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Tea

Hi -- As part of my New Year resolution I'm trying to drink more tea.
I am interested in what everyones favorite teas are. I ordered some tea from Mighty Leaf which I like. What other brands are good?

I don't love green tea but I like a lot of herbal teas.

Also if anyone knows of any good detox/fasting teas I am interested.

Thanks,
Jordana

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  1. Traditional Medicinals makes a "Weightless" formula, for weight loss or fasting. I like the one with cranberry added - very tasty.

    http://www.amazon.com/Traditional-Med...

    1. right now, i am really into oolong (or wulong, as it can sometimes be spelled). There are some green oolongs that can be a nice choice if you are not so fond of traditional green tea. It has a smooth taste to it.
      Whatever you drink, loose leaf will always be the best choice.
      For flavoured teas, I have found that Kusmi makes delicious varieties ("Anastasia" and Mint come to mind). You just have to be careful not to steep for too long or else the flavours are overpowering.

      1 Reply
      1. re: alixium

        I would say oolong is also my favorite right now. I buy it from an Asian food store--oh, okay..I buy bags, not loose tea! But, they come in a box of 50 for about $2.99...I think it's Red Dragon or Red Mountain or something...I keep it at work where I try to have it in the afternoon instead of coffee...the box is really beautiful, though...lol! When I have a cold, I adore "Traditional Medicinals" Ginger tea...so spicy that it opens up your sinuses and I always feel better afterwards. Green tea is not my favorite, but I do buy Japanese green tea and also keep it in my desk at work ... I have to force myself to drink it...I know it has such good health benefits. So does oolong, though. Jordana, I've read that ALL teas are diuretics by their very nature, so maybe all are good for detox.

      2. Adagio Teas!! Loose tea, bags or iced in bottles.

        They sell sample sizes for a few dollars and sampler sets that are a great value and a great way to experiment. I recently ordered red teas to see if I would like it and they are fantastic! Very fine tea leaf, brews very quickly and comes in herbal flavors too.

        1. You might want to get Upton Tea's catalog and take a look. I got hooked on their green teas. Currently, their Jade Tips Select (China, item 2G62K) is my current go-to but they have a ton of selections. The sent me a sample of a Ceylon B.O.P. that was supposed to be used for iced tea but I used it as a regular tea and found it to be very mild and flavorful. (item TC40B).
          www.uptontea.com
          Good luck!
          Bob

          1. On the herbal front - I really love hibiscus tea. My favorite brand is an Egyptian one, Isis - and I'm not sure if it's available in the states or not - but I just love the sharp tang of good hibiscus tea (loose is also quite tasty).

            1. One of my favorite herbal teas is linden flowers. It's a fantastic after-dinner tea, faintly sweet and delicious.

              You can get it here: http://www.stashtea.com/w-111436.htm

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ori

                hmm... it looks interesting. i will definitely check it out!

              2. Another way of drinking tea that I really like and is done in many parts of the Middle East is to add whole fresh mint leaves to black tea (often Lipton Red Label), but it can be done with other types of tea. When using a tea bag, it still gives a really nice fresh taste to it.

                4 Replies
                1. re: cresyd

                  Thanks for the responses. I am actually excited to order and drink tea!!
                  Keep them coming - Jordana

                  1. re: jordana

                    Only recently did I find out about mint leaves & tea. Funny story in that we went to a Moroccan restaurant & were served tea with fresh mint leaves in ornate tea glasses. Initially, my 10 yr. old was impressed & liked it. Then she said "mommy, I don't want anymore, it tastes like chewing gum". The tea had sugar (too much) mixed in it already which I think was the mistake. Unless it is Indian chai, I don't use sugar.

                    I drink a wide range of black teas and right now am into Sadaf special blend with bergamot available at Middle Eastern grocery stores*. Love it especially when infused with cardamom. Add slightly crushed cardamom pods to water before heating & strain after tea is ready. Middle Eastern & Indian tradition (with milk). Also, been meaning to go to a Chinese tea shop as I would like to "splurge" on some Jasmine pearls.

