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Reflections : A year with tea : March : Expansion

Welcome to our year with tea

Throughout 2024 we will be sharing our year with tea; embracing tea through the seasons both at home & in the tea fields.   As this is the only full year our pop up Shatwell Tea House will be open we are taking the opportunity to document the space throughout the year & share it with you all.  In this blog we offer our reflections on February - starting with stories from the Shatwell Tea House and then looking at activity with some of our friends and partners around the tea world.
For February our theme was awakening - the light starts to return and we feel the promise of brighter days ahead and the opportunities they bring.  

Reflections on March....Expansion at our Tea Houses

March is a time of expansion for us : gently feeling out into the Spring.  We started the month at our Shatwell Tea House with a beautiful collaboration with our friends Hakko House.  In the very early days of Comins we worked alongside Teruko at our Sturminster Tea House & we were delighted to welcome James, Renata and family for a beautiful [if cold] evening of tea & delicious Japanese food.  You can learn more about Hakko House and where to enjoy their delicious food here  

March has been busy at the Shatwell Farm Tea House with tea drinkers making the short pilgrimage up the stairs to the pop up at the top of the barn.  The fire is still on making the space cosy & top of the list is this delicious tea from Buddika   


Our Bath Tea House remains a cosy place to come and escape for an hour or two.  We are delighted to welcome familiar and new tea drinkers to the Tea House including our friends from the Bath MEAA fresh from their tea ceremony at the museum.  You can read more about what they offer here 

A time for planning Spring Travels 

Spring is of course an important time in the tea calendar as the tea world wakes up & harvesting begins in many places.  March sees us getting ready to head off on our travels to Japan & South Korea - we gently expand our thinking beyond the Tea House out into the wider tea world beyond.  

Reflections on the tea fields 

As part of our year with tea project we are asking many of our partners around the world to share what activities they undertaken each month - an insight into the work that goes on in tea all year round - and of course a window into what tea everyone is drinking!  Here is our spotlight on February from India to China & beyond.  

March with tea friends in the Nilgiri Hills Southern India

From our partner Murali : We completed all the scheduled tea plants pruning in March. All the pruned plants have started new growth (see photos). It will take a few months for it to fully grow. Areas that are unpruned have started leaf growth. We had a visit from the Organic Department for organic certification renewal. They check the field and check our books to make sure we are fully compliant with the organic farming practices and documentation. With Summer heat on, we have been sorely missing the rains. Usually we get one or two rains during Summer months that will keep soil moist but no signs of rain this year. We will have to wait for the monsoon to bring in the rains'



March with tea friends in the Darjeeling Hills Northern India

From our partner Husna :  

10th March '& we are currently picking this year's first few batches of our prized and prize-winning Darjeeling Moonshine Tea. Made from only the most tender shoots of select clonal tea bushes here at Glenburn, Moonshine is an  exclusive early First Flush tea - beautiful, artisanal and hand-crafted, made in very small batches with a unique flavour and aroma that no other tea can replicate. It is processed very delicately, similar to a white tea, to not only preserve all its health-giving properties but also to keep the leaves intact right up to its infusion.  Glenburn Moonshine tastes like Darjeeling's springtime in a cup, with its light, subtle palate-feel and floral, citrus undertones. Our 2023 Moonshine Tea won the coveted Leafies Gold Award recently and as we herald in the first harvest of 2024, we hope you are looking forward to this year's bounty of Moonshine magic, as much as we are looking forward to bringing it to you.  This year let’s also try to push the awareness on Darjeeling tea to our tea drinkers.  The region is really struggling with the cost of production not being able to support our farm-gate pricing, and a huge amount of fake tea in the market creating an artificial oversupply -  many tea estates are selling out.  Fingers crossed for a better 2024 and that we can survive these challenging times'.


18th March 'and we are beginning our first flush harvest.  First flush teas are revered by tea connoisseurs for their

  • refined flavour and aroma,
  • the abundance of silver tips and unblemished leaves picked by the most practiced hands from the most select clonal plants and 
  • the complex layering of floral, fruity and citrus notes 

Through the first flush you can experience the fresh notes of Spring & the unique taste and aroma that characterises one of the finest teas of the year'  

Want to try the tea?  You can explore here


March with tea friends : China Myanmar Border


From our partner Matt : 'Over in the UK you have Easter at the end of March and here in China we have quite different things. As I mentioned to you in previous blogs for the 'year with tea' before, we’ve got 24 solar terms in a year and it is called Jing Zhe on Mar.5th, Chun Fen on Mar.20th.  Jing Zhe means that the worms and insects are woken up as the temperature rises. Now in March are working hard on the fields. There is a picture above which I wanted to share with you for March show that the tea trees have started to sprout. Our spring tea season starts on Mar.7th. Chun Fen means the day & night time is equal in the middle of the spring season. We will have longer day time than night time as time moves on. Spring is full of vitality and everyone here loves it!
Want to try the tea?  You can explore here

March for our tea friends in Ujitawara Japan 

From our partner Yuta : 'It is said that tea season starts earlier due to recent warm weather, but it’s still chilly at night, so I think we are still not sure about that...time will tell!  I attach a picture of the 2024 buds:) we keep doing our best for the good harvest and make tea which make people happy and peaceful'
Want to try the tea?  You can explore here

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