Sep 14 2008

TeaGshwender Hits the Spot in Chicago

Published by at 3:07 am under Reviews,Tea

Do you enjoy tea? Are you in Chicago? If so, make your way down to State and Division for a tea shopping experience that you won’t soon forget.

TeaGshwender has been offering fine teas since 1978, and has been expanding its business throughout Europe, The Middle East and South America. TeaGshwender has now begun operations in Chicago, and has been very well-received by both tea novices and afficandios alike.

Unlike Argo Tea, TeaGshwender is not a cafe: You can buy a cup of any of their teas hot or iced, and they will make it up fresh for you. But there is no place to sit and enjoy your brew. TeaGshwender is a tea shop, not a tea room, and its main purpose is to sell you its wonderful teas to take home. The staff is happy to open its large bins for you to sniff and examine their many offerings.

TeaGshwender is big on education: Its sales staff is very knowledgeable, they hold tea cuppings (tastings), their (free) catalog is full of information, and each bag of tea sold contains detailed instructions for its preparation. This is a company that wants its customers to enjoy tea!

I’ve been slowly making my way through TeaGshwender’s teas, and here are a few of my favorites (all of which, incidentally, are really delicous iced):

Elderflower White Tea: I adore white teas, and this blend with elderflower is really scrumptious. This is a good “sipping” tea, as is delicate, floral flavor needs to be savored on its own.

Coconut Green Tea: I asked to smell this tea on a lark and ended up bringing a bag of it home. This tea is so incredibly delicous and yet so subtle that I and my office mates drink it down by the gallon.  This is an excellent tea to drink with chocolate.

East Frisian Leaf Blend: This blend of assam and sumatrian black teas is supposed to be only “medium quality”, but I think it is darn tasty. Serve it as hot as you can stand it first thing in the morning.

TeaGshwender also sells a variety of reasonably priced accessories, including teapots, tea cups, and strainers. Tip: Ask to see the 50% off items. Some great deals are to be had on those shelves.

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