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Good Certified Loose Tea ???

ettilou Nov 1, 2011 08:36 PM

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.

  1. e
    ettilou Nov 8, 2011 07:20 PM

    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
      gonzogarbonzo Nov 9, 2011 12:50 PM

      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
        koshergourmetmart Nov 9, 2011 05:50 PM

        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

    2. c
      Chatsworth Nov 2, 2011 07:58 PM

      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.

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        ettilou Nov 2, 2011 06:59 PM

        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
          koshergourmetmart Nov 3, 2011 11:37 AM

          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. a
          Arinoam Nov 2, 2011 08:42 AM

          have you tried Brach's?

          1. s
            susiejane Nov 2, 2011 08:22 AM

            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.


            1. m
              mamaleh Nov 1, 2011 09:35 PM

              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. g
                GilaB Nov 1, 2011 08:41 PM

                Unflavored teas don't require a hechsher AFAIK. Rabbi Eidlitz at Kosherquest agrees: http://www.kosherquest.org/getfood.php?id=2155 So does the Star-K: http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-thirst-tea.htm

                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
                  ettilou Nov 1, 2011 09:07 PM

                  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
                    GilaB Nov 1, 2011 09:12 PM

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

                    1. re: ettilou
                      queenscook Nov 1, 2011 09:24 PM

                      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.)

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