Jan 23 2012 In Tea Journal By Chris
Year of the Dragon Green Tea House Blend
I grew up in San Francisco. We lived within walking distance to Golden Gate Park in the Sunset District. My early years in San Fran were when I was introduced to the appreciation of tea and what a memorable impact sharing tea can have.
Especially now that I’m a tea shop owner, I frequently reminisce of the times we would walk through the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park amongst the exotic flora, cross over the trickling stream on the arched red bridge, and end up in the Japanese Tea House to enjoy some hot tea and almond cookies. This was such a true treat for my brother and I, as well as being special time with family. I fondly think back on what gracious service and surroundings were in the garden. I also recall loving to do tea leaf readings for everyone as they finished their cups. Little did I know at the time, this would be foreshadowing events to come much later in my life.
Visiting China Town was another expedition our family enjoyed to do regularly. I have yet to find authentic Chinese food that comes close to tasting as fabulous as what was served in China Town in San Francisco. Each member of the family would pick a dish on the menu, and we’d all share family style, serving ourselves up a bit of everything ordered. Back at that time, there were no forks put out at the place setting, or even available at request. You either learned to eat with chop sticks, or you went hungry. It was also customary that a pot of hot tea was served as you sat down, a tiny cup for each person. We’d pass the pot around and around. To this day, I can’t order Chinese food without a pot of hot tea. It just doesn’t seem right.
With the large Asian community there in the city, Chinese New Year was a big deal! The Chinese New Year Parade was such a colorful spectacle to take part in! I think after all the years I spent on the Peninsula, that’s why I continue to celebrate it fondly each year, even if only privately in my heart and memories.
Well, this year, I’m able to do something a bit more extraordinary. In honor of today’s Chinese New Year, I blended up a tasty green tea House Blend I dubbed Year of the Dragon. I give thanks and appreciation to my early tea experiences steeped in Asian culture in San Francisco. I feel abundant gratitude for the year to come; for I have a feeling it’s going to be a great one! So Gung Hei Fat Choi everyone! Happy New Year of the Dragon!