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The 10 Best Tea Brands To Try in 2022, Reviewed

In this country, tea sometimes takes a backseat to its energizing and mug-friendly cousin, coffee. We love a good cup of coffee, but tea is equally appealing, with its vast spectrum of styles, origins, and flavors, hence the growing popularity of tea subscription boxes.

There’s much to explore and enjoy, from matcha and green tea to loose leaf varietals and even instant incarnations. Moreover, there’s the ceremony involved, often inspiring small groups (while social distancing, of course) to gather around a warm kettle like moths to the flame. You sip, you converse—or reflect, or read (or listen)—and you repeat. It’s a tradition about as old as civilization and therefore deserving of some good tea in your favorite cup.

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Best Overall: Steven Smith Teamaker Portland Breakfast

Steven Smith Portland Breakfast Tea

With phenomenal selection, beautiful presentation, and captivating, nuanced flavors, Steven Smith makes great tea, no matter the kind. Whether you’re after Jasmine Silver Tip or Big Hibiscus, it’s a fair bet that whatever you land on is going to be your new favorite. The Portland Breakfast is a fan favorite and for good reason, with a dense profile of rich, dark, nutty, and slightly smoky flavors.

Best Green Tea: Kimikura Premium Japanese Green Tea

Kimikura Kakegawa Green Tea

When you have a lot of fragrances and flavors at play, balance is everything. This tea excels at that, offering a well-rounded sip with deep, lasting layers.

Best Chai: Dona Masala Chai Concentrate

Don Marsala Chai Tea Concentrate

Before you jump to conclusions about what you think constitutes a concentrate, know that this one means business. It’s a remarkable recipe that deposits you on the busy streets of India and features freshly ground spices that sing in your cup. All you need to do is add a little milk.

Best Earl Grey: Kusmi Prince Vladamir Russian Black Tea

Kusmi Prince Vladamir Earl Grey Black Tea

A Russian riff on classic Earl Grey, this blend is bergamot-centric but also features additional spices, citrus, and a touch of vanilla. You’ll love the fresh aromatics and how it opens up the senses, readying you for a fine day ahead.

Best Matcha: Naoki Ceremonial Blend

This outstanding Japanese matcha is versatile and excellent sprinkled atop gelato or mixed into a latte. But it’s so complex and enjoyable, you’ll want it all on its own.

Best for Sore Throat: Art of Tea Egyptian Chamomile

Art of Tea Egyptian Chamomile

The natural health benefits of chamomile have long been known. This soothing tea is soft on the throat, with a mild but interesting flavor profile and eco-friendly biodegradable tea bags. It’s caffeine free, so it’s great for the wee hours.

Best for Sleep: Trader Joe’s Well Rested Tea

Trader Joe's Well Rested Herbal Tea

This caffeine-free herbal option from the eclectic grocery store chain is tasty as well as effective. It’s a nice and sleep-inducing mix of minty, floral, and subtle peppery notes.

Best Instant: Waka Black Tea Powder

Waka Instant Tea Bag

The instant tea category isn’t a large one — unless you include the many pre-made canned and bottled versions out there, which would be a lot — but it’s evolving. The folks at Waka, who make a mean instant coffee as well, have a nice product here, one that’s easy to make as well as tasty, no steeping required.

Best Oolong: Harney & Sons Pomegranate Oolong Tea

Harney & Sons Pomegranate Oolong Tea

A great nod to traditional oolong tea as well as a scrumptious flavored option, this tea is lively and reviving. The fruit notes match the partially oxidized tea flavors wonderfully.

Best to Gift: Fortnum & Mason Darjeeling Tea

Fortnum & Mason Darjeeling Tea

Originally a Williams Sonoma exclusive from iconic English tea house Fornum & Mason, this tea is teeming with tremendous quality. It’s made from some of the highest elevation growing areas in the world in the Himalayas and comes in a beautiful canister the recipient will want to show off atop the kitchen counter.

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While sugar substitutes have been around for more than a century, they didn't really become mainstream here in the United States until around the mid-70s. According to Carolyn De La Pena, professor of American Studies at UC Davis and author of Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda, between 1975 and 1984, Americans increased their consumption of artificial sweeteners by 150 percent. This timeline makes sense when you take into account that the late seventies coincided with the start of our crazed diet culture and the revolving door of fad diets.
One such diet that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, however, is the Keto diet. Still hugely popular among Americans trying to shed a few pounds, Keto focuses heavily on limited or no carbohydrates. Because sugar contains carbohydrates, followers of Keto have turned to artificial sweeteners to satisfy those late-night cravings - sweeteners that, more often than not, contain erythritol. Erythritol in particular has become hugely popular because it's much better for baking than other sugar substitutes, has less of an artificial flavor, and will keep the eater in Ketosis, which is key for losing weight on the Keto diet.
A new study has made waves recently because its findings indicate there's a link between erythritol and higher rates of heart attack and stroke (though the study did note that only an association was found — not causation. So should you be worried?
We asked Dan LeMoine, RD, the award-winning author of Fear No Food and the Clinical Director at Phoenix-based Re:vitalize Nutrition, what he had to say about erythritol, including its benefits and potential health risks. "Artificial sweeteners are still sweeteners. While many are non-nutritive or zero-calorie, we tend to view them similarly as we do regular sweeteners or sugars — moderation is key. While many have amazing implications on weight loss – being low to no-calorie options and having little impact on blood sugar, some have their downside," he says.

While some of that sugar substitution has been good for waistlines and health issues that come from obesity, it seems to be causing more and more concern when it comes to other potential health issues. "For example," says LeMoine, "some research indicates the popular sweeteners stevia may have negative effects on the gut microbiome. And the recent study showing correlation between the sugar alcohol, erythritol, and heart attack and stroke."

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We all love a good cocktail, but it's easy to tire of the classics. There's nothing wrong with a perfectly frosty, salted-rimmed margarita, or a warm-to-your-bones, cherry-topped old-fashioned, but sometimes, you just want something new. Something that makes you think. Something that, perhaps, gives you a chuckle. These are those cocktails.
Pig's Blood Piña Colada (USA)

Back in 2014, bartender Jason Brown of Chicago's Kinmont restaurant and bar, concocted this cocktail after listening to a Werewolves of London lyric about a werewolf drinking a pina colada. His creativity sparked, and the "Werewolves of London" cocktail was born.

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Getting a quality night's sleep becomes more and more of a challenge as we age. Some of us have tried blackout curtains, sleep masks, weighted blankets, or any number of supplements promising better rest. If you're looking for an all-natural solution, though, melatonin is the way to go. Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the pineal gland in the brain. Among several functions, melatonin plays a key role in regulating the body’s circadian rhythms, or sleep-wake cycles. Accordingly, the pineal gland produces more melatonin when the sun goes down, and levels dip at daybreak. Foods high in melatonin or even melatonin supplements are a popular way to increase the concentration of melatonin and possibly improve the quality and quantity of sleep.
Melatonin supplements are typically non-habit-forming and safe for adults and children in doses of around 0.5 to 5 milligrams. However, melatonin supplements may cause drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness, and they can interfere with certain medications.

Fortunately, if you’re looking to support your body’s own natural melatonin levels but you don’t want to rely on supplements, there are several sleep-aid foods that contain melatonin. Adding any of these foods high in melatonin to your dinner plate or bedtime snack routine may help regulate your sleep patterns over time and help you get more restful sleep. Though little nutritional data exists about the specific concentration of melatonin in different foods, the following foods are known to be particularly high in melatonin.

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