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It’s no secret that I’m #teamtea. I appreciate both a good cup of milk tea (with taro pearls!) and tea just as it is. I would spend half my savings on teas if I could but alas—this will have to stay a dream.
There’s good reason for you to come to the tea side, and here’s an excellent one: studies have found that drinking tea may help improve brain organisation and reduce cognitive decline[i]! Teas are also high in antioxidants (how much depends on which type you’re drinking), which help to delay or lower cell damage.
Isn’t this colour simply gorgeous??
Seeing that COVID-19 has put a stop to travelling, why not let tea bring travelling and a measure of calm to you? Here’s a short list of tea brands from different countries that I really like and highly recommend. I’m quite confident that you’ll find something you’d want to try!
1) Japan: Karel Capek
This is one tea brand that screams aesthetic! Just see below for proof.
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The brand has been around since 1987, and the cute drawings that adorn all its tea sleeves and merchandise are drawn by its founder, Yamada Utako. If you’re wondering—how do you throw away such cute packaging—the answer is you just don’t. They’re great for those who journal!
That’s not all, however, as their teas taste as good as they look! Karel Capek Tea has been consistently innovating to produce new flavours, and the brand places equal importance on quality tea leaves. You can visit their stores in Tokyo (after the worst of the pandemic is over), but you can also purchase their teas through online distributors till then! Their teas are a tad pricey, however, so make sure to steep them until there’s no flavour. I personally recommend their strawberry tea (also known as Girl’s Tea).
2) Thailand: ChaTraMue
Thai milk tea may be an occasional guilty indulgence, but it becomes a must-buy whenever we visit Bangkok and spot a ChaTraMue outlet!
While ChaTraMue isn’t brand new to most of you, the fact that their tea mixes are stocked in our local supermarkets might be! This gives you the option of recreating their delicious Thai milk tea or Thai green tea, and even their rose milk tea if you like. While you can just head down to any of their outlets if you want a quick fix, having some handy sachets at hand would make working or studying from home easier. Wouldn’t it?
3) Singapore: Anteasocial
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Whenever Anteasocial holds sales for their teas (and they rarely do), get a bag of loose-leaf or tea pyramids to try. I promise you won’t regret it! The smells of the essential oils used to flavour the teas waft out the moment you open any of their signature oolong teas, and you’ll honestly wouldn’t want to close or seal the tea packaging.
The teas taste light and refreshing, and I’ve been told they go well with a light amount of honey. I’m not sure about this because I like them as they are, so you’ll have to get some and find out for yourself! The tea brand has a physical café you can visit for cakes and kombucha if that’s what you’d prefer.
4) Korea: O’sulloc
You may have picked up some of O’sulloc’s tea during your travels to the O’sulloc Tea Museum (or just about any of their branches in the country), and discovered how lovely their teas taste. They have a wide variety of tea flavoured items to try too; some of you may recall the craze over their milk tea spreads a few years ago.
I personally recommend the red papaya black tea and samdayeon jeju tangerine tea if you’re a fan of fruit-infused teas like I am. The latter is also offered as a milk tea option, so don’t forget to check that out as well. You can get the tea from the O’sulloc shop on Shopee.
5) Australia: T2 Tea
T2 tea has physical stores here, and you may have seen their bright and cheerful square tea boxes stacked atop each other when you walked past one.
What you may not have seen, though, is the sheer amount of tea types and blends they have to offer. From tisanes (herbal teas that do not contain tea leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant) and chai to matcha and black teas, there’s definitely something for everyone.
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I find their icon tins a nice touch, especially the country-themed tea ones! T2 tea’s breakfast tea range will let you ‘travel’ from Canberra to New York, and you could pick up some French Earl Grey to gaze at the Eiffel Tower and poodle illustrations.
T2 tea currently offers 10% off your first order when you sign up as a T2 member, and membership is free. They’re also running a promotion until 29 June, with up to 50% off selected lines. I really like the Gorgeous Geisha tea (green tea paired with strawberries and cream), and will recommend it to those who prefer lighter and sweet tea blends!
I hope you’ve found some great tea blends to try, and look forward to any recommendations if you have them! Drop them down below and I’ll be sure to check them out for my mid-afternoon work perk-me-up. (;
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