Do your daily tea tastes change with the season? 

People ask me about my favorite “tea”. Those of us who are deeply engaged with the world of tea know that’s a nearly impossible way to consider our daily tea choices. But I can usually narrow my response to the current season. For me, there are seasonal teas. The change in temperature that require an adjustment in my wardrobe also inspire me to reach for different daily teas. I live in an area where our seasons change abruptly. It can be sweltering summer one day but edging into wet and wild winter the very next day. This happened last weekend when Northern California not only had a significant enough rain to douse two historically huge fires, but also caused flooding.  Two days before that, a fire about a mile from me threatened evacuation. But twelve inches of rain in 48 hours with accompaning wind had me reaching for a Pu’erh that I’d been saving for a special occasion. The end of another fire season. Official beginning of Fall. A very special occasion to celebrate with a special tea.

Some tea friends are sharing their seasonal tea drinking habits in this group post. We invite you to share your Autumn teas in the comments below.  Happy Sipping!

Babette Donaldson, T Ching Publisher

When air starts to get brisk and the evening light is golden but thin, I want my teas to have more body. Teas that are thick and linger on my tongue. Giant muggable teas so I don’t have to crawl out of my blanket to get a refill. And I also find myself enjoying the swirl of a dollop of cream in a nice, chewy Assam. And an appropriately seasonal mug is the perfect finishing touch.  

Nicole Burriss, Taste All The Tea

For me, cold weather means chai – mug after mug of chai. It’s delicious, it’s comforting, and the spices blend perfectly with the scents of earth, evergreens, and fallen leaves. Our Rainy Day Pu’erh with milk and sugar is my go-to drink during our rainy Pacific Northwest winters.

Our customers like these chai recipes; Chai Tea Latte and Full Moon Chai Smoothie.

Ciaran J. Keast, Plum Deluxe

Are there changes in your customers’ tea preferences with the seasons?

The trend we have found in our customers in general is that they prefer white teas esp. White Prakash in the summer (cold be for the cold brew) and then in the fall/winter, the blends especially Kathmandu Cosmos and Nepali Breakfast tend to do a lot better. 

It is quite interesting that I recently started noticing the trend of teas that I prefer to drink during different seasons. The spring has always been quite experimental for me, maybe because, I get to sample a lot of varieties of the freshest plucks. I particularly enjoy oolongs during the spring but when summer starts, I get into my normal habit of nice black teas in the morning and then some white teas in the afternoon. This fall, I am particularly enjoying 2021 first flush lighter black teas in the mornings. In the winter, I generally find myself brewing a lot of pu’erh for some reason. 

Nishchal Banskota, Nepal Tea

Cup of brewed tea with an infuser basket. From Jennifer Nowicki of Cultivate Taste tearoom.

Even though I sell cold brewed teas and give information on making iced tea, I rarely drink it, so in summer I still drink hot tea, but in smaller amounts. It is really fall. winter, and spring I drink the most tea. I still drink green and white teas in the cooler months, but tend to drink it more in the summer time with a nice oolong too.  I drink tea all times of the day though one of the first things when I get to work in the morning is brew myself some tea.

Jennifer Nowicki, Cultivate Taste

 I switch to more grounding and earthy teas, like Shu Pu’erh and Adaptogenic Herbal Chai when the days get shorter, and tend to prolong my caffeine  consumption later into the day, to put up a good fight to afternoon darkness!

Maria Uspenski, The Tea Spot

The ingredients in adaptogenic chai tea from The Tea Spot.

Although I taste all kinds of teas, every day as taster and buyer for The Tea House, for my personal enjoyment, most enjoy fresh tea, whenever it is made. I do tend to drink greens and lighter oxidized teas in the spring and summer while darker and more fully oxidized teas in the colder months (here in Chicago). That said, it is 41 degrees today and I just re-tasted all of our Darjeeling teas, most of which are lightly oxidized 1st flushes.

Oh, and it can change by time of day, my mood, what color shirt I’m wearing…….

Dan Robertson, The Tea House & International Tea Cuppers Club

Dan Robertson drinking from a bamboo teacup in Yunnan Province, China

Sipping campfire brewed pu’erh from a fresh bamboo teacup in Yunnan Province, China … in the rain.

Pumpkin Latte

Since Missouri is insanely hot in the Summer, I have succumbed to “Iced Tea” and “Bubble Tea” with real tea. This year’s creations include a Pink Dragon (pale oolong or white tea or hibiscus blend, dragon fruit powder, condensed milk, and frozen strawberries with or without boba). I also tried a Purple Dragon (that was really sweet potato) for the Alzheimer’s Association. But now it’s Pumpkin Spice season with a daily thermos of my favorite TGFOP.

Molly Nesham, Persnickitea