Spring Celebrations: Teas being made and festivals around the world

While it may not feel like Spring, luckily we have small subtle clues to give us hope for the warmer weather. Perhaps you saw crocuses peeking out of a garden (or lawn) or just counting your blessings for no more snow. Noticing these small things can make a HUGE difference in your day by just noticing them however small. It is time to start thinking about what teas you will drink this season and which ones to stock up on.  Fresh Spring crops are on the way, let’s take a look at some main tea growing areas and what is going on over the next few months for Spring.

Spring Celebrations: Teas being made and festivals around the world | Every tea growing region is beginning to process their specialties. Japan and China are making green teas, Taiwan is making Oolongs and India is making Darjeeling. Different teas are processed throughout the seasons. Learn what ones are coming so you can get your favorite tea this Spring.

Japan

    In all the various tea growing regions are gearing up for the first harvest of the year as their plants slowly wake up form their winter hibernation. From now to May we can expect all the first flushes to begin to become available, while others there is a little wait on. 
Currently, the Japanese Cherry Blossoms are beginning to bloom. Many are waiting eagerly as we wait for the best time to view the blossoms  in Japan (and across the world).  In Japanese this  time is called Hanami. The word means Flower viewing, “hana” meaning flower and “mi” meaning to watch or see.  Of course this is exactly what brings people together to admire the blossoms at all times of the day with a packed meal (bento) and sake, or tea.  

China

Leading up to  the Qingming Festival (Typically April 4 or 5) is when all those extra fresh young leaves are plucked for teas ranging from white to green. During this time, before the festival, the most sought after teas are processed.

   The festival is a time for families to clean out their family tombs and grave sites. Together as a family the cleaning is done which ends with a family tea and , of course, some tea. 

Taiwan

 The big difference between the mainland and Taiwan is that delicious Oolongs are being processed (#yumm)! Most of the greener Oolongs are on their way, such as Four Springs, Ali shan and Bao Zhong.  The first flushes are all processed from March to April, with time for family in between. Being so close to China it is no surprise that Taiwan also observed “Tomb Sweeping Day” which is known as Qingming Festival.  

India

The Holi Festival is long over and first flushes are almost finished. These teas were picked from around mid-March until about the second week of May. These leaves are typically used for Darjeeling, which is known for its light body that is often compared to champagne and Taiwanese Oolongs. 

With so many teas to choose from pick out an old favorite from your stash to celebrate the spring season (and fresh teas to come).  In the comments below share which Spring harvested tea your are eager for.

One of a Kind Show Spring 2015 Haul

A few weeks ago my family all loaded into the car for the ride to Toronto. While Dad went to work the rest of us hopped on the TTC and rode to the Direct Energy Building for the One of a Kind Spring Show.  Overall it was a great day to see what the spring vendors had and do a little shopping. It felt a bit smaller than the winter show but that was to be expected. I will say it made me look forward to the winter show at the end of this year.

 My favorite purchase of the whole day was this adorable kit from Kiriki Press. Within the box was everything needed to start stitching and you have a choice from different animals, and three levels of difficulty. I choose this little fox which was a level 2 doll kit. It really got into it and finished it only a few days latter. I was very inspired by the kit that I got a few more to learn more stitches. I have a latter project in mind using the skills I learn but you will have to wait till next week for that.
    Check out more of these adorable kits either on their website or on etsy.

When Shopping I had only two things on my list: Prints for my room and rings from White Feather Designs. These two prints stood out at Sea and Lake Paper Co and The Critter Co. Both just called out to me to buy them. The cardinal I had walked passed by a full step before turning around and buying it. Both pieces will be framed and put together for a “wall collage” of other framed works as part of my “Oasis” project

   I am off to try to remedy a mistake on my raccoon doll and hope you all enjoyed these finds.  Which do you like most?