You might get the urge to pour yourself a cup of tea while watching Downton Abbey. Earl grey or English breakfast might satisfy your craving for a cuppa – but you might just want something that fits in even better with the show. The Republic of Tea just released English Rose Tea, a special Downton Abbey edition for all the fans out there.
The herbal tea is made with a blend of hibiscus, rosehip peels, apples, raspberry, vanilla and rose petals, for a blend that is both sweet and flora. It’s also caffeine free, so you don’t have to worry about being kept up all night after watching the latest episode – and if you stay up late wondering what is going to happen next, you can’t blame it on the tea.
Green tea is a fantastic base for creating your own tea blends because it has a relatively mild flavor that can pair very well with all kinds of other roots, fruit, spices and flowers that are often used in tea blends. Usually, we experiment with teas by trying the variety available at the local coffee shop, since opportunities to blend your own teas are few and far between. I recently spotted an Green Herbal Tea Kit that will give you the change to do just that in your own home.
The kit includes three types of organic green tea from Japan, India, and Sri Lanka, and nine different herbs that you can blend with them. The herbs include lavender, calendula, tamarind and mint, just to name a few. You can mix based on flavor, but the health benefits of each herb are also listed, so you can also try mixing teas based on their positive health benefits. Mint, for instance, “improves digestion, reduces heartburn and eases nausea and stress.” Reusable corn silk tea bags are included for brewing, although any loose-leaf tea infuser will let you try your blends out.
Honest Tea is out to find the most honest city in America as part of a new ad campaign for their line of bottled teas. For the campaign, they will be setting up displays of bottled teas in 62 cities across all 50 states. The displays will feature shelves and shelves of tea and signs that read “$1 each” – but the catch is that there will be no person there to collect the money. Instead, the booths will have drop boxes for dollars and operate on the honor system, allowing people to drop their payment into a box without anyone prompting them to.
The little social experiment is meant for nothing other than promotional purposes, and Honest Tea will have people stationed inconspicuously near the displays to take notes on how consumers interact with the display, as well as noting how much tea is, or is not, paid for.
So far, the company reports that the vast majority of tea – around 90% – is paid for by consumers, many of whom are worried abut being watched by hidden camera or otherwise “getting caught” for taking the tea without paying. How the rest of the experiment plays out, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Starbucks has owned the Tazo tea company since 1999, and they are a mainstay at Starbucks stores. Quality tea seems to be generating more and more interest (in the US) these days, and Starbucks has taken note. The coffee giant recently purchased specialty tea seller Teavana for $620 million. The purchase gives Starbucks a great entry into the higher end tea market. This seems like a good move for Starbucks, since Teavana has a strong brand and lots of fans who enjoy the diverse range of teas that they offer. I could see the potential for offering more tea drinks in stores as an alternative to a traditional coffee shop and as eventually branching out to some stand-alone cafes – much as they did with Tazo earlier this year. Starbucks also says that they intend to move some Teavana products into the consumer goods market – meaning that they will likely be available in grocery stores, but at a much higher price point than more mass-market Tazo teas are.
From a more personal POV, I’ve had some bad experiences at Teavana locations due to aggressively upselling staff members. I’ve had some teas there that are very nice, but I basically swore them off after the last bad trip. A refreshing of the brand and maybe some of the attitudes there would definitely bring me back to shop there again. I love the idea of an accessible tea-centric cafe, so I’ll just keep my eyes out and see what comes from this purchase in the long run.