Welcome to National Hot Tea Month! In case you think we made this up, we did not. The Tea Council of the USA, a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to encourage greater tea consumption by Americans – a cause we are fully behind! – recognizes National Hot Tea Month every January. This month, the U.S. Census Bureau released this statement from the Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc., which the Tea Council is part of:
“Overall, the tea market grew in 2021. In reviewing tea import figures through September, total tea imports are up over 8%, with Black Tea exceeding 2020 by more than 9%. As reported last year, a qualitative study sponsored by the Tea Association reported that consumers turned to tea during those difficult times. This trend continued in 2021. Tea’s perception as being an enabler for de-stressing as well [as] providing a feeling of ‘centeredness’ during these anxious times…
“Further, consumers seem to truly embrace the entire process of brewing tea in their home. It is known that personal ‘tea ceremonies’ whether using a family recipe or a ‘mom’s’ kettle or a certain mug, in and of itself calms and relaxes. This coupled with tea’s natural ability to induce a ‘relaxed but ready’ mental state, heightens the feeling of serenity and internal quiet, mental states that were at a premium during this past year.
“And as we know, mental health is only part of tea’s attraction. Literally thousands of published scientific journals have documented tea’s ability to positively impact human health. Whether potentially interfering with cancer mechanisms, enhancing heart health, slowing neurological decline, positively impacting weight management and preventing diabetes or improving bone health, and lastly boosting immune functionality, tea is good for you and tastes great!”
While we aren’t in a position to make hard-and-fast medical claims regarding the benefits of tea, we can all wholeheartedly agree that tea is good for you and tastes great! As the Tea Association’s report said, just the act of making a pot of tea, putting the kettle on while settling in with a good book or a chat with a friend or family member, is a feel-good thing to do. January is the perfect month to celebrate the ritual and enjoyment of hot tea: the holidays are over, and a new year is beginning. It’s time to recenter, and also a good time for a hot cuppa for those of us living in cold climes! (And because hot tea is truly all that, there’s also a National Hot Tea Day celebrated every January 12!)
With over 300 varieties of Harney teas, we can’t possibly list all the hot teas we have available for you to enjoy in January (or all year!). But here are a few we love and hope you’ll try. Some are well-known best sellers while others may not be familiar but are worthy of a steep!
- Golden Monkey. If you think the name’s great, wait until you taste this tea! Derived from China’s Fujian province, this popular tea has a nice body and complexity with notes of apricot, nuts and rose. And about that name: the leaves of this tea with its golden tips are said to resemble the claws of golden monkeys!
- Paris. While we talk about our perpetual best-selling tea, Hot Cinnamon Spice, all the time, this time we’d like to highlight our runner-up, Paris. Always the bridesmaid but never the bride, Paris deserves a spotlight as a wonderful black tea. Its vanilla and caramel flavors have won the hearts of many.
- Chai. The national drink of India, chai is the perfect tea to drink in January. Its warming spices of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are just what you need on a cold winter day. Add warm milk to make it creamy and soothing; it’s how chai is traditionally drunk in India.
- Jasmine. This classic Chinese green tea with its floral notes can transport you to thoughts of a warmer, more flower-filled place and time than January (at least here in upstate New York!).
- Moana. Have you experienced our Disney Collection? Launched last year, these five teas were specially blended in honor of each tea’s namesake. Moana is a green tea with island influences like fruit and coconut – another great choice to help escape the winter blues!
- Japanese Sencha. Our founder (and my grandfather), John Harney, started every morning with a cuppa this Japanese Sencha for over 10 years, enjoying the pleasant and mild vegetal flavors with light accents of citrus and toast. Green teas are also full of antioxidants, so between that and the toast flavor, you’ve got a healthy, complete breakfast!
- Ti Quan Yin Spring Floral. Another delicate floral escape from winter’s grasp, this wonderful tea from Anxi is a delight. While the price may seem high, it’s actually a great value for this special tea. Added bonus: its tiny greenish balls can be steeped several times, expanding the number of brews you get.
- Milky Oolong. Even though the tea is dairy-free, you’ll swear there’s milk in it! The smooth, creamy nature of this tea makes it a wonderfully warm and comforting sip for National Hot Tea Month.
- Formosa Oolong. Sourced from Taiwan, this excellent oolong is reminiscent of the classic brown oolong teas of our youth.
- Chinese Silver Needle. A truly special tea, Chinese Silver needle is widely considered to be the best white tea in the world. The light brew is subtle and slightly sweet.
- Winter White Earl Grey. We’ve taken the beloved Earl Grey tea and substituted white tea for black in this popular blend. While it’s lighter than the traditional Earl Grey, it still has the signature bergamot flavor.
- Bee’s Knees. If you’re having a Dry January, then this tea is perfect to include in your National Hot Tea Month lineup. This blend, created by a customer, is inspired by the Roaring ‘20s eponymously named cocktail. It mimics the gin flavor (there’s no alcohol in it) along with the signature lemon and honey flavors.
- African Autumn. Rooibos is the base of this herbal tea to which we’ve added cranberry and orange flavors. Rooibos, a South African legume, is known for its red color, earthy flavor, and a host of antioxidants.
- Organic Hibiscus Ginger. A tea from our Mind Your Body Collection, this herbal blend is comprised of ingredients perfect for a healthy and refreshing winter sip, including vitamin-rich lemon peel, soothing ginger root, cooling eucalyptus and peppermint, and a touch of warming clove.
- AllNighter. Like its name implies, this herbal blend is NOT caffeine free! Some herbs native to the Americas, like yerba mate and guayusa used in this blend, have high amounts of caffeine. We’ve added a hint of licorice for a little extra pep. When short winter days have you feeling sleepy too soon, AllNighter will have your back!
What tea do you plan to drink to celebrate National Hot Tea Month? Tell us in the comments below. Whether you have your fierce favorite or decide to try something new, just make sure to drink tea that makes you smile.