Growing up as a transracial, transnational adoptee, it wasn’t easy for me to connect with my heritage culture. Though I was adopted from China as a baby and grew up in a white family, one area where I’ve found it easy to bridge this cultural gap is tea. My mom always loved drinking tea and that was a trait I quickly adopted, too (pun sort of intended).
For those unaware, Lunar New Year began on Sunday, January 22 and festivities last for 15 days — with things wrapping up on Sunday, February 5. As 2023 is the year that we welcomed the Year of the Rabbit in Chinese culture, in celebration of this, Tea Drunk released a limited-edition Year of the Rabbit Tea Sampler. Available through the last day of the Lunar New Year, the sampler comes with four different loose-leaf teas to sample and as a longtime tea lover, I was immediately interested in trying it out. Here’s what I thought of each.
Wild Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle): This white tea is handmade and naturally sun-dried from the tea trees in the most sought-after area of Dian Tou, Fu Ding. I haven’t had a lot of white tea as I tend to gravitate towards black or green teas instead, but this is definitely one I can’t wait to sip again. It’s smooth, a little floral, and buttery (yes, buttery). This was definitely a soothing cup of tea and my favorite of the lot.
Bai Ye: This oolong tea was harvested from Lao Cong (which are tea trees over 60 years old), making it quite a treat. It’s a stronger, darker tea but tastes light and fruity. It’s the kind of tea that warms you up and makes you feel cozy inside.
Chi Gan: This red tea is included to reflect the red envelopes given during Lunar New Year. This batch is described as ultra-umami with an aroma of sweet tangerines and woodsy finish. The smell was reminiscent of Darjeeling or oolong to me. It was darker, but gentle and a full-bodied tea and honestly, it was my second favorite of the batch!
Wu Liang Shan: This batch is described as “mellow and flavorful” and comes from ancient trees that are 200-600 years old. To me, it tasted similar to jasmine tea and is more mellow than flavorful. But it was nice, calming, and somewhat understated.
My motto? When in doubt, have a cup of tea. That’s what I always believe and what I was raised on, and drinking each of these teas was a fun, joyful experience. I love having teas that are carefully curated for taste and symbolism as I’m a person that chooses which tea to drink based on my mood. And as it’s believed that the Rabbit will usher in tranquility, to me, there’s no better way to welcome this year than with a hot, steaming cup of tea.