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Oolong, green and black teas all come from the same plant. The difference between them is how they are processed. Green teas have the shortest curing time and black teas the longest. Balanced in the middle, oolong teas can have delicate tastes. Tea experts recommend using a gaiwan tea cup or bowl to brew oolong and its fermented cousin, pu-erh. Both are amenable to repeated brews and the cups lid can contain aroma and heat. Due East Tea in Rockport has an impressive selection of both.

Super Butterfly from Fujian, China, the historic home of oolong, is $13/20 g and a 5 oz. glass gaiwan is $13 at


Chai simply means tea in many languages, but in the States, it is a black tea blended with different herbs and spices. Samovar, in Newcastle and San Francisco, CA, offers seven chai blends, including turmeric and pumpkin flavors, but the most beautiful may be their organic, signature blend with cinnamon, cardamom pods, while cloves, black pepper, ginger and black tea. Brew it in the brand’s custom-designed teapot-for-two and watch the botanicals swirl.

Masala chai is $19/4 oz. and the Vivid Brewpot is $37 at


In Japan, the preparation of matcha—green tea leaves that have been ground to a fine powder—is at the center of a meditative tea ceremony. In the States, it has become popular in as part of latte drinks, often frozen. While those are delicious, pure, hot matcha is on par with a cup of coffee for its caffeine jolt and personal ritual. On their website, Portland-based Soakology writes that matcha is “one of the only types of teas that uses the entire leaf, providing greater health benefits than most other teas, including additional vitamin C and protein.”

Matcha Brew Kit is $45 at

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