Image source: Rishi Tea
Its no surprise that Rishi Tea was the winner of seven First Place Awards at the 2008 Tea Championships for best tea, and to top it off was the first company to win the award making organic teas. Beating out 300 other brands, Rishi "rose to the top"
I drink a lot of tea though I'd hardly say I'm an expert or connoseur, but this was good tea. You crack open the lid and a strong, sweet smell of peppermint hits you. It doesn't smell like old, dead packaged tea, but smells like tea leaves that have been freshly picked. Brew a pot and you're equally rewarded. What makes Rishi Teas taste so good?
Rishi Tea is a direct importer of organic and fair trade loose leaf teas. They work directly with the artisanal farmers; no middle-men. Only 2% of the tea sold in the world uses the hand-crafted artisanal method. They sell 12 different types of tea - including chai, rooibos, green tea and white tea, with each one having several varieties.
The organic silver needle white tea has so much flavor it feels like the water is "thick" even though the tea itself light. Its as if its changed the texture of the water. Open up a can and you'll see thick leaves that seem to spring out of the canister. The green tea almost tastes like green beans it has so much flavor. The peppermint is a treat from the moment you open the can. All of the teas have enough flavor that they don't even need sweetening. The first word you think of for all of the teas is: Fresh.
You can purchase the tea in several sizes from an ounce to a pound, with prices ranging from $3 USD to $12 USD per ounce. Each of the canisters is double-sealed to help keep the flavor in. Note: not all of their teas are organic, but they are clearly labeled on the site.
You can also purchase tea pots, kettles and other tea-making specialties directly from their website. They also include a travelogue where you can learn more about the art of tea-making directly from the tea-purchasers as they travel around tasting tea.