                    I too wasn't a fan of green teas until I tried green tea with toasted rice (genmai cha) at an upscale Japanese restaurant. After that, I was hooked. I think with initial green tea purchase, it helps to buy from a good tea shop.

                    *Friend last night mentioned he's just discovered Ahmad teas (English Breakfast). I like their Early Grey.

                    1. re: ceekskat

                      Tea with "too much" sugar - over here we often refer to that as Bedouin tea. Not sure exactly why, but the tea the Bedouins serve here serves has a ton of sugar in it. I like it in small quantities - but it is really sweet.

                      My only distaste for fresh mint and tea is when I start getting the pieces of mint stuck in my tea. But I guess that's also part of the fun.

                      1. re: cresyd

                        hehe - tangential story

                        sitting in a guys house in marrakesh, as he made us a pot of mint tea (they all call it moroccan whiskey, and then expect you to laugh as if you never heard it before) who wanted to sell us , um, another agricultural product. To convince us he was trustworthy he showed us his rotting teeth, which he said proved he was a user and just a dishonest purveyor. Of course him showing us that as he tried to jam a softball sized chunk of sugar into a baseball sized teapot was rather amusing, and only convinced us that folk wisdom about herbs is not always the most factual

                2. I love ordering sample size packets of tea from SpecialTeas online and trying new things. Their rose petal tea is my household standby, and I love their bold, earthy green teas. As a coffee drinker, I find that it's the challenging green teas that suit me best when I'm trying to lay off of the coffee.

                  1. I'm not ashamed to admit that I have been enjoying a cup of Constant Comment every morning for the past couple of weeks. I have great memories of sleeping over at my best friend's house in elementary school and waking up to cups of constant comment and buttermilk toast with butter prepared by her mother.

                    1. Has anyone mentioned Rooibus? Chamomile? Both are two that I enjoy, and chamomile is very relaxing.

                      i'm not a fan of regular green tea either for the most part, although i do enjoy it in it's place in restaurants. Matcha is a whole other story, i love the stuff. However, i think a good begininng in that area are the white teas, very delicate taste on their own.

                      For some reason, when i'm visiting my parents, i switch back into tea mode and drink endless cups of tetley with milk and sugar.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: im_nomad

                        im, I tried the Rooibus teas from Adagio Tea Company and enjoyed the peach flavored one quite alot. Rooibus tea is such a departure from the usual. Interesting.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          It IS interesting...it has NO caffeine, either, by the way.

                            1. re: thew

                              OP indicated they liked herbal teas. I think any infusions, without getting too technical, would be approriate in this post.

                              1. re: thew

                                I totally agree. No caffeine = less antioxidants.

                                1. re: Sakebito

                                  Straight organic rooibus supposedly has 40 times the anti-oxidants of green tea, not true tea but tastes and brews like tea. They put branches that look like tumbleweeds into a fine chipper to get the product.

                                2. re: thew

                                  actually, herbal teas are known as tisanes.
                                  And one exception to your rule is African rooibos tea, or red tea which has no caffeine but is tea and has antioxidants.

                                  1. re: Mina24

                                    Rooibos isn't tea per se--it's what Rishi would term a "botanical"--their term for "tisane." I'd call it either one but definitely not "tea."

                          1. I love Celestial Seasonings Madagascar Vanilla Red (Rooibos) Tea. Very smooth with a natural mild sweetness.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Gingerleen

                              Me too - almost addicted actually... We just call it Lion tea in our house :-D
                              But other good ones from celestial seasonings is their spicy rooibos tea, and their honeybush tea (with a giraffe on the package...).

                              All three are caffeine free infusions....

                              1. re: Gingerleen

                                I've had it also and think it's really nice (although I confess to adding a spot of milk and sugar). If you're a rooibos fan, try to get your hands on some red espresso http://www.redespresso.com/ . It's manufactured in South Africa specifically for use in Bialetti-type coffee pots. Fantastic!

