Where to buy high quality loose leaf black tea?
I was hoping someone would be able to point me in the direction of a shop in Manhattan where I can go buy some loose leaf tea. I am looking for high quality black teas, (earl grey, etc.).
I am interested in tea that I would find and drink in the Iran, England, India, much of southwest asia, places that take their tea seriously but somewhat traditionally. I'm not looking for "blackberry sage infused" or "Pink peach hibiscus" tea if you get what I mean. Good quality earl grey, saadaf, darjeeling etc. would be great! I hope that was somewhat comprehensible.... haha.
A shop called Tea & Honey...it's in the Grand Central food hall and there's a new branch on Lexington & 63rd...they have their own teas plus a good selection from labels like Palais des Thés.
Also Alice's Teacup sells quality loose teas. There's one on the UWS and another just off Lexington Avenue in the 60's...might be other branches as well...a search will turn them up
Do you rule out on-line sources? I've purchased from upton tea & specialteas for years and never once been disappointed. They also offers samples for $1-$2, a great way to try different teas.
In Pursuit of Tea (aka: Cha...located at 33 Crosby St, between Broom & Grand St. in Soho) carries a nice selection of loose leaf teas from various parts of Asia. Most of their black teas are from India and China. The staff is very knowledgeable and their selection is sourced from quality tea estates. You can also order online: www.inpursuitoftea.com. They've become my go-to spot for quality teas, especially their oolong selections.
I also recommend Porto Rico. I think the place on Mott is Ten Ren? They have mostly Chinese teas, concentrating on oolong and green.
A fairly new Chicago import is Argo Tea, I know there is a cafe in Columbus Cicrle. It feels like a starbucks, but it is a tea cafe and they also sell loose teas. I've only tried a basic black (didn't care for it) and an oolong (good) from here, but it may be worth a visit if you are in the area. I think there are a few other locations as well.
if you are ok ordering online, I second Uptontea.com