1. For Your Health. The health benefits of tea aren’t new (in fact, they’re thousands of years old), but there are a few newer tea terms to acquaint yourself with if you’d like to brew better health. In China, pu-erh tea is known as a healing tea that can improve digestion and metabolism, help with weight management, and boost energy. One we love: Numi Organic Chocolate Pu-erh (numitea.com). Guayusa tea is made from the broad leaves of the Amazonian holly tree and has nearly double the caffeine content of black tea and, as such, twice the antioxidants. Try Maya Tea’s take on it to see what the fuss is about (mayatea.com). The neem tree is indigenous to India and its tea is known as the “village pharmacy,” as it’s used to treat a wide range of ailments; sip for yourself with Teatulia’s Neem Nectar (teatulia.com). If you’re a road warrior, you might want to start steeping Celestial Seasonings Metabo Balance WEllness tea, which, says senior blendmaster Charlie Baden, can support metabolic activity and keep you feeling good on the road (celestialseasonings.com).
2. For Your Looks. Erase yesterday’s mistakes with a cup of Kusmi Detox tea (a personal favorite of Lady Gaga), made with ingredients said to help detoxify (kusmitea.com). Then, end your day with BijaBody’s Nightly Beauty Tea, a loose-leaf blend of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich ingredients (bijabody.com).
3. For Cold Winter Nights. Tantalizing Tea’s Moonlight Sonata has dark chocolate, vanilla, mint, and rooibos; it’s a sweet late-night drink sans calories and caffeine (tantalizingtea.com). TeaSource’s chocolate safari relies on rooibos, vanilla extract, chocolate, and coconut to fight the chill (teasource.com).
4. For the World. Do-good tea companies let you help the planet one sip at a time. Choice Organic Teas are fair trade, and their jane goodall institute brews put money into the institute’s environmental causes with each box sold; try the wild forest black (choiceorganicteas.com). The Republic of Tea created their strawberry hibiscus tea to celebrate their 10-year relationship with Susan G. Komen for the Cure (republicoftea.com).
Your local coffeehouse has some new competition: Tea houses are the next new trend, serving up exotic brews in unfussy settings that are part apothecary, part café. Here are a few to try.
Smith Tea. Tea guru Steven Smith, the founder of Stash and Tazo teas, created Smith Tea to elevate the tea experience for consumers. If you can’t make it to his Portland, Oregon, store, have one of Smith’s special blends (we like Bungalow black tea) shipped to you. smithtea.com
Capital Teas. Capital is a fifth-generation fine tea merchants’ shop. Tuck into one of its five locations (including Annapolis and National Harbor, Maryland) to escape the cold with a cup of Milk Oolong, an exotic Chinese oolong with sweet milk and light orchid notes. capitalteas.com
Wystone’s world teas. With a new tea kiosk open at Denver International Airport and others in the works, this popular Denver-area tea café is taking off. wystonestea.com
Imperial Tea Court. Get schooled in tea at this San Francisco and Berkeley teahouse, which offers classes — tea included — on the historical and cultural significance of tea. imperialtea.com
Teavana. This tea chain has more than 150 locations throughout the U.S. and Mexico, where you can settle in and find your perfect brew. teavana.com