Tea is an integral part of customs and rituals throughout Asia, from informal family gatherings to the elaborate tea ceremonies performed at weddings. Of course, it’s also a part of the rituals surrounding Lunar New Year. Chinese families commemorate the dawn of a new year on its first morning by having the youngest generation serve a cup of tea, traditionally sweetened with various fruits and herbs, to the oldest generation.
The cup must be offered with both hands, and as the elders sip the tea, the youngest must wish them a good year. The elders then give the youngsters the red envelopes well known in the West as symbols of Lunar New Year. They usually contain money and are meant to symbolize good luck.
Whether or not you follow the rituals to usher in the Year of the Tiger, we know you’re going to love the two teas in this very special, Vices-exclusive Lunar New Year set from Vahdam Teas. The unique blends of black teas and hand rolled oolong teas have strong, rich flavors and exquisite aromas that symbolize the tiger’s strength and ability to exorcise evil. Both these teas have distinctly sweet notes — they were selected by Vahdam for the Vices Lunar New Year set because sweetened tea is said to represent a sweet year ahead!
Vahdam sources its teas directly from plantations and farmers, eliminating the multiple middlemen through whom tea usually passes. This enables Vahdam to package the tea earlier, ensuring the freshest possible teas. It also helps guarantee that the people who are actually growing the tea get to keep more of the proceeds. Based in India, Vahdam’s founder, Bala Sarda, makes sure that the success of the brand translates to benefit the country. 1% of revenues are directed to the education of the children of the farmers who supply Vahdam with its teas, and its plastic and carbon footprints are offset by investments in recycling, renewable energy, and energy efficiency initiatives in India. It’s thinking globally and acting locally in the best sense.
Vahdam’s teas may be commemorating the beginning of Lunar New Year, but they’re sure to be enjoyed all year long. And the Vahdam Imperial Tea Maker, also included in this box, will help take some of the mystery and hassle out of brewing loose tea. To see the full line of Vahdam teas and accessories, and to read about their ambitious initiatives, go tovahdamteas.com.