Tavalon, a tea company specializing in premium loose leaf teas, boldly calls itself "the future of tea". Aside from being an e-commerce site, Tavalon creates premium loose leaf tea blends, tested and perfected by over 200 focus groups. The one-of-a-kind varieties are personally selected and blended by tea sommelier Chris Cason, who sees tea as an experience akin to listening to music&emdash;in the same way the people prefer certain genres of music, they are drawn to different kinds of teas. Five types (black, green, herbal, oolong, white) are available loose and in sachets. From the most traditional (a nice herbal chamomile blend, perhaps?) to the more exotic, there's a wide range of tea to choose from. I found the aptly named Peachy Oolong, a Formosa Oolong tea sweetened with peach and sunflower blossoms, to be particularly interesting, with its deep, dark flavors tempered by fruity, slightly floral punches.
Peachy Oolong Tea, $8 for 1.8 oz. jar at Tavalon.com