Teas for Cold and Flu

what teas are good for cold and flu

Every year a nasty bug makes the rounds in schools, the office, and amongst friends and family. You wash your hands religiously, you wipe down your phone, door handles, and surfaces with disinfectant, and avoid your coughing companions like the plague. Despite your best efforts, you wake up one day with those terrible symptoms: cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue etc… You’re sick!

Aside from bedrest, medication, and other practical advice to get over your cold or flu, drinking certain teas may bring relief, and might even help you recover faster.

Green Tea

Green tea contains many beneficial compounds, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and l-theanine. These compounds have antioxidant, as well as antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking green tea throughout the day can not only help you stay hydrated and provide temporary relief to symptoms, it can also help fight the virus itself.

Keep in mind that green tea has caffeine, so don’t drink it too late in the day, or in too great a quantity.

Check out our green teas.

Elderberry Tea

While elderberry is a tasty addition to certain flavored tea blends, it has also been used for hundreds of years to treat respiratory infections.

Tea made from elderberries contains compounds that reduce inflammation in mucous membranes and has antiviral properties. Studies evaluating the effectiveness of elderberry found that participants were able to recover from flu days faster than those who did not consume elderberry.

There are several species of elder, but Sambucus nigra, AKA black elder, is the one used most often for medicinal purposes. Be careful if you are harvesting your own elder; not all elder is created equal. Some species, like dwarf elder, may be toxic. When you buy food with elderberries, it is usually the black elder variety.

Check out our elderberry teas.


Menthol and methyl salicylate, the active ingredients in peppermint, help thin mucous, making peppermint steam an effective decongestant and expectorant. A soothing infusion of peppermint tea may also help relieve a sore throat.


Daylight Saving Ends – How To Adjust

Daylight Saving Ends

The clocks turn back one hour at 2am this Sunday, November 1st, 2015. Which means you’ll have an extra hour in bed! While easier to adjust to the end of Daylight Saving, it can still be a little disorienting. Here are some tips to get you adjusted to the change.

1. Control the light

Light is one of the most important biological cues. Melatonin, a sleep inducing substance in the body, is activated in the dark. As soon as you are awake, make sure to let the light in, or turn lights on. Conversely, when it is time to go to bed, make sure to reduce or remove all light sources entirely. Night lights are great for bathroom trips, instead of the full glare of room lighting.

2. Put the phone away

Bedtime seems like a great time to check out Facebook, browse email, or play games on your phone, but staring at that screen can delay your sleep by an hour or more. That’s because LED screens on phones, tablets, and computers emit a bright blue light to help make them more visible in daylight. This light can inhibit the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and disrupt circadian rhythms.

Consider putting all LED emitting devices away at least an hour before going to sleep.

3. Control your caffeine and alcohol intake

Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with sleep-inducing chemicals in the body. A general rule of thumb is to avoid caffeine intake four to six hours before bedtime. However, this depends on how caffeine affects you.

Consider a relaxing herbal tea before bed. Herbal blends like Nite Cap and Chamomile Lavender have a soothing and calming effect.

In the morning, have a strong breakfast tea to help jumpstart the body. Caffeine will help fight fatigue, but is not a substitute for a poor night’s rest.

Alcohol can have a deceptive effect on sleep. While it can allow people to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply, it has a negative impact on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep: or dream sleep. REM sleep is important for restoring the mind.


Best Teas for Travel Thermos

Best teas for travel thermos

As chilly autumn mornings remind us of the winter days ahead, it’s a great time to get outside and enjoy the good weather while it lasts. Whether you’re walking through the park or hiking the backcountry during peak foliage, nothing is more invigorating and refreshing than a hot cup of tea.

After all, hydration is important, right? It takes up nearly the same weight to carry tea as it does water, so why not bring some hot tea on your next outing?

What You’ll Need:

Ditch the bagged tea from the grocery store; get real loose leaf tea. That said, you’ll need an infuser to brew your loose leaf tea. Our Highwave Vacuum Travel Mug has a built-in infuser, so all you need is some hot water and loose leaf tea. Otherwise you can brew tea as you normally would and transfer your tea to a thermos or insulated Kleen Kanteen style bottle.

If you’re packing away your tea, keep it sealed tight to prevent leaking, and try to keep it further inside your pack to further insulate.

What Teas Perform Best in Vacuum Bottles

Tea is so flavorful because of the antioxidants found in the leaves. The problem is that tea begins to oxidize when introduced to hot water. The longer the water is left hot, the quicker the oxidation.

Basically, some teas can get bitter or otherwise have an unpleasant taste over time, as they are left hot inside a thermos. Some teas perform better than others over time.

