The Best Tea Websites
Being born into a very British family, my very Scottish grandmother stressed the importance of the art of tea brewing. She made it very clear to me that what made or broke a cup of tea was the quality of the tea itself (or should I say the qualitea?).
If you're a brewing expert or a newbie to the exciting world of tea, this list will take you on a journey to learn the (highly underrated) art of tea making.
Adagio Teas (www.adagio.com)
I cannot say enough good things about this website. Not only is there a large selection of teas to choose from, you can make your own tea blends and buy them. It's like the BuildaBear of the tea world, and gives you a unique opportunity to try your hand at blending tea. No matter what you create, the price is always the same—10$ for a pounch of tea that will last you a good two or three months. Nothing feels better than drinking something you created yourself.
Not only does Adagio let you design teas, the customer service is fabulous. Adagio uses a chat-based system of chatting with tea experts who will happily recommend you tea if you're a beginner tea brewer.
Teavana's selection is more exotic than Adagio's, but it is also pricier. However, you get more tea in fancier canisters (I still have a canister of Earl Grey Orange I bought last in May of 2013!). Teavana is definitely a "splurge" website; while you can't create your own teas, this site has an array of tea paraphenalia that gives Adagio a run for its money.
Steepster doesn't have the best selection of tea, but it's more than a tea buying website. Steepster is the tea website; think of it as a Facebook for tea. While you can't buy as much tea as you can from some of the other sites listed here, you can keep track of the different teas you've drunk before in your own tea journal.
Steepster makes it easy to document your descent into your tea addiction, allowing you to write what you liked—or didn't like—about the teas you come across. You can also find tea shops near you, or rate the tea shops you've already gone to.
Peet's Coffee & Tea (www.peets.com)
The Starbucks before Starbucks, Peet's Coffee & Tea has a huge, fancy selection of tea. The loose leaf teas come in little canisters that look good on any shelf, and they last a long, long time. Two ounces doesn't seem like a lot, but when each cup of tea is roughly a teaspoon or so, it feels like an insane amount.
Tazo by Starbucks (www.tazo.com)
Yes, this is the tea used in your morning chai latte. This tea is good enough for Starbuckses throughout the country, why not use it? Also in pretty canisters, Tazo marks how much caffeine is in any given product on a scale of 1 (not much) to 5 (hoo boy!). This is perfect for anyone trying to replace coffee without giving up their morning caffeine.
There's a lot more than five tea websites, but these sites might as well be called the Fab Five. There's a little something for everyone, from the staunch coffee drinker to the soda addict. I firmly believe that there is a tea for everyone, and that you just have to try them all until you find your soul tea. It's out there, I promise. And in the meantime, you can write about your flings on Steepster!