I have never liked saying goodbye to a year because it also means I have to say goodbye to my favourite month of the year (farewell birthday month!). But with a new year right around the corner I was going over some tea moments from 2016 and thought it would be fun to round a few up in a blog post to end the year. I was debating on sharing my favourite teas that I enjoyed this past year but I found it difficult to keep that list short so I’m approaching this year in review a bit differently. Seriously, 2016 was the year of tea for me. So many steeped memories were made and I am so happy you all joined my tea journeys here. Cheers to 2017!
My Tea Moments in 2016
The type of tea I drank the most in 2016:
I would say oolongs were found at my tea table the most (and then matcha!). To be more specific though, I think a consumed quite a bit of tie guan yin oolongs this past year.
The tea I was surprised to enjoy more of in 2016:
Lapsang Souchong. It’s always been a tea I would drink only if it was mixed in with something else (ie. as a tea latte or infused in soup broths). While I still use it more for cooking, I’ve been slowly enjoying it more as a beverage and hope 2017 will be the year I finally fall in love with it as is.
One of my favourite new tea discovered in 2016:
While it is technically a tisane, I really loved being introduced to Amacha. It is a Japanese herbal tea from a plant called hydrangea macrophylla and it’s insanely sweet! I will definitely have to share more about in the new year. Shout out to Jeffrey from UNYtea Guy for sending me some to try earlier in the year!
One of my favourite new tea companies I discovered in 2016:
Tea Descendants. This single-estate Iron Goddess tea retailer was definitely a highlight of my 2016. This isn’t surprising given that oolongs, particularly tie guan yin, were my most common steeps this past year, too. Catch my review for one of their teas here.
One of my favourite new tea blogs I discovered in 2016:
The Tea Squirrel. This year was the year for many awesome new tea blogs. It’s tough to narrow it down, but I picked Anna’s blog as one of my favourites because every time she shares a tea recipe, I wish I was there to be her taste tester. I also really love the way she captures teas in her photos, especially in her tasting notes blog posts. Can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring for her blog!
Most memorable tea moment in 2016:
Publishing my tea related book, Tea-spiration! The majority of the writing process was done in 2016 so my book did occupy most of my free time the past year but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Honourable mention for most memorable tea moment in 2016:
Tasting Canadian estate grown tea! I never thought I would be able to experience this without travelling right to the farm. Although that is still a plan of mine, I am really glad I had the chance to be a part of the historic moment from my home steeping one of their green teas and two of their oolongs.
Tea events I participated in 2016:
Toronto Tea Festival and the first Royal Botanical Gardens Tea Festival
Most popular post on my blog from 2016:
How To Properly Care for Your Matcha Whisk (Chasen). Ironically, this was also one of my most favourite educational type posts to write for the blog this past year.
Most popular tea infused recipe on the blog from 2016:
Earl Grey Tea Pancakes. I just had these the other day. Still delicious! I highly recommend you bring this recipe into 2017 with you, too 😉
Favourite tea related quote that stuck with me in 2016:
Looking deeply into your tea, you see that you are drinking fragrant plants that are the gift of Mother Earth. You see the labor of the tea pickers; you see the luscious tea fields and plantations in Sri Lanka, China, and Vietnam. You know that you are drinking a cloud; you are drinking the rain. The tea contains the whole universe.
― Thich Nhat Hanh
The last tea I am steeping in 2016:
I decided to end this wonderful tea year with a pot of Ceylon (the one from this Citizen Tea tasters set, to be exact). I remember in 2015 I ended the year with a London Fog, so I wanted to stick with a black tea again, but straight this time around. There’s no specific reason why I decided on this tea other than that I was craving a Ceylon.
What will be my first tea of 2017?
I’m still debating this one, however, I’ll know for sure tomorrow. As of right now, I’m leaning towards a lightly oxidized oolong. I’ll share my first tea of the new year on my Instagram, so follow me there to see!
Have a fun and safe new years everyone! Let me know some of your tea moments from 2016 in the comments below!