The best performing teas are herbal teas and rooibos. Next up are scented black teas and unscented black teas. Black teas with chai spices are especially enjoyable in cold weather. Pu-erh teas also hold up well in a thermos. Certain amber oolongs also perform well.

Green teas and jade oolong teas are hit or miss. The type of antioxidants in green and jade oolong teas are susceptible to heat over long periods, so you may find your favorite green tea is not so nice after hours in the thermos. The only way to be sure is to test your tea.

White teas are poor performers in a thermos. Do to the delicate nature of their preparation, white teas oxidize very quickly, and can even become black in color over a period of hours in a thermos.

Why Does My Tea Get Cold Too Soon?

As you drink from your vacuum bottle, you have less tea inside, resulting in greater heat-loss. It’s better to drink all your tea in a short interval instead of spacing it out over hours. If you have only a little tea left in your thermos, it will cool very quickly

Also, if you keep the lid off, you lose heat a lot faster than when you have the lid on.

If it’s very cold out, consider packing your thermos away around anything that might insulate it further.

Notes on Cleaning

If you brew a flavored tea in your vacuum bottle, be sure to soak it in a baking soda solution afterwards to absorb any flavors. Also, scrub the interior with a bottle brush to minimize staining.

New Organic Fall Teas!

Check out our new organic fall teas!

Our new Organic Fall Teas are in for the 2015 season! Take the chill out of autumn with these exciting blends:

  • Organic Chocolate Chai: The pairing of chai spices, chocolate, and robust black tea creates a brew that makes everyday feel like a special occasion.
  • Organic Berry Scone: Sweet rooibos and bright fruits, folded in with maple and vanilla. The final product makes a caffeine-free treat reminiscent of teas most famous companion.
  • Organic Yoda Chai: Traditional Chai Spices, make for a caffeine free spicy blend, or pair with your favorite blend to create your own custom chai tea!

Open Saturdays

We are open again on Saturdays for the fall and winter season, 10am – 2pm. We are also open Mon – Fri, 9am -5pm as usual. We’ll be seeing you!

Fresh Harvest In: First Flush Darjeeling!

First Flush Darjeeling 2015 harvest

We just received a fresh harvest of Organic and Biodynamic First Flush Darjeeling! Straight from India, this refreshingly crisp and clean tasting black tea comes from high in the mountainous regions bordering the Himalayas. Makaibari, the oldest tea plantation in the district of Darjeeling, India, established in 1859. It was the first to be certified fair trade in the world and the first to be certified Biodynamic in the world.

Stop by our shop to pick some up, or buy it online!

New Organic Iced Teas For The Summer

Organic Iced Tea for Summer

We went straight from Winter to Summer in Upstate New York, how about you? To help beat the heat, we’re introducing 3 exciting new iced tea blends. After exploring hundreds of flavor combinations, we settled on three new blends to share on our website.

Organic Lady Marmalade

A bold green tea with classic bergamot, and a finish of sweet floral chamomile and elder flower.

View Tea…

Organic Tropical Tumeric

Lively tropical fruits with peppery turmeric. An exotic way to get the health benefits of turmeric.

View Tea…

Organic Mango Cooler

Sweet mango and tart pomegranate tied together with orange and spearmint

View Tea…

As always, check out our Iced Tea category to find your flavor.

Stay Cool!

Mother’s Day Tea Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is almost here. Do you need help with gift ideas? If your mom loves tea, here are some recommendations.

Tea of the month club

Is your mother stuck on the same tea? Help her break a rut and explore new teas every month! Subscribe her to our Organic Tea of The Month Club and we will deliver 1-2 brand new and exciting teas every month. This is a great way to explore customer favorite teas without having to decide what’s best.

We have many options for black tea lovers, green tea lovers, or people who like to explore everything.

Explore our tea club.

Brown Betty Teapot

Our original Brown Betty Teapots are handmade in the UK. The classic design is for more than just aesthetics, it’s said to brew the best pot of tea in the world. This is a great everyday use tea pot, available in a variety of sizes for single-serve, or serving many guests.

Don’t forget the tea infuser and some breakfast tea to go with it.

Gift Card

Don’t know what your mother likes, try our virtual gift cards. Have them delivered right on Mother’s Day. She can purchase anything she wants straight from our website.

Budget Buy: Tea Sacs + 2oz Tea

If you’re looking for an inexpensive tea gift and your mother doesn’t have a tea infuser to brew loose leaf tea, check out our Tea Sacs. These paper tea filters are easy to use, and come in a variety of sizes. With 2 ounces of tea, she’s ready to go. All she’ll need is hot water!