                              2. Hi, Joradana. Good resolution!
                                First, herbal teas aren't teas. That's not to say that they don't often taste great and have health benefits--they're just not, properly speaking, tea. That said, there are so many wonderful varieties of tea out there that you wouldn't believe it. I'll point you towards some of my favorite vendors to make things easier. Keep in mind that there are very few bargains to be found for good tea and that it's best enjoyed brewed properly in the right brewing vessels. Also, before you plotz at the prices, bear in mind that quality tea leaves (except Assamese) can usually be infused at least three times, which brings down the cost dramatically.
                                For Chinese teas of all kinds, my favorite is Seven Cups http://www.sevencups.com/ . They're extremely ethical, are very much into educating consumers (check out the podcasts), are the nicest people in the world and are happy to discuss your purchases, and most importantly, have great tea. It's owned by a husband and wife; the wife is Chinese and a government-certified tea master. My Chow-pal Amy (whom I met on a tea-related board here and feel like I've known forever) has a very nice working relationship with Teance http://www.teance.com/ , although I've never ordered from them.
                                The Tao of Tea http://www.taooftea.com/ has some very funky Vietnamese greens that aren't to be found anywhere else. For Japanese greens, I like Hibiki-an http://www.hibiki-an.com/ and Zencha.net http://www.zencha.net/ ; O-Cha.com http://www.o-cha.com/ is supposed to be good, too. An excellent source for Assamese Indian blacks is TFactor Teas http://www.tfactor.us/ , but they're in the midst of a move to the West Coast so I don't know if they're set up to take orders.
                                Hope this helps--I have other vendors too, but didn't want to overwhelm you. Tea is wonderful!

                                -----
                                Seven Cups
                                2516 E 6th St, Tucson, AZ 85716

                                Teance
                                2531B 9th St, Berkeley, CA

                                Tao of Tea
                                3430 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR

                                1. One of my favorite teas, that I come back to no matter what other tea I'm addicted to, is Good Earth. They call it a "Sweet & Spicy" Herbal Tea with a "natural source of antioxidants". While that's great, and I'm glad it's healthy for me, it could be the McDonalds of all teas and I would still drink it daily. It has a complex sweet flavor with an undertone of anise. The ingredient list says it all: "Red Rooibos, Chicory Root, Artificial Flavor (eeek I didn't know about that!), Rosehips, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Papaya, Chamomile, Panax Ginseng Leaves, Anise Seed, Ginger Root, Dandelion Root, Orange Peel and Orange Oil". Phew. I know that might look like way too many flavors for one little bitty tea bag, but they blend very well together. Everyone I've recommended it to, falls in love with it, so I suggest you try it!

                                  1. Like another poster, I too use tea bags at work for convenience. At my desk, I have seven different teas: four from Yamamotoyama (Japan's oldest tea purveyor) and three from Taylors of Harrogate.

                                    The Yamamotoyama teas are jasmine, (2) oolong and special occasion green tea all individually wrapped in aluminum sealed packets. The two oolongs taste slightly different. These I drink w/o adding anything. http://www.yamamotoyama.com/

                                    The Taylors of Harrogate teas are Earl Grey, English breakfast and Afternoon Darjeeling; usually I'll add sugar and cream.... http://www.taylorsofharrogate.co.uk/

                                    1. If you want to stay away from caffeine and like the taste of the black teas like me, de-caff by soaking the bag or leaves for about 30 seconds and tossing the first water. Then re-steep.
                                      Sage tea is nice but not if you're nursing. And if you have a cold or the flu a mixture of fresh
                                      ginger root (mashed in a garlic press), honey, fresh lemon juice and cayenne is really fantastic. It's good even if you're not sick!

                                      1. While not a tea I like a roasted barley or roasted corn tisane, called boricha in Korea.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: chilihead

                                          I brew a mixture of boricha and oksasucha (the roasted corn tisane); I pretty much always have a pitcher in the fridge (I drink it instead of water). Delicious, and naturally on the sweet side.

