Tea is one of nature’s best health boosters, packed with antioxidants that may help with everything from digestion to cancer prevention. And with about half the caffeine of coffee, tea provides a jitter-free jolt that’s easier on the system. Eager to start steeping? Local tea guru Alexis Siemons, a tea blogger and consultant, offers her favorite sipping haunts in Philly.
111 South 18th Street, 215-568-2920.
Best for: New palates. Sample-packs of 16 loose-leaf teas let you experiment to find your favorite.
Tip: Pick up a starter kit here; they include a strainer, a measuring teaspoon and three two-ounce samples.
Cups & Chairs
701-03 South Fifth St., 215-238-8832.
Best for: A detox. The Queens Village shop’s detox tea is made with lemon juice, honey and Japanese matcha, a green tea powder said to flush out toxins.
Tip: Sip in the O-cha Blend, hojicha roasted green tea and ginger infused honey. Perfect for frozen days and the common cold.
The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop
713 North 4th Street, 267-639-2442.
Best for: Chai purists. Hold the gloppy syrup—staffers grind and mix chai spices by hand and brew them fresh each morning.
Tip: For something lighter, try one of the naturally decaffeinated Healing Herbal Infusions.
The House of Tea
720 South 4th Street, 215-923-8327.
Best for: Tea connoisseurs. You’ll find hundreds of high-end teas and herbals, with a special emphasis on oolong.
Tip: Join the online mailing list and get an instant coupon.
Lotus Farm to Table
112 West State Street, Media, 610-565-5554.
Best for: Tea pairings. Servers can help you match your meal with complementary sips.
Tip: Try one of the flowering green teas, served with a chrysanthemum or jasmine bud that blooms as it steeps.
>> See also: Cancer-fighting recipes from Philly’s top chefs