Yesterday afternoon the book club I'm in had its monthly book club meeting. Each month we try to pick somewhere new (many of us have tiny apartments that aren't large enough to host large groups), and this time we chose a tea room. There were over 100 teas to choose from and they actually had crummpets! We all had a great time, and the afternoon inspired me to tell you a little bit about one of my favorite tea shop, Teavana.
Since it's a national chain of stores, you may have seen one in your local mall (there are currently over 80 locations across the United States). Teavana specializes in loose leaf teas available in practically any variety you can think of: white, green, black, oolong, herbal, and more. Their philosophy is that you get a better tea from allowing the leaves to actually have contact with the hot water rather than just bleeding flavor through a tea bag. I was never really a fan of loose leaf teas until I found this place. I thought that they were too hard to use, strain, etc. Teavana offers a number of products, including their signature Perfect Tea Maker, that allow you to create heavenly tea from fresh leaves.
Teavana's real stars, however, are the teas themselves. My current two favorite varieties are Almond Biscotti black tea ("with the scrumptious "cookie-like" flavor of almonds and cinnamon bits, especially tempting sweetened with rock cane sugar and a splash of milk") and Snow Geisha, a delicate white tea. Not only can you get delicious teas in dozens of varieties, but Teavana also specializes in custom blends. When summer comes, for example, I might want to brighten up my Snow Geisha with a bit of fruity flavor, so I might try their Snowy Peach Geisha Tea Blend, a combination Geisha and Rooibos Peach. Yum!
I am no tea snob - for example, I'm drinking a green tea this morning that costs $1.49 for 20 bags. However, if I'm in the mood to splurge, I visit my nearby Teavana or their website (they ship across the world). Next time you're in the mood for a "spot" of tea, I recommend that you pop over to Teavana and give them a try.