                                        2. I like Pukka teas- I drink the "Harmonize" one (rose, vanilla and shatavari), the "Detox" one (aniseed, fennel and licorice) and the "Love" tea (rose, chamomile and lavender... but this one is oddly slimy). www.pukkaherbs.com

                                          Zhena's Gypsy Teas makes some good ones too- they make a rooibos lavender one that I used to be hooked on but I can't buy it locally anymore. http://secure.gypsytea.com/

                                          I find the selection of teas at any of my local health food stores to be much better than the choices at the supermarket. Sometimes it's a bit more expensive, but I think about how much I save now that I don't do daily (or- God forbid- twice daily!) Starbucks runs for soy lattes!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Jetgirly

                                            I like Zhenas Gypsy Tea as well - am working on a tin of Coconut Chai right now that is delicious. Smells like dessert!

                                          2. I have a weakness for Peet's premium teas - though they are pricey enough that I try to limit myself to a cup a week of the good stuff and drink other teas on a more regular basis. My favorite is Jasmine Downey Pearls - a fragrant green tea that comes in little rolled up balls "pearls" that unfurl into tiny leaves in your tea basket. It's slightly nutty, slightly sweet, and very enjoyable.
                                            Phoo-D
                                            http://www.phoo-d.com

                                            1. Anyone know what Whole Foods' tea selection is like? I'm looking for loose teas of all kinds.

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: yamalam

                                                Whole food's loose tea section can be very good, or very bad, it depends on the specific Whole foods. If they have it I particualrly reccomend the Rishi Jade Oolong, (it one of the ones in the blakc bags, not the tin cylinders (near the section where they sellt the roasted nuts and confections)) a wonderful floral taste. on the other brand the carry (I think it's called the Pursuit of tea, its the one with the mostly tan label): The Crooked Horse Tiegunayin is best steered away from, it doesnt taste all that different from a standard Tieguanyin, as is around four times the price. The Wood dragon has an interesting toasty flavor. The Nantou in my opion just tastes vegetal and harsh. In the real tea asile you can find pretty much all of the standards from varios suppiers aling with some you may not have heard of (I'd steer clear of the Kwazulu estate tea though, whoeve makes it tires to trat it like cofee and ground it up, which means that, no matter what you do, the resulting drink is insuffereably bitter.)

                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                  Jade Oolong is available on Rishi's Web site but I haven't seen it in Whole Foods (at least here in NYC) for a long time. You're right--it's lovely and not terribly expensive. In fact, one of my friends liked it so much she took a bag back to Russia for her mother-in-law a few years ago. My only complaint was that it didn't hold up to multiple infusions; it pretty much gives it all up after the first, even brewed gongfu-style.
                                                  Rishi has wonderful chais, BTW, especially those that are rooibos-based. West Cape and Rooibos Chai are wonderful, as is Maghreb Mint.

                                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                                    Which NYC branch branch are you using, I ask becuse I use the NYC ones too and If the branch youre using there is different from mine, I know not to bother checking your branch should I be in the vicinity. I know Union Sqare is tapped out (I found two bags there about 5 months ago, but none since then) but what about Houston street? (I have to make a trip there the Wed of next week) (Need more engine oil(its a beer) for fried fish). I also agree about the lact of staying power, I can usally get two goes from it but then again I steep qick and use a whole pouch at a time.

                                                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                      Hey, jumpingmonk--the two I use most often are Columbus Circle and Union Square; I hardly ever hit the Bowery or Seventh Ave. You might want to keep in mind, though, that WF told me that they rotate some of their tea selections (maybe quarterly?). This was verified to me when they didn't seem to carry Rishi Rooibos or West Cape Chais (which I prefer to their Masala Chai, which contains tea); Rooibos Chai is now back in stock and I'm hoping for West Cape in the future so that I can stock up. My suggestion is to just keep checking back and to submit a written request to carry Jade Oolong at the information desk; they might respond and it'll be a lot cheaper than ordering from Rishi direct.
                                                      WF has drastically trimmed its Rishi offerings and I've noticed that Rishi doesn't offer as much as they used to. They were my intro to fine tea several years ago, but I've found (way) better for less money since. I still like their non-tea and green-tea chais, though, and a few tea items as well--Rishi still holds a warm place in my heart. :)
                                                      Post back if you have any luck.
                                                      Since you like light oolongs, you might like this: http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/pro... . It's Chinese and not floral, but it holds up to multiple infusions, isn't very expensive, and is delicious. I can pass along a $10 coupon if you like--contact me through Chow.

