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Tea Time with Danielle: 5 Autumn Tea Recommendations

By Danielle Modica | October 10, 2022

Welcome to Tea Time with Danielle! In this column I hope to explore the tea-enthusiast world by sharing my own experiences and learning more about others. Though I am a casual tea drinker, I appreciate the complexities and variations of tea blends paired with the unique ways people enjoy them. Whether you’re tackling a sore throat, or just want a seasonal drink to warm up with, celebrate Oc-TEA-ber right with my top five autumn tea picks.

University at Albany logo mug backed by a scenic fall image of campus

Photo Credit: Danielle Modica / ASP

1. Chai: my personal favorite, the epitome of fall flavors. According to Teatulia, chai dates back 5,000 years from what is now India, used as a medicinal beverage. It is still a favorite in India, enjoyed in both casual and celebration settings.

  • D’s Pick: Any brand of masala chai. The inclusion of masala spices - usually cinnamon, cardamom and cloves - gives a pleasant kick compared to a mild, plain chai. I prefer loose chai over bags, as the spices are more present after being able to soak directly in the hot water.

  • Honorable Starbucks Mention: Although Starbucks chai is a syrup concentrate and not from tea leaves, their iced chai tea latte with oat milk and light ice is my go-to drink order. Light ice is essential so it doesn’t get watered down! With the warm notes of chai combined with the consistency of oat milk, it tastes like autumn in a cup. If you’re feeling extra saucy, add a caramel drizzle.

Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Latte with oat milk & caramel drizzle

Photo Credit: Danielle Modica / ASP

2. Earl Grey: a homey, smooth tea with a kick from infused bergamot oil. Not as zesty as chai, but just enough to add flavor complexity. An English classic, great for curling up with a book on a fall afternoon. Shake it up with a little milk for a London Fog tea latte, a light and fluffy preparation of the drink.

  • D’s Pick: Teavana Earl Grey from Starbucks. Teavana tea bags are larger than the average tea brands and full of flavor. Usually served extra hot, helpful for sore throats.

3. Mango: Sick of the cold? Enjoy the taste of summer with mango tea. It’s a sweet, no-frills blend good for any occasion. I prefer to drink it with a light breakfast or midday snack.

  • D’s Pick: Honeybush Mango, I get mine from Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company in Greenwich Village, New York. Honeybush is created with a South African leafy plant called rooibos, creating a lovely herbal blend. If honeybush isn’t available, mango black tea is a good alternative.

Loose honeybush mango tea steeping in a strainer tea cup

Photo Credit: Danielle Modica / ASP

4. Turmeric: Another zesty tea with appealing health benefits. Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, is what gives it a yellow-orange color. According to Mayo Clinic, curcumin aids in anti-inflammation, making it a natural treatment for conditions like arthritis. I find it helps with bloating and congestion.

  • D’s Pick: Trader Joe’s Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea. Decaffeinated, zesty and only $2.79 for a box of 20. Twinings' “Soothe” turmeric/star anise/orange blend is a good alternative.

5. Ginger Peach: an antioxidant blend similar to ginger turmeric. I was surprised to come across such a combination of sweet peach and sharp ginger flavors. Though the peach mellows out the ginger intensity, I still felt the ginger open up my sinuses.

  • D’s Pick: Argo Tea from the UAlbany uptown campus. I came across it looking for chamomile tea on-campus (which I’m still searching for) and picked this up because of the interesting flavor contrast.

Argo Tea ginger peach tea in a travel cup with the UAlbany main fountain in the background

Photo Credit: Danielle Modica / ASP

Hopefully these tea selections help elevate your cozy autumn lifestyle. Stay tuned for future editions of Tea Time, where we’ll discuss everything from my ongoing on-campus chamomile search, to fun tea accessories and more!


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