Best tea sachets out there
February 8, 2020 2:29 PM   Subscribe

I’m looking for the best tea sachets out there. The kind with pyramidal bags with loose leaves that smell really fragrant and fresh, not dusty and old. The tea leaves can swirl around in the bag at least a little bit. A wide variety of flavors would be great. (I do not want non-bagged loose leaf tea.) Available in San Francisco or online.
posted by jroybal to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
“Best” is really a subjective thing. Harney & Sons sells a wide variety of Tea flavors in sachets, with free shipping. Paris is a popular black tea flavor, but without more info on your personal tea preferences, this is a tough question to answer.
posted by anastasiav at 3:08 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]

Maybe “best” is the wrong word. I’m looking for brands with high quality tea that is fresh and flavorful, from which I can try different flavors.
posted by jroybal at 3:13 PM on February 8

I second Harney and Sons! Big fan.
posted by firei at 3:17 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Rishi has nice roomy tea sachets, and I've never had one that smelled old or dusty. I especially like their turmeric ginger. I've ordered from their website, and the Whole Foods I've been to in the Bay Area have their tea sachets as well.
posted by Lycaste at 3:27 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

I quite like Adagio teas and they have at least some bagged options.
posted by ChutneyFerret at 4:24 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

We got some samples of The Tea Guys' bagged tea a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed some of the blends. (I never liked rooibos until I had the Caramel Sea Salt blend.) Suspect this would be internet-order for you on the other coast. You can see the bag on any individual flavor's page.
posted by cobaltnine at 4:40 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Market Spice sells high quality tea in tea bags, though I wouldn't describe the bags as being able to "swirl" the tea around (their bags are not very stiff). Also, just so you're aware, they also sell non-bagged loose leaf in the same varieties, so be careful to choose the right version.
posted by catabananza at 5:35 PM on February 8

Reluctantly favorited, since I really didn’t want to be aware of that.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:01 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

I am a huge fan of the Canadian tea chain Murchies.

One of my absolute favorites is the Golden Jubilee black tea.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:52 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

Steven Smith, Teamaker teas are very good and carried by many stores. I don't buy them anymore because I've cut out teas that use those plastic sachets, which is unfortunate because they are very good and I'm a tea snob, but I'm doing as much as I can to get rid of things like that.

If you're willing to go for something not easily available in supermarkets in the US, the French teamaker Mariage Freres is my favorite tea, and most of their regular catalog blends come in loose-leaf or in small muslin bags. You can find them on Market Hall Foods' website, which I think is a better option that Mariage Freres' own website. My absolute favorite tea anywhere is their French Breakfast.

Numi is one brand that uses unbleached paper bags, though I wouldn't say they're the type to let the leaves swirl a bit. Most of the big loose bags are plastic, sadly, but Numi's teas are very good and while I thought Steven Smith's jasmine green was a bit better, I'll take paper over plastic in my hot water. Numi's genmaicha (toasted rice and green tea) is quite good. My only complaint is that they have so few black teas, and most stores only carry their greens or herbal tisanes.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:59 AM on February 9

I've been happy with the bagged tea I've ordered from Monterey Bay Spice Company. It's not packaged in a fancy way (at all), but it's been fresh and flavorful in "unbleached tea filter paper" bags. It's the best option I've found that's well under $0.10 per bag and doesn't require me to deal with all those small boxes containing twenty bags each. I'm convinced tea in the US is marketed and packaged for people who don't drink the stuff on even a weekly basis.
posted by asperity at 6:56 PM on February 9

If you live in SF, go visit Karma Cafe on Hayes St. They have a huge selection of Harney & Sons tins on their wall, which come in the pyramidical tea bags. I found my favorite tea there -- the Harney & Sons holiday tea. Try them all at the cafe and then order the tins for your faves online -- but yeah order the loose leaf tea version online so you avoid the micro plastics issue.
posted by egeanin at 9:10 PM on February 10

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