A month ago, slightly tongue in cheek, I wrote the first of what I hoped would be a series of posts awarding gold stars to products which have, over time, proved to be of exceptional quality. I say “slightly tongue in check” because neither fame nor a monetary reward are likely to accompany my awards, but I promise you the products I highlight will be ones I wholeheartedly endorse. Today’s Gold Star Award goes to Choice Organic Teas, a Seattle company whose ever-growing line of exclusively USDA-certified organic teas I’ve found to be consistently excellent.
Choice sources their white, black, green, chai and herbal teas from traditional tea growing areas in China, India and Japan, but also from less predictable places such as Tanzania, Brazil and South Africa. In the photo above, you see four of their teas which are favorites of mine, and which happened to be in my tea drawer this morning. I particularly like their decaffeinated Earl Grey. Some years ago I became enamored with Earl Grey tea, perhaps because its dense tea flavor is subtly enhanced with bergamot, a citrus fruit. Alas, I’ve discovered that the caffeine in full-on black tea is a little bit too much. So, I’ve switched to Choice decaf Earl Grey which delivers as much flavor, but only a trace of caffeine. In fact, they are the only company in the U.S. to market an organic and Fair Trade Certified decaf Earl Grey. If you’re into avoiding caffeine altogether, try their herbal teas such as peppermint, ginger, chamomile and rooibos. These “teas” might more correctly be called herbal “infusions” since all true tea is harvested in one form or another from the family of Camellia sinensis plants.
While many natural food stores and even some supermarkets sell Choice teas, you can order from their full line by going to their online store, and I think you’ll find that compared to other high-end teas, their prices are reasonable. After the jump, there’s more information from their web site about the caffeine content of tea. If you know of a product worthy of a Gold Star Award, leave a comment to let me and our readers know.
Update: I’ve received word from Choice Organic Teas that to highlight World Water Day on March 22nd, during the month of March they will donate 20 cents for every box of tea sold from their web site to WaterAid, a nonprofit that works to bring clean water to communities worldwide which lack this basic necessity. Find more details about their program here, and to learn how you can contribute directly to this worthwhile program, go to the WaterAid web site.
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE IS THERE IN TEA?
(From Choice Tea’s web site)
Beverage /Caffeine Per 8 oz Cup
White Tea–30-55 mg
Green Tea–35-70 mg
Oolong Tea–50-75 mg
Black Tea–60-90 mg
Our decaffeination process uses carbon dioxide naturally present in the air around us to remove most of the caffeine from the tea leaves. It’s important to keep in mind that decaffeinated tea is not caffeine-free, and a trace amount of 2-4 mg per cup remains. For those who must avoid caffeine all together, we recommend our herb teas (except Yerba Maté).