January 8th—Fearlessly Archived—Still a fun read; price & availability may have changed.
Lest you assume only coffee drinkers love to travel, we bring you proof of the tea lover's sense of adventure, Trader Joe's Cultivated Tea Collection For the Armchair Traveler. Like its coffee companion, this assortment features three celebrated teas from some of the world's most renowned growing regions.
We begin in the shadow of Japan's Mt. Fuji, where we sourced our Sencha green tea. Japanese Sencha is distinct from other green teas due to the delicate manner in which the green tea leaves are processed into tea. The leaves are briefly steamed to prevent oxidization, then rolled, dried and sorted. Some green teas are pan fried, which can lead to bitterness. Japanese Sencha green tea, because it's steamed, retains its fresh, vegetal, "grassy" flavor.
From Japan we travel to the foothills of the Himalayas. In India's Assam valley, along the Brahmaputra River, we've sourced our very high quality black tea made from the Camellia Assamica plant, native to this region. Assam's hot & humid climate results in tea that's full-bodied and malty. It's easy to enjoy straight, and is often served (British style) with milk.
Venturing southward, we visit the South African town of Clanwilliam, where we discovered a very special blend of Rooibos. Not technically tea, though enjoyed as such, Rooibos (ROY-bos) is more accurately described as a tisane, or a caffeine free herbal tea. Rooibos, which means "red bush", is only grown in South Africa, though it is enjoyed around the world. We definitely enjoy its fruity, woody, smooth flavor, whether served hot or over ice.
The Cultivated Tea Collection will transport you to exotic places around the globe, for the price of a single, fancy tea drink from a tea house. We're selling each gift-able tin of 30 tea bags (ten of each variety) for $4.99, while they last.