One of my favorite aspects of travel is learning a thing or two about culture and what is important to the people who live where I visit. It was this month four years ago that I came home from a gap year trip in Europe.
While I was overseas I spent three weeks with a family in Ireland, and one week with several couples in England. On this trip I drank more cups of tea than I had ever before consumed, and since that trip I’ve found a fondness for all kinds of different brews.
I’ve collected several different types of tea over the years, and I love the fact that every time I open a box and take a whiff, I’m transported to the time and place I bought each bag. For this very reason, I’ve decided to share my three favorite tea shops to date.
First I want to start off with Rishi Tea. While some may love Twinning’s and Teavana, I haven’t been able to drink them with much comfort after reading this article by Food Babe. Because of this, I set out looking for some good quality tea that didn’t have the high pesticide rating so many other do. Who wants to drink pesticide tea? Rishi Tea began with the desire of one man who wanted to bring together his love of travel and culture and fill a void in America that was screaming for some good quality tea. Rishi specializes is loose leaf tea and has so many varieties that you’re bound to find something you like! One of my personal favorites is their organic Earl Grey Lavender tea. I use it to make out of this world London Fogs.
My next favorite tea shop calls northern Alabama it’s home. Piper and Leaf specializes in artisan tea and features amazing flavor combinations. My first experience with them was sampling a sip of my sister’s tea while at a farmer’s market in Huntsville. Let’s just say that their iced Briar Patch Brew hit the spot on that hot summer morning, and I lamented about leaving, knowing I wouldn’t have a local fix close to home. Let’s just say, I was wrong. A few months later I discovered Piper and Leaf has grown big enough to accommodate a few more store fronts, and supplies all the tea one can afford to order online. I mean, check out this sampler gift set!
Lastly, my newest find is the PA Dutch Tea and Spice Company. While this charming store doesn’t have a place to order teas online (to the best of my knowledge), it was my favorite place to stop and splurge while I wandered the historic area of Fredericksburg Virginia. I highly recommend a trip if you live anywhere close by. Prices were very reasonable, and the variety made my head spin. It’s always important to support small local businesses.
Well, now that I’ve typed all of this up, I’m craving some of that PA Dutch Tea and Spice Company root beer flavored green tea. See? I didn’t lie about variety.
Please feel free to comment and tell me what some of your favorite tea shops are. I’d love to add some more destinations to my list of places to travel.