You love tea. You know it.
If coffee is the aggressive inspirational speaker/coach yelling at you to go faster and do more, tea is the sweet grandmother telling you that you are beautiful, and why don’t you take a moment to just sit down and appreciate all the wonderful things live has given you?
Yes, many teas have caffeine in it. But the energy tends to slip into your day without your noticing, gently. Personally, I save coffee for emergencies. The, it’s-6-pm-and-no-its-not-nap-time-yet-I-need-to-turn-this-in-NOW emergencies.
But tea is my ritual. It’s the one thing I do every day that is good for me. I’ve tried also fitting in meditation and a nice sun salutation, and failed. But tea. I love it. Shuffle from the bedroom, put the kettle on, and check my mail until it whistles, steep something aromatic into one of my beloved mugs and keep it on the vanity while I do my makeup. At the end of the day: take off all my clothes (only half joking) put on my slippers, and snuggle into the couch with a cup of tea and some long-form investigative journalism.
There’s so many wonderful teas out there. If you’re looking for a new, pretty, functional, or tasty tea sachet to add to your repertoire, try one of these:
This is the Cadillac of teas. Based in Greenpoint, this purveyor houses its loose leaves either in hand-labeled packages, or beautiful canisters that can run up to and over $70. Talk about kitchen status symbols. I first discovered Bellocq at Smorgasburg, when I spent a good 20 minutes smelling every single variety they had on the table before settling on a blend called Little Dickens. Half the fun is in choosing, anyway. Even if you can stick your nose in it to try at the Greenpoint store, you’ll have fun choosing between names like Ashram Afternoon, National Parks Department, Keemun Panda, and Le Hammeau.
You’ll love it if: You’re looking for a haute tea experience.
If you want equally gorgeous packaging an a lovely variety of flavors, but without the semi-precious price, you could turn to Pukka. Organic, fair trade and based on Ayurvedic principles, each tea is crafted to give you some sort of health benefit. I’ve tried the Three Cinnamon (not as sharp as I had feared, more comforting and perky), Love, Three Mint, Three Ginger (delicious and warming), Lemongrass and Ginger, Night Time, Three Tulsi (healthy-tasting but not unpleasant), Elderbery and Echinacea with Elderflower, and Revitalise with organic cinnamon (after a night out, I gravitated toward this tea, and it really did help! The cinnamon lifted my spirits, and the ginger was comforting).
You’ll love it if: You’re into Ayurvedic principals and other health nuts.
Runa tea, whose operations are based out of Brookyn, is brewed not with traditional tea leaves, but with the native Amazonian tree leaf guayusa. It is supposed to offer, “clear, focused energy by balancing natural caffeine with twice the antioxidants of green tea.” It also has a socially conscious aspect, with fair trade practices.
After drinking it for a few days–both brewed from tea sachets, flavored in a can and lightly flavored from a glass bottle, I can say it definitely gives you an energy boost. My fingers just flew over the keyboard as I worked. And it tastes similar to green tea. My roommate commented that it makes her pee a lot. My response? “I like it when I’m peeing a lot. I feel like I’m doing something healthy!” That may be the case or not, but if you want something halfway between green tea and espresso, this is it. I especially like the unflavored version for brewing, but you can also try the ginger citrus, cinnamon or mint flavors.
You’ll love it if: You need energy but hate coffee and are scared of energy drinks.
With its bright, reusable tins, simple flavors and French accent, Lov Tea is easy to like. The organic, GMO-free and ethically produced leaves come in pretty silk sachets for stepping. I feel hard for the Lov Is Beautiful flavor in the pink packaging: mélange de plantes bio–ahem–organic herbal tea, with white tea, green tea, green rooibos, mango pieces, pineapple, apricot and natural peach flavor. It’s not widely available yet in the United States, so go check it out at the only NYC purveyor, ABC Carpet & Home, or order it online.
You’ll love it if: You’re a romantic, and love a little exclusivity.
Not a new player to the scene by any means, I included Republic of Tea because they continue to experiment with new flavors, and they give you compostable sachets with no extraneous string or tag. There’s the Hibiscus Superflower (a sweet-ish tea with a bright, tropical flavor), Orange Blossom White tea (a basic but pleasant tea), Ginger Peach (bold, citrusy flavor that had a surprisingly round note perfect for morning), Red Velvet Chocolate (not too sweet, but a nice after-dinner cup), Caramel Vanilla (definitely sweet, a dessert tea that will set your teeth on edge if you’re not craving sugar), and Get Clean Detoxifying tea (not as disgusting as I feared–in fact, not disgusting at all. And I’m not a fan of juice cleanses, so that says a lot), and many, many more flavors.
You’ll love it if: You’re into novelty and experimentation.
*I received free samples of this product to try.