Tea Treats, Tools and Hot Spots

By Jarrod Denson / January 11, 2013

A view from the PuLi Hotel & Spa in Shanghai, home to the Anantara Spa

Constructed completely by hand without the use of power tools, this ornate tea house was a gift to Boulder, Colorado, from its sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Enjoy a globe-spanning lunch and dinner menu and English-style high tea beneath painted and carved ceilings, or pick up some custom loose-leaf blends. The Teahouse presents the annual Rocky Mountain Tea Festival every summer. boulderteahouse.com

After studying medicinal herbs and tea blending, owner Julie Lachance decided to bring both elements—and a fresh approach—to her skincare practice. At her Jacksonville, FL spa, Lachance incorporates organic teas from the onsite apothecary into her services, customizing products for each client. Gel or clay masks may be infused with powdered green or rooibos tea, scrubs may feature full leaves, hot towels might be steamed with lavender tea, and personalized tea eye bags might feature chamomile, lavender or eye bright. wildberryteaspa.com

After creating such iconic tea brands as Tazo and Stash, famed teamaker Steven Smith founded an eponymous label dedicated to creating small-batch blends and herbal infusions using quality leaves, flowers, spices, barks and oils from all over the world. Stop by his lovely shop/studio in Portland, Oregon, to watch the teas being made, learn about the blending process, and pick-up loose-leaf or sachet versions of the good stuff. smithtea.com

Create your own unique custom blends with this fun kit which packs 10 base teas from all over the world, plus herbs, fruits, spices and flowers into a reusable craft box; tea bags, a recipe book and a glass teapot are also included. $29.85; amazon.com

Enjoy the warm, comforting flavors of authentic spiced chai with these tasty, certifiedorganic and kosher blends, made with owner Bipin Patel’s grandmother’s recipes. The instant collection includes Chai Now (just add water), Chai Now Black (add water plus milk and/or sugar for a chai latte), and Sweet & Spicy (with just a touch of organic cane juice.) Slow brew versions are also available. $10.95; tipuschai.com

The beauty of H20 takes center stage with this stylish, cordless kettle made from scratchresistant German SCHOTT glass. In addition to featuring a host of high-tech features (quiet boil, auto shut-off, cool-touch handle, swivel base), the kettle has 5 temperature settings, so you can heat water to the right temperature required for different types of tea. Plus, the clear 6-cup pot helps cut down on water waste, since you can see how much is left from the last boil. $99.99; capresso.com