A new year is nearly upon us, and after a long evening of celebration and festivities, it will be time to put the fancy champagne glasses back in the cupboard for yet another twelve months. Trade them in for more appropriate vessels—ceramic mugs or dainty teacups—to use while celebrating National Hot Tea Month this January.

Cold and flu season has officially begun, making mid-winter the perfect time of year to introduce hot tea into the diet. Research has indicated that drinking tea, even as little as one cuppa’ day, aids the immune system in its daily war against bacteria, microorganisms and viruses. Tea, the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, also boasts health benefits associated with weight loss and a decrease in depression. Local teashops agree that’s a cause for celebration—no new year’s resolution could be healthier.

Teavana

Westroads Mall

10000 California Street

This new business has had a successful first year in Omaha. Teavana shops across the country are designed to function as “part tea bar, part tea emporium,” according to the company’s website. Each location in one of 36 states sells loose leaf tea blends and accessories, while offering hot and cold sample cups to shoppers.

Employees remain unsure what blends will be featured during the month of January, but anticipate flavors with warming wintery accents.

Besides the usual promotional flavors and samples available to passersby the storefront at Westroads Mall, Teavana will reopen the day after Christmas to begin its “Heavenly Tea Sale.” The sale, running through January 23rd, boasts reduced prices on discontinued tea blends and other merchandise.

“We won’t offer any promotions specifically for National Hot Tea Month,” says shop manager Kim Horn, “but we will begin the year with several promotions.”

First of the year discounts combined with a unique Teavana mobile app make for a perfect math, one you might say was made in heaven. The app, now available on Android phones, includes detailed information about all of Teavana’s tea blends, a musical tea timer, custom tea blender and store locator. In addition, the app allows users to save their favorite tea blends for reference or to share through social media outlets. The app connects directly to the Teavana online store, where tea can be purchased and shipped directly to your home.

Keep up with Teavana’s latest featured blends, promotions and developments at teavana.com or from your mobile device.

The Tea Smith

345 N. 78th Street

1118 Howard Street

Omaha’s two Tea Smith locations will offer seasonal flavors this month, including customer favorite “Fireside Chat,” a black tea blend accentuated with hints of citrus, cinnamon and clove. Other wintery flavors include “Cinnamon Sensation Rooibos,” a caffeine-free alternative and “Sinfully Sweet Apple Pie,” a fruity green and black tea combination.

“There is so much to discover about tea,” Smith says. “It takes time to make a habit, and this month is a good time.”

Not only will the Tea Smith offer promotional flavors as part of National Hot Tea Month, it will also host a grand opening celebration for its newest location in the Old Market (1118 Howard Street) during the second week in January. Tea samples will be available to customers each day, as well as various specials and discounts on drinks and merchandise. The new shop has attracted many new customers since opening its doors in November.

“We’re making some of our customers real happy because they work down here,” says owner Tim Smith, who opened his first tea shop in Omaha in 2004.

Aside from this month’s celebrations, The Tea Smith’s signature blends can be found year round at local restaurants and shops, including Blue Sushi, Aroma’s Coffeehouse, The Boiler Room, Jones Bros Cupcakes, Scooter’s Coffee and Grey Plume. Each unique menu was created in collaboration with Tim Smith.

“Coffee shops are learning it’s a great addition to what they do,” Smith says.

The Tea Smith hosts events on a regular basis with the aim of educating the larger community. Recent sessions have included discussions about the health benefits of tea, tea preparation demonstrations and tastings that allow patrons to learn to distinguish between varieties of tea. A schedule of upcoming events is regularly posted on the Tea Smith’s website (theteasmith.com).


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