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Good Certified Loose Tea ???

I am looking to get a few different types of loose tea and when I did a search, a few companies came up. I was wondering if anyone has a preference to one of the companies and why. Also, if you had a bad experience and would stay away from a certain company. I am not looking for recommendations on a flavor, just a company. TIA.

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  1. Unflavored teas don't require a hechsher AFAIK. Rabbi Eidlitz at Kosherquest agrees: http://www.kosherquest.org/getfood.ph... So does the Star-K: http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-thir...

    I'm not a big tea drinker, but my brother, who is, really likes shopping at Porto Rico: http://www.portorico.com/store/tea.html He's been very happy with the teas he's gotten there, but I think his favorite part is the shopping experience. Apparently, you can brew up samples of any tea you like, and the people who work there are quite knowledgeable.

    3 Replies
    1. re: GilaB

      Thanks for replying. Yeah, I know unflavored teas don't need certification, but I'm more concerned with the possibility of bugs in my dried tea, hence, I want the certification. :)

      Thanks for the lead, I'm not familier with the store, I don't think we have them in NY, but will check out the link. Thanks again !

      1. re: ettilou

        They're in Greenwich Village, at 201 Bleecker St. They're not a chain, just the one store.

        1. re: ettilou

          Actually, certification doesn't mean the product is free of bugs. (This is according to a talk by an OU Kashrus rabbi; you can confirm with them to make sure I am remembering correctly. Their hotline number is 212-613-8241.)

      2. Right now, I'm partial to a green tea called Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. You can buy it loose or in tea bags.

        1. You might also try Harney & sons in Soho. They have a new shop and tasting room there. They are OU certified, but perhaps

          not all the products.

          http://www.harney.com

          1. have you tried Brach's?

            1. Just to follow up, I have decided to go with Haney and Sons as I had their tea at the Hershey Hotel over Sukkos, and thought it was really something special. Thanks for the link, I had no clue they were in SoHo and I will be going next week. Thanks Chowhounds for all the great ideas !

              1 Reply
              1. re: ettilou

                harney's loose tea is certified by ksa-the teas are served in monsey at purple pear as well as pardes in bklyn (certified by OU)

              2. You might want to try Tazo tea. "Awake" is their black tea and comes loose or bagged. I like it because it has decent bold flavour. I started drinking it because it's a local company (Portland), though I have a feeling it's now owned by Starbucks. It has the KSA hechsher.

                1. Just to let you all know, I went to Haney and Son's in SoHo today and had an amazing experience. I was able to smell all the teas I wanted and could taste 1 if I chose to, as well. The salesgirl was helpful and very patient, making suggestions based on my likes. 1 salesgirl was impatient and a bit snippy, but I just focused on the more patient. And friendly one. I definately recommend the teas and the store.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ettilou

                    ettilou - glad you found teas you like.
                    My wife had a similar experience at the Harney & Sons store in SoHo.
                    She and the salesperson/proprietor talked about both Harney's kosher supervision and various varieties of tea while she was tasting and smelling teas. She purchased quite a few and the visit greatly improved our tea selection at home.
                    A great place to go if you want good tea and good service, and don't mind paying well for it.

                    1. re: gonzogarbonzo

                      i recommend kusmi tea-they have a store on 3rd ave in the low east 60s-some of their teas are ou certified. They have boxed teas in beautiful muslin bags and loose tea too