So much for avoiding purchasing new tea. I was at Marshall's (for an entirely different purpose, new shoes I did not get) and saw a fairly varied selection of tea from Les Palais des Thes. The packaging for this French company is SO gorgeous and their tea isn't cheap to order online, so I was SO excited to see this in store. I found myself very quickly with about $100 worth of tea in my hands, and then I saw three options from Den's Tea as well. Den's Tea specializes in Japanese tea, and is also a brand I have meant to order from for a long time.
Don't worry, I did make cuts. I realized that with the sampler, and having some at home already, I should cut what was in my arms in half. My deal with myself is that I can go back on Tuesday or Wednesday to get more/get the bigger canisters of some flavors IF I taste the samplers first and really feel I cannot live without. The full size canisters at Marshall's are $13 and originally $18 or $19...twice as expensive as any other tea they tend to carry.
Here is what I came home with.
By far the most exciting purchase was the gift set from Les Palais des Thes. Originally $60, I paid $40. It came with 12 little vials of their tea blends, each reporting to contain enough for a 6-8 cup teapot, and a 125 page book/catalog hybrid that I found to be very interesting. It will be a lot of fun tasting all of the blends.
I already flipped through the book, which contains information about tea history, countries of origin, all to showcase the types of teas this brand offers in a comprehensive way. A tea newbie would find this really helpful in general, and I found it to be interesting even though I already knew a lot. A seriously cool way to provide a catalog of the options of a company, one I plan to keep on my coffee table.
Also from the same brand they had an iced tea set on clearance...$9, less than half the original price. It was shrink wrapped so I know it wasn't tampered with. It contains four teas, with five iced teabags individually wrapped, meant for 16oz room temp brews. Normally I am all about loose leaf, and prefer the lack of packaging of it. Even for tea bags. But one thing I hate is that unless I brew up a few bottles of iced tea before going to school to teach, I don't have much opportunity for tea all day. These are meant to be steeped at room temp for an hour or so, making them perfect for throwing in a purse or bag and steeping them after I finish my morning hot tea I take with me.
Next, I found a couple things from Den's Tea. I stuck with the Houjicha, which was a couple dollars cheaper ($4) than the Genmaicha ($6). The Houjicha is also individually wrapped teabags, which I like having around for when I am dog sitting for extended periods of time. I will be visiting family from Dec 10-18, and dog sitting from Dec 20-Jan 6...so I will most definitely be using these. I often bring loose leaf tea home as I know they have an infuser, but I keep things simple when I dog sit.
As a bonus, only vaguely tea related item, I got a skincare set from Origins including the Frothy Face Wash, White Tea Skin Guardian Serum, and the White Tea moisturizer for $10 because it had no tag, there were no others, and the girl at the register had no clue about the price point of the brand. Given how sure I am that the set was likely meant to be two or three times that price at minimum, I am a happy girl.
I love Marshall's.