                                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                                        Thank you for the link, but as it happens, I have at least six online tea suppliers; Rishi was just convenient for those times when I needed a quick "tide me over", something I could go to the store and buy between online shippings. Also I dont favor light oolongs particualry over heavier ones (in the current dearth of Rishi, That role is being filled by Ten Ren's Ten Wu (it has a simiar flavor, though its a lot weaker) . Sometimes I like one sometimes another. In fact my favorite named oolongs are rou gui (which is fairly well oxidized) and Tie lo Han (which is roughly as oxidized as Tiguanyin). My weekday tea mix is a blend of 5/7 Tiguanyin (I use the Foojoy Royal Kwan Yin bags, as I dont have the time to do loose leaf brewing except on weekends) and 2/7 Earl Grey (Repubic of Tea's for preferenece) (on and quite a bit of sugar plus the juice of one key lime). Weekends vary from the Oolongs to varios cocktails of herbal and semiherbal teas (one of my favorties is a mixture of Tulsi Tea's Tulsi (holy basil) Mighty Leaf's Marrakesh mint plus varios ginger peach and earl grey teas a stongly flavored honey (some of my favorites are Oak Blossom and Argentinian Tiaca) an a couple shots of lemon extract orange extract and rosewater. (I should mention that I tedn to make tea by the pot/pitcher not the cup (in case you are wondering about how I can be using so many bags at a session.) Two final tea notes. One since you had the courtesy of sending me your tea link I migh as well send you one of mine, www.simpsonandvail.com. They have jade oolong (but I woulnt reccomedn thiers, its far more expensive an of a much inferior quality to Rishi's) On the other hadn some of thier unusual nation teas (i.e. not from China, Taiwan, Japan, India or Ceylon) are quite suprising. In fact I highly reccomend the Kazi estate lage leaf from Bangladesh, Its one of the few black teas I still find worth drinking. also take a look at http://www.theteagallery.com/default.asp, they have a huge Chinese tea selection (I'm currently saving up so I can try their 1980's vintitage Tielohan.)

                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                          Okay I'm back from my trip to the Hoston street WF, and they didn't have any Jade either. Almost all the other flavors, but no Jade. Oh well at least I restocke my engine oil supply and to my surpirse they (unlike the Union Sq. branch) still had some of the Bolthouse Priclky Pear lemonade I like (for some odd reason, both this flavor and the acai with cacao pulp have become very hard to find) . Finally managed to find some more Tiaca honey too.

                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                            Let me know if you want to try that oolong (or anything else--the $10 coupon is good on everything). BTW, WF used to carry a delicious houjicha sold by Rishi that had ginger and peppermint. I hope they carry it again at some point, although I was disapponted to notice on their Web site that their houjicha is no long first-pick.
                                                            Put in a written request at WF for the Rishi Jade or talk to the buyer.
                                                            Never had the lemonade but I like Bom Dia açai with cocoa. Fairway (Broadway) carries it. EXTREMELY rich, almost like a cordial. :)

                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                              Funny you should describe it like that I've always described it to people (Bolthouse and Bom Dia are the same brand they just use the Bom Dia name for the açai) as tasting "like a blueberry milkshake", same idea (This is why I dont drink the other versions which are easy to get, without the cacao pult the seem thin, watery and sour) . FYI the prickly pear lemonade tasts pretty much as you'd expect like a lemonade with the prickly pear flavor on top of it (sorta watermelon like).

