We’re back in the middle of the cold winter and hot drinks are a must. While coffee and hot chocolate are classic standbys during the cold winter weeks, the constant injections of caffeine and sugar required to get through the work week can be a lot to keep up with.
Enter: tea. We are not talking about the typical, generic Lipton tea. We are talking about high-quality, loose herbal tea that smells and tastes like relaxation.
Would you like to treat yourself to a little rest and relaxation? We have filled your mug with everything you need to know about where to go, what to buy, and how to find your way to becoming the herbalist.
Try some of the hot tea places in town:
219 W. Wayne St., Maumee. 419-897-0219. clarajsat219.com
Clara J’s Tea Room Hours of Operation: Sunday – Monday: Closed. Tuesday-Saturday: 11 am-2pm
Neapolitan opening hours (gift shop): Sunday – Monday: Closed. Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tea is there to relax, so why not have lunch with a cup of tea? Clara J’s offers a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy your favorite premium teas. They also offer a wide range of premium loose teas and personally package it for your home use. With monthly events and a gift shop selling everything needed for self-brewing, it’s great for all levels of the tea craze.
Sweet Shalom tea room
8216 Erie St., Sylvania. 419-297-9919. sweetshalomtearoom.com
Wednesday-Thursday: By reservation, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday: two sessions 11 clock & 2.30. Sunday: two seats 11 clock & 2.30
Friends Sara Velasquez and Chris Kruse have turned the house, originally a small farmhouse, into a tea paradise. With monthly themes and menus, Sweet Shalom Tea Room offers not only an experience but all of the premium teas you can drink. The gift shop has all of the baked goods and all of the tea utensils you might need.
Elaine’s tea shop
3115 W. Sylvania Ave. 419-885-1515. wildorchidteas.com
Tuesday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Elaine’s Tea Shoppe offers a breathtaking variety with over 150 different types of first-class loose leaf teas. Elaine’s priority is “Finding Your Perfect Cup of Tea” and with 16 years in the business, her business could be a great place to start. Take advantage of free samples and tasting classes daily to sample the variety of tea.
The flying Joe
2130 Preston Pkwy., Perrysburg. 419-931-0273. theflyingjoe.com
Monday-Thursday: 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Flying Joe Coffee House offers a full range of loose teas. In addition to purchasing homemade tea drinks in-house, customers can also purchase loose tea that comes with specific instructions for each brand of tea sold. In addition, the Flying Joe offers seasonal tea blends and seasonal matcha drinks.
3664 Rugby Dr. 419-385-2121. facebook.com/PLATTE21
Monday-Friday: 6:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Saturday: 7.30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Enjoy a wide variety of loose leaf teas with up to a dozen offerings at a time that changes frequently. Tea drinkers can relax in the cozy atmosphere of Plate 21 with a cup or pot or take a cup with them in their special to go tea cups and bags. Plate 21 also offers organic matcha that can be purchased for home use.
Gloomy House Coffee
612 Adams St. 419-740-1125. bleakhousecoffee.squarespace.com
Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-4: 00 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
With an emphasis on homemade tea blends, Bleak House Coffee always has new and tasteful options. Customers can enjoy their organic tea in the shop or take individually packaged blends home with them. In addition, Bleak House also makes its own chai tea and offers organic matcha for those who want to add to their tea experience.
138 N Main St., Bowling Green. facebook.com/FlatlandsCoffee
Monday-Friday: 6:00 a.m.-3: 00 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Flatlands Coffee is known for premium coffee products, but also offers premium organic loose-leaf tea. You have a constant alternation of different organic leaves and an environment that makes it easy to sit down and have a drink. With the same care taken with tea as with coffee, customers are guaranteed a first-class tea drinking experience.
1717 Adams St. 419-214-1717. handmadetoledo.com
Wednesday-Saturday: 11 am-6pm. Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Handmade Toledo is a great place to get a uniquely designed mug for your personal tea drinking. They offer around a dozen different blends from The Tea Dude himself, who is based in Medina. At Handmade Toledo, tea lovers have a great opportunity to enjoy the full locally made experience.
Phoenix Earth Food Cooperative
1447 W. Sylvania Ave. 419-476-3211. phoenixearthfoodco-op.com
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
The Phoenix Co-op is the right place to go for mass-free trade and organic loose-leaf tea. They also have matcha for those who want to enjoy it at home. In addition, Phoenix offers a variety of herbs and ingredients to personalize your own blended tea, and has all the tools necessary to create a blend that suits your taste.
Brief instructions for the varieTEAs:
Fun Fact: Although there is a seemingly endless variety of teas, tea leaves generally come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. The process that the leaves go through after harvest and the ingredients that are added to these leaves create diversity in tea.
White tea Leaves are the least processed of all teas and contain the least amount of caffeine. Associated with a subtle fruity or floral taste.
Recommended steeping time: there should be a small amount of steam 155-165 degrees and the drawing window is 2-3 minutes.
green tea The leaves are heated immediately after picking to prevent oxidation. This is why the leaves remain a striking green. Premium green tea can have a subtle earthy taste with a hint of sweetness.
Recommended steeping time: water should have a gentle steam without bubbles, 60-180 degrees, and it should be ready in 2-4 minutes.
Oolong tea Leaves are partially oxidized, which puts them between green and black tea in this regard. The taste is not as robust as black tea, but it has a more pronounced floral taste than white tea.
Recommended steeping time: The water should be steaming, but not boiling, and it should form small bubbles. The water temperature should be between 190-200 degrees and the drawing window between 5-7 minutes.
black tea Leaves are rolled and then dried to oxidize, which turns the leaves dark. Black tea also contains the highest percentage of caffeine and has a stronger taste than other varieties.
Recommended steeping time: The water should boil fully and the water temperature should be 212 degrees. The recommended steeping window is 3-5 minutes to avoid a bitter taste.
Herbs tea, also called tisan or infusion tea, is technically not a tea, as the ingredients do not all come from the respective plant like the varieties mentioned above. Herbal tea ingredients can include leaves, flowers, roots, berries, and even bark to achieve the desired flavor.
Recommended steeping time: Since the ingredients in herbal tea vary widely, the general rule is to bring the water to a boil at 212 degrees and let it steep everywhere from 5-7 minutes.
Matcha is powdered green tea leaves. Many tea and coffee shops are often consumed only with water and create unique drinks with milk and seasonal flavors.
Recommended steeping time: The rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of powder per cup. The water should be near the boil and slowly add it to the powder with stirring or stirring to break up any lumps.