slowly under the sun, preserving their beautiful needle shape, which often catches the eye of tea enthusiasts. 

Sencha

Sencha, expected in late spring, is Japan's most famous green tea. Farmers typically begin harvesting by mid-May, once the weather shifts to clear, blue skies. After harvesting, the leaves are steamed to halt natural oxidation, preserving their rich green color and enhancing the flavorful umami taste. 

Four Seasons Tea - Tea of Summer Season

In early June, with the arrival of the hot summer sun, tea bushes begin to develop stronger and more robust flavors. Why does this flavor change occur during the summer? The plants produce compounds to protect the tea leaves from insects, the sun's heat, and UV rays. These protective compounds contribute to the tea's intensified flavors, resulting in a more robust and distinctive taste.

Assam

Assam is the largest tea-growing area in India, producing 630-700 million kilograms of tea annually. Known for its strong malty flavor and bright color, Assam tea is popular worldwide as a breakfast tea. The leaves are picked during the second flush season, which starts in June. The quality of summer second-flush Assam tea is superior to the first flush, often featuring golden tips.

Some health benefits of Assam tea include regulating blood sugar levels, promoting good heart health, improving gut health, and boosting immunity.

Darjeeling 2nd Flush

Darjeeling's first flush picking occurs in the spring, followed by the second flush during the hot summer months of May and June. The combination of hot days and cool nights during the summer season helps to develop distinct and unique flavors in the tea leaves. This seasonal variation contributes to the characteristic taste profile of second flush Darjeeling tea, making it a prized choice for tea enthusiasts.

Oriental Beauty – Taiwan Oolong Tea

Oriental Beauty is a renowned Taiwanese Oolong tea grown in the Hsinchu County area of northern Taiwan. This tea is celebrated for its super smooth and fruity luxury, making it a standout choice for tea connoisseurs. Oriental Beauty is special because it contains tips, a feature found in only a few oolong teas available on the market, enhancing its unique flavor and appeal.

Four Seasons Tea - Tea for Autumn Season

During the autumn season, typically around September to October, tea plants produce thicker, stronger leaves rich in aromatic oils. These autumn leaves result in teas with robust flavors and a heightened aromatic profile, perfect for savoring the essence of the season.

Pu erh Tea

Pu-erh mini cakes are a type of compressed tea originating from the Yunnan province in southwest China. As a post-fermented tea, the dried and rolled tea leaves undergo microbial fermentation, resulting in a much darker color and a robust flavor. These compressed Pu-erh teas can retain their freshness for up to fifty years, making them a unique and valuable addition to any tea collection.

African Autumn Tea

"Red Bush" or "Rooibos," often called the African Autumn Tea, is a caffeine-free herbal blend known for its rich antioxidant content. Rooibos tea is particularly beneficial due to its high levels of antioxidants and unique polyphenols, such as aspalathin. These compounds may help protect against free radical damage, making Rooibos a healthy and refreshing choice for tea enthusiasts.

Pumpkin Teas

Usually, black tea forms the base of pumpkin tea, providing strong or malty flavor profiles. Sometimes, pumpkin teas are made with herbs commonly used in chai lattes. The pumpkin spice blend typically includes cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.

Pumpkin tea offers various benefits, such as reducing swelling, promoting good blood circulation, and easing bloating. This spiced autumn delight is not only flavorful but also beneficial for your health.. 

Four Seasons Tea - Tea for Winter Season

As we conclude our discussion on the four seasons of tea, let's explore winter teas. During the winter season, temperatures drop drastically, and tea bushes enter a dormant period known as winter dormancy. This period is less pronounced in countries near the equator, with the length of dormancy increasing with distance from the equator. Low temperatures, soil water stress, and nutrient availability are the main factors contributing to winter dormancy.

The best teas for the winter season include ginger tea, cinnamon tea, cranberry herbal tea, and caramel black tea. A hot cup of tea is the perfect companion during the cold winter months. Not only does it keep you warm, but it also offers numerous health benefits, such as boosting immunity.

Ginger Tea

A cup of ginger tea is an excellent addition to a cold morning before starting the day. It keeps you refreshed and helps ward off winter illnesses. Ginger tea strengthens the immune system, preventing common health issues like colds and coughs. Additionally, it is rich in calcium, iron, proteins, vitamins, and folic acids, making it a nutritious choice for winter wellness.

Herbal Tea

The top herbal teas to enjoy in winter include Lemon Ginger infusion, Peppermint, Chamomile, Rooibos Vanilla, Rosehip, Echinacea, and Lemon infusion. A hot cup of any of these herbal teas not only warms you perfectly but also promotes well-being and calmness during the cold winter months.

Black Tea

Black tea is an excellent choice for winter due to its inherently warm nature. It has the ability to refresh your mind and relieve fatigue. Drinking black tea during the winter can help improve your resistance to the cold, making it a beneficial addition to your daily routine.

Final Thoughts

Spring, summer, autumn, and winter play a vital role in the global climate, influencing the growth and characteristics of tea. Four Seasons Teas can be understood in two different ways:

  1. Some teas reach their peak harvest during specific seasons.
  2. Certain types of teas are ideal to drink according to the weather of different seasons.

    This article explores both aspects, providing insights into how the changing seasons impact tea cultivation and the best teas to enjoy year-round.

    Enjoy discovering the unique qualities of Four Seasons Teas!

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