Mystery of the disappearing tea

I’m a big fan of loose tea. I find it tastes much better than teabags, plus my grandmother likes to read tea leaves.

In the past little while, though, it’s been harder and harder to find loose tea on supermarket shelves. The brand I used to buy, King Cole, is now only available in teabags. But it’s not just King Cole - loose leaf tea has all but vanished. The only one left is Tetley, but the tea is more in little crumpled balls than leaves, and it’s no good for the tea reading. Of course, I can go to tea shops and buy all sorts of loose tea there, but it’s out of my way and quite a bit more expensive.

I thought tea was becoming “in” these days, what with Chai Lattes and all, so why the abandoning of the loose tea? Is this just happening in Montreal or is it the same everywhere?

Well, we have no problems obtaining lose tea from the supermarket. Maybe its a “over the pond” thing?

Darned hamsters ate my first reply!

The situation may be different where you are at, but what has happened around here (Dallas) is that the specialty stores have taken over. In addition, tea often goes hand-in-hand with coffee. I have a shop I go to called “Addison Coffee Roasters” that, despite the name, has an excellent selection of loose-leaf teas. If you go to a Yellow Pages-type web site and look under “Tea, Retail” you should find something.

Additionally, “natural food” and “upscale” groceries often carry loose leaf tea, such as Whole Foods Market and Central Market, although their range of selection is limited compared to the specialty shops.

Hope that helps!

But don’t you know that “proper tea is theft”?

I’m with Angua - I wouldn’t say it was difficult to buy loose tea here*, of various types, so maybe it is an “over the pond” thing.

  • Scotland

Huh. Acutally, I’ve been finding it easier to find loose tea these days: Lipton has been selling it, and there’s an in-house Kroger brand as well. Just about any major (and some not so major) grocery store I’ve been in around here has loose tea.

(And I’m down in Memphis, TN. Maybe it’s because of the South’s fasination with sweet tea?)

<< Reality’s the only obstacle to happiness. >>

I buy loose tea in the supermarkets a fair amount. granted, they’re sorta “health food” type supermarkets, but loose tea seems pretty common here in my part of California.