Rishi Tea

If you care even the slightest bit about the tea you drink, first thing: lose the bag. Okay, once that's done, you can actually see the tea leaves and start to appreciate each variety. And I'm not talking bout tearing apart Tetley bags. Check out Rishi. Now, that's real tea.

Rishi Teas are artisinal, organic, ancient varieties that are hand-picked and hand-rolled. They are beautiful. Rishi builds a direct relationship with the farmers, so that they can guarantee great quality and a fair price. A fair price to the grower, at least—Rishi Teas are Fair Trade Certified. But because of the exceptional quality, they can put you back a pretty penny....The "Dragon Well Reserve" comes in at $30 per ounce—yes, that's almost $500 per pound. It must be a damn good tea. The "Gyokuro", one of the rarest teas in Japan, is said to provide a rejuvenating sensual energy, is priced at $35.00 for a 50 gram bag. (A tea that comes in gram bags and provides unique stimulating properties? Hmmm )

There are, of course, some less pricy picks—green teas, white teas, black teas, oolong, and mate and botanical blends. It's a stunning selection, and their website is a serious tea education in itself. ::Rishi Tea [by Tamara Holt]