A Cup of Calmness
Tea's medicinal properties treat stressed-out urbanites. Here, the top 8 varieties.
Feeling frazzled? Consider a piping hot cup of tea, which can do everything from calm your nerves to improve your performance at work. "Tea has theanine, which is a chemical that reduces mental and physical stress while working synergistically with caffeine to improve cognition," says Dr. Daniel Hsu, D.A.O.M., L.Ac., a NYC-based acupuncturist who works with Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz. And while you'll need a board certified herbalist like Hsu to concoct a specific blend to treat a cold or flu, a cup with honey and mint can work wonders on a sore throat. To that end, here are eight gourmet varieties to warm you up and cool you out:
Headquartered in Paris, Kusmi has been a go-to for fine high quality teas for over 140 years. Conveniently for those new to the brand, they’ve just launched 15 miniature tins of their most popular blends, such as Detox (maté, Chinese green tea, lemongrass), Be Cool (verbena, licorice, peppermint) and Sweet Love (black China tea, ginseng, licorice roots, spices, guarana seed, pink pepper).
Hailing from Canada, Davids Tea recently expanded its reach to the U.S. and quickly gained a loyal following with expertly sourced, exclusive loose leaf blends. Along with sustainable practices like recyclable packaging, the brand also offers an assortment of organic teas like Splash, a cleansing green tea blended with ginger, sea lettuce, cardamom, burdock root, peppermint and red clover. Proceeds from the company's latest creation, Kanpe, a tea with the flavors of Haiti (hibiscus, cinnamon, papaya), go to a campaign to end poverty in the nation.
The only thing more impressive than the flavor profile of Tea Forté’s blends is its unique, pyramid-shaped "silken" tea bags. The pyramid design allows the loose tea to swell as it steeps for higher-quality flavor. The brand offers oolong, rooibos, white, herbal, black, green and certified kosher varieties.
L’Age de Thé
Owned by Kiley Holliday, the youngest female certified tea master in the United States, L’Age de Thé specializes in custom, hand-blended teas. Available online and in Holliday’s Manhattan tea parlor, Bosie, the premium loose-leaf white, black and green teas hail from the world’s most prestigious tea gardens including Phoobsering Estate in Darjeeling and Omotesenke in Japan.
Republic of Tea
Those working on mindful eating practices could benefit from Republic of Tea’s philosophy, which encourages a “sip by sip rather than gulp by gulp lifestyle.” Among the brand’s most notable varieties are Cuppa Chocolate (a sweet, calorie-free indulgence), 20th Anniversary Celebration Tea (black Ceylon, sweet white wine grapes, tea blossoms and the essence of champagne) and Dr. Oz’s favored green tea, Kiwi Pear Green.
The Tea Set
This quaint NYC restaurant-slash-tea shop serves its own brand of organic, fair trade teas. Load up on the Organic Day & Night Sex Booster blend for an after-workout pick-me-up. Made with rooibos, lauded for its hydrating properties, the tea combines the South African herb with ginseng, ginger, black pepper and other ingredients known for their aphrodisiac properties and ability to evoke sexual desire.
A premium caffeine-free Japanese herbal tea, Ten-Chi Cha translates to “Heaven and Earth Tea.” A unique blend used for centuries in Japan for medicinal purposes, the tea has been shown to aid in detoxification processes, maintaining regular G.I. function and promoting healthy blood circulation. To complement the hot brew, Ten-Chi Cha recently launched an equally healthful iced version.
This well-known line of organic, ethically wild crafted teas just launched a collection of healing herbal blends. Among them: Tulsi Cleanse (designed for liver and kidney support, with basil, turmeric and ginger), Tulsi Tummy (for digestive support, with ginger and cinnamon), and Tulsi Sleep (for calm and restful sleep, with anti-stress herbs including Gotu Kola, Ashwagandha, Shankhpushpi, chamomile, cardamom and peppermint).