Pretty Steep

Tea that breaks the mold

Consider the new blends from David's Tea an image makeover for misunderstood tea.

Dusting off the genre's trappings of stuffiness, lace and wrinkles, the Montreal-based tea company has just launched an online store to peddle its off-the-cuff wares.

The tongue-in-cheek teas sound like the love children of Lipton and Willy Wonka, with names such as Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble and Swampwater.

But don't fret, tea aficionados–these are not the perversions they sound like. The blends are the handiwork of founder David Segal, who starts with the highest quality tea leaves he can source. Some of these are sold unadorned, while others are dressed with dried fruits, grains and other additions to create beguiling, balanced flavors.

We favor the Forever Nuts ($6.50), in which toasted almonds anchor a cinnamon-spiced brew. In an even more unique offering, bits of popcorn kernels mingle with green tea in Movie Night ($6.50), which offers a slight layer of earthy sweetness.