In my adult life I have come to learn, a cup of tea can soothe almost any rough day. I am not a coffee drinker… I never have been. I love the way coffee smells, but can’t stand the taste, no matter how much extra stuff you add to it. But tea? To me, tea is magic. It is aromatic, warm, and gentle, like a quiet hug.
I start every morning with a cup of tea, which helps me find a moment of calm and focus. I usually have a cup before bed to start reminding my brain to calm down. I enjoy a cup for mindfulness when reading or working on a quiet task. And, honestly, there are times when I just need to sit alone with a cup of tea and have a good cry. Tea has amazing benefits for mental health. There are many physical health benefits as well, depending on the varieties being consumed. (See all the Pinterest charts.) Tea feels fancy and special. It is something that can be enjoyed alone, or at a fabulous tea party. Like I said, tea is magic.
There are many tea companies out there, and it seems the list grows every day. I’ve tried a LOT of them, and found many varieties I really enjoy. For years, Teavana was my go-to tea brand. Sadly, Starbucks bought them a few years ago and closed all stores. (I bought a GIANT bag of Gingerbread tea as a final hurrah.) Good thing I am constantly finding new brands to fill the void. I have an insane amount of looseleaf tea, and don’t plan to stop buying any time soon. Here are a few of my very favorite that keep my pantry full.
DavidsTea: This Canadian tea company is my absolute favorite! I first encountered DavidsTea a few years ago in Chicago and have been buying from them ever since. They have stores sprinkled throughout the US and Canada… none in St. Louis yet, but fingers crossed. However, their online store is great, and shipping is fast. DavidsTea offers over 100 tea varieties as well as cute tea accessories and drinkware. My favorite tea is the Cream of Earl Grey, but I have a long list of seasonal varieties that I love too. Each Christmas, they offer an adorable Tea Advent Calendar. I am always so excited to order the calendar because it has introduced me to a ton of teas, plus it adds something special each day in December.
Adagio Teas: This family owned tea company was opened in 1999. They offer a lot of tea varieties, but also allow you to make your own varieties. Adagio has a fun list of Fandom tea varieties that are great for gifts or to treat your inner fangirl. They are constantly offering fun things that are available for a limited time, like on the full moon. It’s really cool to see what they come up with next. Adagio also offers teaware and accessories, along with a subscription service if you want to try a lot of things. Some of my favorite varieties have been, Bonfire, Sweet Nothings, Earl Grey Moonlight, and Blueberry White. The company offers a referral program, so if you want $5 off your first order, please let me know and I can send you a code.
T2: T2 is an Australian tea company, with a few US locations. My favorite part about T2 is their lovely teaware. Each piece is totally a work of art and would be great for any tea party. However, their tea is fantastic as well. My favorite tea blend is the French Earl Grey (Sensing what kind of tea I like best yet?) I also like Green Rose, Southern Sunrise, Christmas Breakfast, and Gorgeous Geisha.
Snarky Tea: I enjoy drinking this tea, simply because it makes me feel more badass on rough days. This is a Shark Tank brand started and supported by an awesome lady boss! They offer a subscription box with other great snarky products like tea mugs and Evil Queen candles, which I love! My favorite teas are Fierce B*tch and Calm the F*ck Down.
I also wanted to highlight a few local brands for my St. Louis readers. I have and will always believe in the power of supporting local businesses and artisans. If you are from STL, or even visiting the area, check these brands out.
Blooming With Joy Tea: Owner, Michelle Pohl, is a kind woman with a passion for tea and friendship. I met her at a tea party on a lavender farm a few years ago. I was immediately able to strike up a conversation with her. Her teas are wonderful and she offers many gifts and samplers. (She did an awesome job with gifts for my soloists at school a couple of years ago.) Blooming With Joy can often be found at the Lake St. Louis Farmer’s Market, as well as several boutiques in St. Louis. My teas are Fearless, Hot and Sassy Cinnamon, Lady Grey, and Lavender Vanilla Chai. (The last two are found exclusively at Long Row Lavender and are made with lavender grown directly at the farm.)
The London Tea Room: For a proper cuppa, and a wonderful tea experience in STL, go to the London Tea Room. This awesome shop, near Tower Grove, serves an amazing variety of English pastries and custom tea blends. They also offer afternoon tea each weekend, and for special events during the year. I have visited for afternoon tea twice, and had a wonderful time. But, it is lovely to just stop for a scone and a cup of tea on any day. My favorite tea varieties from the London Tea Merchant are 5th November (a delightfully smoky tea), Naughty Vicar, and Earl Claus.
Go start the kettle, steep yourself a cup of something lovely, and feel better my friend. Tea doesn’t ask silly questions. Tea understands.