The Lab

Teas for Trying Times

Whether working from home or out of work, living under quarantine can be very difficult. Our team here at Royal has been keeping fresh and calm by preparing some of their favorite tea!

For those of us trying to work from home, caffeine is our friend. I personally have been relying on Qi Lan Phoenix Oolong. This tea has just the right amount of caffeine to wake me up to start the day. It is fruity and sweet all by itself, but if you wanted to add milk and sugar it would still be delicious. While I work, I brew my tea Gongfu Style, that way I have a different experience with each steep and the tea is always hot! For more information about that, read our brew guides here.

Qi Lan Phoenix Oolong

Similar to Qi Lan is our Sichuan Black tea, a Xiao Zhong style black tea from a province in China lesser known for its tea production. This option is very different from the other Xiao Zhong you’ve probably tried before, Lapsang Souchong. The English couldn’t pronounce Xiao Zhong, which is why we call it Souchong in the west.

Mike Ward – Coffee Trader, “I personally love the Sichuan Black tea. It’s perfectly balanced and has a natural sweetness that I really like. I usually have a cup in the afternoon in place of coffee. It works well as either a hot option or an iced tea which my wife and I will sometimes make on the weekends. Highly suggested if your looking to elevate your tea game but you don’t know where to start.”

Sichuan Black tea

For anyone looking for a simpler, brisk tea option to get you going in the morning, you’ll probably like Joe’s favorite: English Breakfast.

English Breakfast

Joe Borg – Coffee Trader, “English breakfast has been what I rely on for quite some time now for both hot and iced tea. Before we started Royal Tea NY, I was an avid Lipton black tea drinker, and I would add sugar and honey to it to sweeten up the flavors a bit. With Royal Tea’s English breakfast, that sweetness of the honey balances the brisk flavor profile. It is a great tea for anyone who enjoys a classic breakfast tea.”

Minty flavors were popular with our staff this week. They are great to help you start your day feeling refreshed and energized. They can also be soothing to help you relax and unwind after a long day.

Moroccan Mint

Brittany Amell – Coffee Trader, “Usually, my top tea choice is the Moroccan mint blend for a caffeine boost and soothing spearmint aftertaste that provides a nice, refreshing change to your normal green tea. However, during the past few weeks I have been turning to the Chamomile tea every night in order to relax my mind and reduce stress. Not only does chamomile tea help with sleep, it’s naturally sweet and the aroma alone is extremely therapeutic. I drink it hot and usually by itself, but if I’m craving a bit more sweetness I’ll add a teaspoon of honey. “

Yogi’s Tonic

Caitlin Norman – Tea Trader- Lately, I’ve been using our Yogi’s Tonic tea to unwind. It’s a unique caffeine-free blend that’s both soothing and sweet. Star anise and mint mingle to add a natural sweetness that satisfies my constant sugar cravings, and the chamomile and lemongrass keep it nicely balanced. I like to have a cup with breakfast, as well as right before bed (since it won’t keep me up at night). It’s been my favorite way to start and end my day

Peppermint

Jennie Kocher – Tea Trader – My personal favorite tea is matcha. I am more of a purest when it comes to tea and coffee, but lately I have been preparing iced matcha lattes with almond milk in the morning. The almond milk gives it a slight vanilla flavor on the backend which I find comforting and calming. If I opted for coffee in the morning, I find myself brewing an iced peppermint matcha. Brewing a matcha blend is really simple! First, just brew your tea as you normally would, then use that brewed tea to make your matcha. Brewing this way preserves the intensity of the peppermint. The final blend is super crisp, smooth, creamy and refreshing; especially after being shaken. Peppermint has always been my go to beverage at night as it is caffeine free and as an added bonus helps with heart burn!

Matcha

Chris Schoenhut – Coffee Trader – As the temperatures start to warm up, I’ve found myself wanting more teas over ice. One of my favorites right now is the Ginger Peach. It’s perfect to make ahead and leave in the refrigerator for a refreshing ‘pick-me-up’ in the afternoon. I particularly like mine with fresh squeezed lemon.

Even though spring has started, warming teas we would normally recommend for fall and winter are still popular around the office. Spending so much time indoors feels a lot like the midst of a winter blizzard!

Aimee McNamara – Outbound Traffic Manager – I really enjoy the taste of Apple Cider Rooibos. The smell is wonderful and reminds me of a candle fragrance. It is perfect for fall time or any time of the year . It is a nice relaxing tea that I enjoy at home or at work.

Fireside Nitecap

Zoey Thorson – Director of Education, “Fireside nitecap all the way…I love it anyway – hot, cold whatevs! If I had some right now, in this moment, I would make a whole teapot of it – hot, and with no sugar or honey. I love the spicy, round, juiciness of this tea. Growing up, during the holidays we always had glögg on the stove simmering on and off for a month. The warm and comforting smell of this tea is reminiscent of times of love, warmth and family for me. This tea is great anytime in my book, but with it not having any caffeine and being a bit of a palate wrecker, I particularly love it after I have done all of my coffee tasting and drinking for the day!

In the current climate, it can be hard to stay motivated and positive, but if you focus on the things you enjoy, the time will pass a lot faster. This can be a way to support your local cafes. Reach out to those who are still operational and they may be willing to sell some larger quantities of tea for you to take home to brew yourself for the week. Curbside or delivery options are what is keeping many businesses afloat and communities need to stick together in order to return to normal.

Patrick McKeown

Patrick began his coffee journey on Long Island at a small coffee bar and roasting at home. Since then he has been a barista, manager, and craft roaster in NYC.