If you need help deciding what tea to get, try our seasonal teas or breakfast teas.

Profile: Organic Oolong Tea

Oolong tea profile

Oolong tea is complex in both flavor and preparation. To make oolong tea, leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant undergo a 7 step process of withering, bruising, and partial oxidation. The end result is somewhere between a black and a green tea, with layers of flavor that an avid tea drinker can appreciate.

Oolong tea is well-known for its ability to hold its flavor after multiple infusions. Each steeping reveals a new flavor profile. It’s a great tea to have throughout the day.

There are two main types of oolong teas: jade oolongs and amber oolongs. Jade oolongs have a more floral, vegetal notes, while amber oolongs tend to be more robust, with toasty notes. Oolong teas come primarily from Taiwan and China.

In terms of health benefits, oolong tea is known for sharpening thinking skills and improving mental alertness. It also possesses heart health antioxidants.


Organic Tae Guan Yin Oolong: Tightly curled jade leaves unfurl, revealing an orchid-like fragrance. The flavor is pleasantly complex, with a smooth vegetal body, sweet honey notes and floral undertones.

Organic Wu Yi Oolong: A classic, dark roasted organic oolong with a smooth, rich body and sweet finish. From the Wuyi Mountains in Southeastern China.

Organic High Mountain Oolong: Our most premium oolong, with a full, complex flavor, resilient to multiple infusions. The fragrance is rich and vegetal with delicate floral notes. Each infusion is different, revealing new layers of flavor. This is a rare organic jade oolong from Vietnam, a must-have for an oolong lover.


Steeping Time
Steep: 1-3 Minutes
Amount: 1 tsp. per 12 oz. Water
Steeping Temperature
Water Temp: 185°F

Profile: Organic Black Tea

Organic Black Tea Profile

When it comes to robust, full bodied flavor, black tea is the way to go. Black tea, like green, white, and oolong teas, come from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. What makes black tea different from the rest is the level of oxidation involved.

Oxidation is the same process that makes bananas and apples brown. While you might not like eating a brown banana, the browning of tea is desirable. As tea leaves brown, the become deeper, richer in flavor.

To speed up oxidation, tea leaves are bruised or crushed during processing. This releases the enzymes responsible for oxidation. The oxidation is halted at a specific time by heating up the leaves, deactivating the enzymes in the tea. The leaves are then dried and packaged.

Black tea comes from many parts of the world. The most common black teas come from India or China. Indian black teas tend to be maltier, deeper bodied, and more astringent than Chinese black teas. In contrast, Chinese black teas tend to have a more complex character with slight sweet notes. This is due to a number of reasons, one of which being that Indian and Chinese teas are often made from different varieties of the Camellia sinensis plant.

Black teas from the mountainous Darjeeling plantations in India are a bit different. They tend to have a crisper, cleaner taste than black teas from lower elevations in India.

Another popular category of black teas are breakfast teas. You might have heard of the ubiquitous English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast teas. Breakfast teas are a blend of different types of black teas. For example, a malty Assam is complimented by the slight citrus notes of a Ceylon (Sri Lanka) black tea.

As for health benefits, black tea is not as famous as green tea, but it still has a lot going for it. The most healthful antioxidant in green tea: epigallocatechin gallate is converted into thearubigin and theaflavins. These converted antioxidants have heart and circulatory health benefits.


Organic English Breakfast: An exceptional medium-bodied blend of Organic Black Teas from India (Assam) and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). A great all-around breakfast tea.

Organic Earl Grey: Another popular black tea blend with a superior oil of bergamot on an organic full tea leaf from Nilgiri, India.

Organic Golden Needle Tea: One of our favorite Yunnan teas. Hand picked tea buds from Ancient tea trees in Yunnan Province make up this premium blend. The flavor is buttery smooth and full bodied with lingering chocolate and honey notes. The big, wiry leaves are soft with downy hairs and are a beautiful golden and black color. The leaves brew a deep caramel color, with a pleasantly complex scent. This is a tea to savor.

Organic/Biodynamic Darjeeling 2nd Flush: Grown in the foothills of the Himalayas, our Organic/Biodynamic Darjeeling 2nd flush is harvested in June and produces an amber, full bodied, muscatel-flavored cup. A great afternoon tea.

Organic Lapsang Souchong: Organic black tea from the Fujian province of China. A bold leaf with full bodied flavor, smoked over a pine fire to give a clean, slightly cool smokiness.

Steeping Instructions

Steeping Time
Steep: 3-5 Minutes
Amount: 1 tsp. per 1 cup Water
Steeping Temperature
Water Temp: 212°F