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Jun 6, 2010 11:12 AM

Where to find a selection of loose tea? Real tea, not the fruity ones

I live in East Arlington and can't find anywhere with a decent selection of loose teas. I am looking for stuff from a single garden/plantation in Ceylon/Sri Lanka or India. All I can find in my local WF and other supermarkets is teabags, which I am not keen on.

Does anyone know of a shop in the Boston area or website offering a decent selection of loose teas?

Thanks for your help

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  1. upton tea. online only. cheap, helpful and they deliver ridiculously fast. have gotten my tea exclusively from them for years.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hyde

      hyde beat me to it - Upton Tea is terrific.

      1. re: hyde

        Absolutely Uptons and since they are in Hopkinton they deliver really quickly to Mass.

        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

          Piling on the praise for Upton Tea


          I always learn something from them.

      2. I love Lupicia tea! All the teas I've had from them have been wonderful. They are a Japanese tea company but have a wide offering of teas from other areas. They have stores here on the west coast, not sure about the Boston area though. They also have free shipping for orders over $35

        1. Cardullos in harvard square has a great tea selection.

          1. Thanks everyone for prompt responses. I've just ordered some sample packs from Upton and will drop into Cardullos tomorrow.

            Just by the way, I've recently been converted from strong English style tea with milk to drinking weak Ceylon single plantation tea black. A different experience, but really good once I got used to it. And much cheaper if you drink a lot of tea.

            Thanks again

            1. I agree about Upton's and have ordered some very nice teas from them. There is also Teavana in several local malls and Virtuous Teas in Auburndale section of Newton:


              2 Replies
              1. re: Science Chick

                Upton Tea is terrific. Teavana exists in such a different universe of mediocrity that it is incongruous to mention them in the same breath. There are a number of other tea stores in the area, but none of them is worth mentioning. Among stores which also carry loose leaf tea, Cardullo's does carry a variety of tea, including from Mark T. Wendell, a tea importer located in Concord. Mark T. Wendell teas tend to be really excellent. There are many on-line options as well, such as Ito-en and Golden Tea House. Finally, Cynthia Gold, the tea sommelier at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel will also sell you loose leaf tea. If you are really serious about tea it is worthwhile to arrange a tea tasting at the Swans Cafe in the Park Plaza and talk to her about what teas you might enjoy.

                1. re: Science Chick

                  Uptons is wonderful. They are particularly good for black/red teas from India and China.

                  For years I have been ordering online from Specialteas. They do best for green teas from China. Recently, though, I have noticed that their selection has gotten smaller and they appear to be heading in a more mass-markety direction. It is still worth taking a look at their selection.

                  I once went to Virtuous Teas last year and, while they have a wide range of teas, I found myself wondering about quality and freshness.

                  Teavana (and Tealuxe, which used to be a larger chain but still exists at least in Harvard Square) are definitely targeting the mass market; anyone who enjoys flavored teas would be pleased but people who are looking for single estate single harvest artisan tea probably will not find much of what they are seeking.