TOP 5 LOOSE LEAF TEAS - After having traveled far and near for thirteen months in search of the most healthy, flavorful, and original handmade tea combinations, I have collected my fair share of fantastic teas. Based on the ones that I find myself craving and enjoying on a regular basis, I have managed to narrow down a list of five teas to recommend to you today. Ranging from green to black and rooibos as well, I am quite confident that you will enjoy at least one (if not all!) of the teas on this list.
My journey from a two-pot a day coffee drinker to a seasoned tea taster (pinky up!) has been an interesting one to say the least for my body, mind, and taste palate... and I hope that as you begin (or continue) yours, that you will be blessed with equally sensational TEAdventures! So now, my friends... I shall offer you a tasting!
#1: "VANILLA GREEN #169" from TEALUXEDiscovered last fall in Boston and brought home like precious cargo in a 500gram tin (filled, of course) this Chinese Green Tea tastes a bit like funfetti cupcake batter... in the best way possible. Recommended by a member of the wonderful Tealuxe Harvard Square staff, this tea lasted me two hours, three steepings, and ended up coming with me to yoga in a to-go cup. I typically brew this tea for parties because it is widely adored and is very versatile... the flavor is still amazing no matter the amount of water you use or times you steep it! This tea is my absolute fave! (TRY IT!)
#2: "ENERGITEA" from ALICE'S TEACUP
This is one of the very first specialTEAs that I tried when I was transitioning from teabags to regular loose leaf tea. This colorful explosion of energy is loaded with green tea, rooibos, ginseng, linden blossoms, and orange awesomeness. If you are lucky enough to be in NYC and happen to be craving afternoon tea, you can visit any one of the three chapters of Alice's Teacup and order yourself a 3-cup pot of happiness. This tea is great hot and iced and perfect for all times of the year and all sorts of personality types... so it's great for those just beginning to experiment. (TRY IT!)
#3: "TRAFALGAR SQUARE" from ALICE'S TEACUP
They're not kidding when they say that it tastes like Peppermint Patties! This glorious tea is a mix of rich vanilla black tea and peppermint that proves to be a lighter and healthier contender to a Peppermint Mocha... which (by the way) was the one coffee I was most terrified to have to give up! Thank goodness this tea saved the day... time and time again. Add a bit of soymilk for the PERFECT touch! (TRY IT!)
If you are a fan of peach gummy rings, you will find yourself in love with this tea... which you can enjoy in excess without the guilt of ruining your teeth and your figure with all that gummy sugar. The secret of this southern-style rooibos tea filled with sweet peach notes is the complimenting flavors of blackberry leaves and calendula petals. Drink hot or iced, alone or as an Arnold Palmer... this tea will not disappoint. Do you know what is most exciting? The deliciously low price point... so there's no excuses! (TRY IT!)
#5: "GYOKURO IMPERIAL GREEN TEA" from TEAVANA
This is "that tea" that every... zealous... Teavana employee will pull down from its pedestal and waft the health-benefiting aroma of these crisp little Japanese tea leaves in your face. It's the one that they will insist you've never tried before... but I'll bet you have... ground up into a powder called Matcha. If you've had a Green Tea Frapp or a simple serving of Matcha Tea, you know exactly what this tea tastes like. The leaves are dark green because they are shaded just prior to harvesting which allows them to retain chlorophyll to enhance taste and increase nutrients... and lucky for the investor in this $20/2oz product, it can be steeped approximately three times before losing its taste. It's worth the investment, even if you (like me) get suckered into buying the tin to "keep it fresh." Served best hot, but can be iced or added to ice water to enhance the taste. (TRY IT!)
NOW TELL ME YOUR FAVORITES!