merton said

Rookie tea drinker looking for new places to buy tea.

Greetings,

I am a rookie tea drinker that first got into “good” tea after being exposed to Teavana a few years ago. Prior to that, I rarely had tea, and the tea I did have was standard tea bags (Lipton, etc.).

I recently came across the documentary “All in This Tea” featuring David Lee Hoffman, and I was amazed how he could taste subtle differences in organic vs. non-organic teas.

After watching this movie, I thought it would be cool to try something other than teavana, seeing as that is mainly the tea I have been drinking for the past year or so. At least from what I have read, Teavana’s tea is not organic (unless it is labeled as an organic tea), so I think it would be cool to try some organic teas.

I came across the site http://www.artoftea.com/, and saw they have some interesting tea that has won some awards. It is also organic and fair-trade tea, which is a plus.

I was just curious what some of you more experienced tea drinkers think of Art of Tea, and also if you have any other recommendations?

Thank you so much for the help, and I am looking forward to expanding my tea knowledge and learning from all of you!

31 Replies

Aloha,

I have met many experienced tea tasters around the world and was also inspired by their love for tea. For this reason I have started up my own tea company that creates a direct bridge between tea drinkers and tea growers. I have an online marketplace and bimonthly subscription service that you may enjoy. You will be experiencing teas directly from the grower and learn their stories. You can check out my company Tealet here: http://www.tealet.com/

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darby select said

I cannot recommend specifically organic but my two favorites besides Teavana are David’s Tea and Verdant Tea

I second both of these – David’s is excellent at doing flavors, and Verdant is incredible with the quality all-round (although they certainly specialize in straight teas.)

James R said

^^ Agreed.

MissLena said

I started with David’s Tea, totally sold me! Have many, many flavors from them. Also agree, Verdant is AMAZING. Highly recommend, their quality cannot be beat.

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Art of Tea has some really nice teas. I am also impressed with the quality of their customer service. They’re a solid company and you can’t go wrong ordering from them.

Here are some other companies that I’d recommend:

Verdant Tea has some of the finest teas that I’ve yet to encounter. Another great company is Teavivre. For some of the more unique, amazing flavored teas, I’d recommend 52Teas. They have a different flavored tea every week, and some really unusual flavors that you won’t find anywhere else (like Pancake Breakfast flavored tea… amazing!) I love Lupicia, although I haven’t ordered from them in a while. I have tried one of Tealet’s teas (above) and was impressed with the quality of their Dragon Well. There are MANY great companies out there. For a good resource on teas, check out the SororiTea Sisters Tea Review blog: http://sororiteasisters.com (I’m one of the writers and co-founders, so I’m shamelessly plugging my blog!)

Teavana is very high priced for mostly mediocre quality teas (some are decent, others are not, but I must be honest and admit that I’m kind of biased against them for various reasons), so I wouldn’t recommend them.

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merton said

Thank you all so much for the recommendations! I will definitely check them out, and I will do my best to write reviews here after anything I try.

I have heard many people say that Teavana is mediocre tea, which is primarily why I started this post. I am definitely excited to try some of these places.

What do you guys recommend in terms of storing tea? Right now, I just have one of the larger tins from Teavana, but I have only been buying one tea at a time, so it works out. I would like to order a few different teas from a few of these places. Are there any types of tins in particular that you like? Do I even need a tin?

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Azzrian said

As for storing as long as it is air tight, away from heat and sunlight – your good!
A lot of companies send their tea in bags that re-seal and I just keep them in there. You can get tins or not.
Welcome to steepster!

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merton said

@LiberTEAS, thank you for the link to your blog. I am reading some of the tea reviews, and I think I might check out the Boulder Blues green tea (http://sororiteasisters.com/2012/09/15/boulder-blues-from-the-tea-spot/).

Sounds delicious! Also, thanks for the discount code!

I’m glad that you’re going to try that one … it’s a really good tea. The Tea Spot is another company that I do recommend highly – I’ve enjoyed so many of their teas! And they’re really very nice.

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Adagio’s a good middle-of-the-road tea shop with great customer service and wonderful shipping prices/times. They’re great with flavored teas.

David’s is good with flavors.

Teavivre and Verdant are wonderful for straights.

I love Art of Tea. I’m trying some right now from Nature’s Tea Leaf that are surprisingly good. There are tons of stores!

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ashmanra said

Harney and Sons has an organic line! A lot of their teas are must haves, and the same goes for Teavivre. I could get by with just those two tea companies I think, but I don’t want to try! I believe Lupicia has some organic teas, also. Their tea is pricey but delicious.

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No Butiki tea recommendations yet? http://www.butikiteas.com/ So many yummy teas! I think the bulk of my teas are from there, 52 teas, and Davidstea.

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merton said

So many good suggestions here! I’ve checked out all of these websites and feel overwhelmed! So much tea!!!!! :)

Seriously, thank you all for the wonderful suggestions.

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