Springtime Teas & the Nowruz Celebration
With the sunshine finally starting to peek through the dreary winter months, we can’t blame anyone who’s starting to get a little (or a lot) excited about spring. The sound of birds chirping can’t be ignored, and the traditions and holidays of spring are upon us.
Spring is undoubtedly the season of new beginnings. Signs of life are seen throughout nature, from budding leaves to bluer skies. Because our founder, Noushin, was born in Iran and holds her culture close to her heart, we figured we’d pay tribute this month to a special holiday, Nowruz, from Noushin’s homeland.
Nowruz, celebrated this year on March 20th, is the Farsi name for the Persian New Year, a festival originating with Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s first monotheistic religions. It is celebrated not only by those hailing from Iran, but by various nearby cultures, from Armenia to Pakistan. The holiday coincides with the vernal equinox, marking rebirth and awakenings, and has a notable spring theme. The most notable tradition of the Iranian version involves setting a colorful spread of seven items starting with the s sound, known as the haft seen, including apples, vinegar, sumac, and lentil sprouts. It also includes a full cleaning out of the house, lending a sort of out-with-the-old attitude that allows for a full reception of the joy of new beginnings.
In the spirit of Nowruz and in a tribute to our founder Noushin, we've compiled our top five teas and tisanes associated with spring and the fresh, herbaceous aromas that come along with Nowruz. We also have a larger list of recommendations here. Cheers to the new season!
While black tea is a Persian staple, the aroma of roses is an essential. This blend is a familiar ode to the culture. Typically consumed after a meal, morning or night (caffeine who?), black teas are nutritious, complex, and deeply comforting. This iteration offers both depth and the lightness of rose flavor—an extract used in all kinds of dishes from the country, from rice mixtures to crispy confections.
Mint is one of the most common notes found in Iranian cuisine—in fresh, raw, and tea-leaf form. The fresh leaf is often used as a classic accompaniment to plain black tea, alongside a sugar cube or traditional rock candy to balance out the sharpness of the mint. This herbal tea is simple and restrained, perfect for consumption at any time of day. As a bonus, it’s also known as an incredible digestive.
Calling all springtime lovers! This loose leaf tea flavor, a Heavenly Tea Leaves favorite, is the bedtime pick of the bunch. Made from relaxing chamomile and zingy peppermint with calming ingredients, it’s a crisp and smooth offering that aligns with the refresh of the season. It’s also naturally caffeine free and made for winding down, making it a great post-dinner or holiday party choice.
While this blend of herbs isn't necessarily common to Iran, it is a detoxifying blend, and what better way to start the new year than with a good cleanse? Aside from that, the mintiness and floral essence of this unique tea makes it one of our most irresistible choices. This herbal blend can be enjoyed any time of the day, since it’s naturally caffeine-free.
What screams spring more than an invigorating blend with a (Middle Eastern) floral twist? This potent green tea not only boasts obvious health benefits (hello, catechins!), but it’s also reminiscent of both spring and Persian culture, thanks to a perfect melange of herbaceousness and the lightness of the jasmine flower–a signature of the region. Jasmine is also incorporated as a common flavoring throughout Persian cuisine, and even on its own as a perfume.
It seems like there’s no wrong way to celebrate Nowruz, tea-wise. But of course, as any festival would dictate, it’s less about the fuss and more about the company and love surrounding it.
What makes Nowruz so special among the bevy of spring holidays is its hopefulness. As journalist Caroline Framke wrote for Vox in 2018: “As is fitting for Persian and Zoroastrian culture, the ceremonies surrounding Nowruz center on community, family, and a deep respect for tradition. But Nowruz is less about a single day than a general celebration of being able to wipe away the dust, grime, and sadness of the old in order to start anew. It’s about closing the door on one chapter and turning the page to the next one with excitement instead of trepidation. It’s about the endless possibilities that come with a blank slate.”
It’s safe to say our blank slates are ready for some love—and tea.
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