Looking for good quality, tasty, bagged teas for my M-I-L
Hola fellow Steepsterians
I am looking for good quality, tasty, bagged teas for my mother-in-law. She’s in her 70s and enjoys tea quite a bit.
She’s been in poor health lately, has a fractured upper right arm (her dominate hand), has always only drank bagged teas, and doesn’t have much in the way of things needed for preparing a good cup of loose tea. She lives in New Hampshire, away from us, too. Hence, I don’t think introducing her to loose teas and teaching her to steep them correctly is a good idea right now.
A long time before I joined Steepster, I sent her a large variety of Stash bagged teas (really good sale!) and she seemed to like them but didn’t comment too much on which she did or didn’t like more. She’s been hinting to the husband that she enjoys tea and liked getting tea from me. So I think she wants me to send her some teas since she isn’t getting out as much as she used to and is feeling badly.
So, Steepsterians, I turn to you. Since I haven’t been drinking as much bagged tea (mostly herbals now) as I used to (and I mostly drank cheaper grocery store brands then), I’m not as familiar with good quality, tasty, bagged teas.
I’m looking for companies I can order from online and ship straight to her. Or websites that carry more than one brand. I’m looking for teas that can just be steeped haphazardly – heat water, put in cup, steep for X minute types. So I dunno about greens/whites, unless they don’t get too bitter. I’d like knowing if you happened to really like a specific tea(s) from a certain company or which one(s) to avoid that you didn’t like.
Anyways, thanks for helping me out you guys. I know with the combined knowledge of the SteepsterVerse, I’ll have tea ideas to send her several packages in the coming months.
I’ve written notes about a lot of Tazo and Numi bagged teas and some random others. I think you can search tasting notes by company so you can take a look at anything that might seem appealing to her. Probably my most positive reaction has been to the Numi Chinese Breakfast. Numi and Tazo both have samplers, I think, so that’s another possible approach.
I do know that Bigelow offers some really nice gift sets. My alltime favorite is Vanilla Chai.
Two Leaves and a Bud carries some really good bagged teas and are probably my favorite bagged teas out there.
Your sentence, “Hence, I don’t think introducing her to loose teas and teaching her to steep them correctly is a good idea right now.” bothers me a bit… tea drinkers should be steeping their tea properly no matter what form it comes in. I’m of the opinon of the “haphazard” approach to making tea doesn’t produce the best cup possible, so why bother.- but if that’s what you want, I’d suggest blacks since boiling water is easy to achieve. But do you feel safe w/ her using boiling water? Why can’t a variable temp kettle work to get the temp right? Because of my negativity toward this plan you should probably just discount my opinion, but how about stone ground tea? Muzi has them in green (matcha), white, and black (and I think rooibos and oolong too, but I’m not sure).
Again, not a practice I’d do myself, but what about cold brewing tea then she can just pop in in the microwave and heat it to her prefered drinking temp?
Twinings bagged tea is pretty reliable, pretty forgiving, and easily found at grocery stores if m-i-l lands on a flavor she particularly likes.
I will say (and take notice, I don’t even normally like bags, especially when I “wing” it) that Price of Whales is a REALLY good sweet black tea that would be great iced, NSN (no sweetener necessary).
Mighty Leaf and Numi are both good-quality bagged teas with a good selection to chose from. Celestial Seasonings has some nice herbal teas – but beware the hibiscus.
Thank you for all the helpful comments. =)
Earth Fare (think Whole Foods without the “whole paycheck” and better) carries all of those brands I think. I’ve tried some tea(s) of each and had samplers of a few (Tazo, Numi). I think a medley box of tea is in order!
Another thing to consider is the packaging. While some might not enjoy Stash or Bigelow teabags, you can’t argue that fresh tea is better than a smashed old dry crumpled teabag. Little old ladies have been known to forget where they put things. lol My m-i-l had quite a stash in the back of her panty. Those foil wrapped teabags will keep them in good shape longer.
Judging from her age and your description, I doubt that she reads Steepster. You might print off the Steepster reviews in a large font. Just like the rest of us, seniors enjoy gathering knowledge & information even if they want a hard copy in their hands.
Have you considered starting a DIY tea of the month routine with her? You could organize the envelopes and print labels all at once and then each month drop some tea bags in the mail. It could be a great conversation base to get her feedback.
Good luck with your gift.
Forgot about Kusmi teabags. Their blends are popular with our Steepster group and the cloth tea bags are a neat twist. My m-i-l had a cool tea chest assortment but here is a smaller assortment pack with 24 enveloped muslin tea bags with 12 different teas.
Or better yet, get her on here!:)
Thanks TeaParT! That’s going to be the idea, I think. A box of 4-6 teas each month. A nice surprise in the mail. Thanks for letting me know about the bagged Kusmi. I’ll definitely be sending her that one month. It should be special treat for her as the Kusmi teas are generally well reviewed on here.