In a city that’s known for it’s obsession with coffee, I’m a bit of a rebel. It’s not coffee in my mug that makes me smile, it’s tea. Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering Remedy Teas on Capitol Hill. My first introduction was when my friend, Alida, gifted me with a couple blends to help me through a tough time. Her blend choices were Tranquility (chamomile, mint and rooibos) and Deep Sleep – (a beautiful blend, packed with powerful Valerian root and kava kava). It was a fantastic gift. Then I noticed another friend, James, checked in online at Remedy Teas on Capitol Hill all the time, so I decided I needed to check out this place for myself.
The place is cozy, with chartreuse walls and 150 different types of organic loose leaf tea blends. The staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. Remedy Teas (open every day 7am -11pm at 345 15th Ave E in Capitol Hill) is bright and cheerful, but not overly so – a perfect calm, community shop that will add a little brightness to any rainy day (plus wifi for those of us that need it). After pouring over their cheat sheet of different blends (with categories such as organic rooibos teas, organic wellness teas, organic oolong teas and so on), we picked out a couple blends for gifts and got some suggestions (based on our interests and tastes) from the staff. The way they serve the tea is pretty special as well. You get a clear tea pot, so you can see the color of your tea, which sits atop a tea candle to keep it warm. They also provide you with a personal timer that will let you know when your tea is done steeping and ready to drink!
On mornings when I’m dragging a little bit too much, I turn to fruity, oolong peach-like Jade Oz or antioxidant-rich Jasmine Blue. It’s not just the taste, herbal properties and caffeine that get me through the morning, it’s the aromas that really help put me in a good mood and get energized to take on the day. I love to use tea filters that let me check out the way the tea looks before and after, as many elements of tea will “bloom” after you add hot water.
My favorite time of day, however, to turn to a cup of tea is after dinner or just before bed. There’s something calming and grounding about creating a tea ritual for yourself. It’s a way of taking a breath and saying “Right now is ME time.” For many, enjoying a cup of tea, sitting quietly with it and enjoying the aroma and taste can be almost meditative. And if you’re lucky enough to have a blend like Red Satin – Remedy’s creation of rooibos blended with cacao nibs, peppermint and vanilla – it can be reminiscent of a decadent favorite dessert (without the calories – bonus)!
Word to those just getting into loose teas: a lot of tea ball strainers have holes that are too large for the finer tea blends – I suggest getting a filter with very small holes so that you don’t have to worry about getting pieces of the tea in your mug – Remedy tea has a great one for sale at their store and online, here. There are also biodegradable tea bags you can buy as well.
When I was at the tea counter watching the server weigh my selection, I mentioned to Brandon that my friend James came there quite often. Our server perked up and smiled, knowing exactly who I was talking about. “This is kind of his second home,” she said. I had to email him to find out why he loved Remedy Teas and here was his response:
“The interesting question is not to ask whether Remedy Teas is one of the best tea shops in Seattle, but to ask whether Remedy Teas is one of the best tea shops in North America. I could not find a tea place like Remedy in New York City, and as a tea freak I tried hard to find one. So that suggests to me that their real competition is hard to find. Few places have as diverse selection of teas, and then how many of those are organic? Very very few. Remedy really does a good job in steeping the tea right whether it be white, green, black, mate, rooibos, pu-erh or herbal. Different types of tea need different types of steeps with different temperature water and they do this well.” (For those of us not in-the-know about different temperatures, they mark the ideal temperature for each blend right on the bag!) James continued, “Anthony has a great gift for making new blends. The Chai Pu-Erh is tea genius. It should be mentioned that they have some fantastic smoothies where some serious tea alchemy is happening. I am not vegan but they have forever opened my mind about vegan baked good. Some mighty good vegan and even gluten free cookies and such.” Thanks James!
I strongly suggest you visit Remedy Tea – take a look at their menu and find some teas that appeal to you…and ask the staff for their advice of what you should try, based on your interests and flavors you’re drawn to! They have some great 2012 harvest teas they’ll be releasing all Spring and Summer as well.
Cup feeling empty? Want to win one of FOUR sampler packs that Remedy Tea has graciously gifted to the readers of this blog? Here’s how you can enter to win (you can enter both ways):
On the blog: Post a comment below of a type of Remedy Tea (name & number) that looks delicious to you