White Sage & Wild Mint Tea // Juniper Ridge // Oakland, CA
Delicious on its own, sure, but hot tea in the desert? Whoa, cowboy. Instead, concoct a frozen treat from this forest-foraged elixir: the Julep paleta. Steep a few teabags in a pot of hot water and mix in enough sugar to satisfy. Wait until cool, add a nip (or two) of grandpa’s liquid courage, pour the now fortified tea into popsicle molds, cover with foil, stab with sticks, and toss in the chill chest.
Rooibos Tea // Teapigs // Brooklyn, NY
We’ve sung the glories of green; we’ve praised the pleasures of pu-erh; but what do you know about rooibos? Naturally caffeine-free with all the nutty, vanilla-and-honey richness of the sweetest full-leaf blacks, often mixed into herbal chais but a rarer sight solo. Stateside, at least — in South Africa, though, where rooibos grows wild in shrubby coastal forests called fynbos, it’s been drunk for centuries, by local tribes and colonizers alike. Sustainably sourced by this Brooklyn duo, rooibos is smooth and satisfying hot, rich and refreshing iced: a perfect start or finish to your African feast.
The Classic // Owl’s Brew // New York, NY
We’re talking summertime sweet tea. The weather outside might be frightful, but click-clacking ice cubes and spinning suns of sliced lemon will soothe even the bitterest chill — or defeat. And it couldn’t be easier to whip up a pitcher: icy vodka, a bottle of lemonade, and a healthy pour of Owl’s Brew. New York–mixed but classically southern, Owl’s is the first tea made specifically for cocktails. Their Classic is a traditional English black with a hint of citrus, sweetened with all-natural agave.
Big Hibiscus // Steven Smith Teamaker // Portland, OR
For pepper-heads, the best part of truck-stop tacos is sometimes the styrofoam big gulp of sweet-tart jamaica you chug to extinguish a hubris-induced chili burn. Steven Smith balances that refreshing hibiscus zing with a pinch of ginger, sweet rose, and exotic Indian sarsaparilla. Cold, with a squirt of honey, handful of summer fruit, and shot (or two) of your booze of choice, it’s a perfect sangria; piping hot, a morning-after soother.
Juniper Ridge // Douglas Fir Spring Tip Tea // Sierra Nevada, California
Typically, if you discover a bearded guy distilling in a van in the woods, you’re probably going to go blind if you sip whatever he’s drinking, the exception is Juniper Ridge. Next to crafting award winning wild fragrances year round, Juniper also harvests Douglas Fir Tips once a year, every Spring. When steeped for ten minutes, the precise timing results in a drink with a subtle citrusy, forest aroma that was historically the primary source of vitamin C for local Native Americans. Need a go-to holiday cocktail? We got you covered with our Dougas Fir Gin & Soda (Visit Mantry.com/recipe).
Tipu’s Chai // Missoula, Montana
You mention Montana and most people think Marlboro man-esque characters on sweeping cattle ranges and A River Runs Through It. Well, Bipin Patel has been on a one man mission trying to make big sky country big chai country ever since he set up shop in ’97 and started churning out authentic indian goodness in Missoula. Patel creates spicy bold blends along side his Nestle Quik-ified version that doesn’t skimp on quality but packs pure convenience. Take a cue from a nation that knows a thing or two about quenching thirst, just follow the instruction on the side of the bottle and get swept away to Montana or Mumbai, wherever you prefer.
You might like Mantry because it sends tea sometimes.
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