                                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                We're WAY OT here (sorry, guys), but if you go to Fairway, it's on the top shelf of the cooler on the right near the produce and commercial baked goods as you enter the store--you can't miss it. I'm pretty sure it's cheaper than at WF, too.
                                                                We need to stick to tea. :)

                                                          2. re: jumpingmonk

                                                            Ah! Rou Gui is one of my faves, too! Coupon offer still applies--Seven Cups has an "imperial" grade Rou Gui, as well as a less expensive one which I haven't tried. I HIGHLY recommend the imperial grade--lovely cassia flavor and lingering aftertaste, very rich and smooth, and one of my favorite rock oolongs. However, the 2008 Bai Ji Guan has wonderful cocoa notes and is very special, especially brewed in clay (which is how I brew all of my darker oolongs).
                                                            My taste in tea is ALL over the place--as long as it's very fine, I'm happy.
                                                            Thanks for the links, but they don't work! I did a search for S&V; their Assamese teas are available direct from the producer, TFactor (I love their tea--black is fine with me). I was in the Tea Gallery once, but haven't been back (I have quite a stock of tea). They seem like a really nice couple. I find Ten Ren pretty overpriced and the staff unfriendly, so I don't often buy there, although they provided me with my wooden gong fu set (not badly priced for the quality). Fortunately, I have enough baozhong to last me, so I don't need to hit them for it.
                                                            I have a wonderful white twig tea from Africa that tastes like honey! It's fun to try teas from not-so-well-known countries.

                                                2. Stash has an extensive line of flavored teas. I like their Chai Spice, and Green Chai (the first green tea that ever appealed to me).

                                                  1. I love liptons fruits of the forest tea. It used to be all I drank at work - before they took them away T__T

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Soop

                                                      Thanks for all the responses and please keep them coming. . I love this lavender earl grey tea from Revolution. I am also exploring the Zhenya Gypsy teas.

                                                      1. re: jordana

                                                        jordana, I bought a lavender Earl Grey from Rishi several years ago for an EG-loving friend; she said it was wonderful. If you're interested, here's the link: http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/earl-g... .

                                                    2. I am not much of a tea drinker, but about four years ago I found a great tea that tastes like hot apple cider. I mail order it from Awful Annies, right outside of Sacramento. I would really love to find a different source if I could. It has orange rinds and cinnamon sticks. It is a real comfort, it is supposed to be decaffeinated.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: paprkutr

                                                        Good Earth makes a decaf tea that is naturally sweet, very cinnamony, and widely distributed. Is this what you're talking about?

                                                        http://www.amazon.com/Good-Earth-Orig...

                                                        1. re: operagirl

                                                          The tea I buy is loose leaf, and has orange peel in it, TIA

                                                          1. re: paprkutr

                                                            this sounds like the tea I used to pick up from Pier 1 Imports (sold in a brown, wax-lined, paper bag) when I was in high school. Similar to this I presume:
                                                            http://www.amazon.com/MarketSpice-Dec...

                                                        2. re: paprkutr

                                                          OMFG Where do I get this tea?! I love the taste of cider!!!!

                                                          *edit* Ok, I see it, but it doesn't say how much, and it doesn't look like they ship to England

                                                          1. re: Soop

                                                            Email and find out if they will send it you. I believe that it is $5.95 a bag, I just got some, and it is really good. They send that I can freeze it to last longer.

                                                        3. I love the little silk pyramids from Tea Forte, myself. They have a lot of nice flavors. www.teaforte.com

                                                          1. I would avoid caffeinated teas on detox, which removes regular black, green, white, and oolong teas. What you're looking for are antioxidants, ginger, lemon, and other cleansing (but not dehydrating) herbs.

                                                            Rooibos is good, either on its own or blended into a chai base. I prefer it made in a small stovetop espresso maker. Loose I order from Porto Rico when we order coffee every 3 months. The blend is Rooibos Chai from Yogi Teas. Rooibos is similar to the red tea served in Thai restaurants.

                                                            Lemon Ginger by Stash. What was surprising was that Lipton's Ginger Twist tea is actually good (regular Lipton hurts my stomach).

                                                            I used to love Celestial Seasonings, but they're so weak. I need 2 bags to flavour bottles (ie reused Snapple bottles), wheras I only need one from the other companies.

                                                            Purple Antioxidant Green Tea by Salada is excellent--tastes like fresh blueberries! And it's decaf. Great cold too.

                                                            You can also grate fresh ginger into hot water and squeeze fresh lemon juice into it for a refreshing drink that will help sooth the stomach.

                                                            Good luck!

                                                            -----
                                                            Porto Rico Importing Co.
                                                            201 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

                                                            1. Hiya!! I've just started getting into teas myself, tried a few brands, but my absolute faves are morning herbal tea and ayurvedic herbal chai. Both from Ayurveda-yoga.co.uk ...they're great as they're jars of loose tea and natural. Very refreshing in the mornings! scrummy! Its an english company but the teas are of asian origin. ooh, and they send them to me here in michigan. Enjoy!!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: sarah8585

                                                                Enjoy your purchases but strictly speaking, from what you describe, you're not drinking "tea" per se--you're drinking "tisanes" which is another name for beverages made from brewed herbs with or without spices. Tea is produced, in many different ways, from one plant--Camellia sinensis. The confusion arises because tisanes are often referred to as "herbal teas," I suppose because they're brewed. That doesn't mean that they're without value, just that they're not tea.
                                                                Rishi has two rooibos-based (i.e., without tea) chais that I really like--Rooibos Chai and West Cape Chai. The quality of the ingredients is excellent and they're delicious.

                                                              2. For black teas (in teabags) from a regular grocery store, I live on Tetley British Blend. I've tried a few stints with PG Tips and while they have a slightly milder flavor than the Tetley, they're not work the $$. Tetley British blend is like $3.00 for 80 bags whereas PG Tips (yes, they're imported) I think it's like $4.00 for 40 "tips."

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: masha bousha

                                                                  bags are not the best way. leaf tea is as simple to use. I sometimes use lovely japanese/chinese iron pots, but more often than not i use this lovely device which might even be easier to use than bags:

                                                                  http://www.adagio.com/teaware/ingenui...

                                                                  1. Fortnum and Mason Royal Blend, Breakfast Blend and Queen Anne are outstanding in my opinion.

                                                                    1. I know this is the old thread but I just want to say about Tetley Masala Teabag.

                                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Tetley-Masala-7...

                                                                      Until one of my friend told me I can buy it at indian grocery shops, I did not know this product.
                                                                      I have never seen this at non-indian super market, so it must be launched for indian audience.
                                                                      It is so easy and tasy and good price. I always feel my boday warmer after I drink this tea and find it ideal for this season.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: hobbybaker

                                                                        FWIW, I'm friendly with a young Indian guy who runs a smoke shop near me who swears by Tetley Masala.

                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                          Yes. I think there might be many because my small local indian grocery is often stock out of this tea. Taste really good with milk and a bit suger.

                                                                          1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                            Trust your "young Indian guy," MacGuffin! This Tetley Masala is a fine black tea product...if you like the warm Indian spices. The ingredients are black tea and natural flavors.

                                                                            I prefer to sip it without milk and sugar; it is quite tasty as is. Still, I'm sure it would be good with these add-ins.

                                                                            As hobbybaker already mentioned, there are a gazillion (72) pods in a box and the price is less than $5.00. The caffeine count is 40mg/cup; a brewed cup of regular coffee may be more than double that.

                                                                            Tetley also makes an Elaichi which is a cardamom flavored tea with both natural and artificial flavors. If you like cardamom, this is also a very good tea.

                                                                          2. re: hobbybaker

                                                                            It's never too late to add useful info to a thread! I'll have to give it a try. =)

                                                                            1. re: OCAnn

                                                                              Thanks! I am almost addicted to this tea now. Everyday at least one. but one box has enough number of pods (72) for the time being. I am happy :)