Raiding local trees and throwing their leaves in boiling water cuts down on aphid infestations, but it won't make a good cup of tea. Enjoy leaf-water made from ingestion-appropriate plants with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of loose tea at Capital Teas. This Groupon must be redeemed in-store at either the Annapolis, Bethesda, or National Harbor in Oxon Hill location.
Capital Teas offers a stunning selection of more than 100 quality loose teas imported from countries around the world, including India, Sri Lanka, China, and South Africa. Alongside prim traditional black and green teas are radically refreshing flavored blends such as the cookie-dough-esque butter truffles black tea ($7 for 2 oz.) and the nectarous pear au chocolat green tea ($7 for 2 oz.). The highly giftable volcano flower burst green tea ($11 for 1 oz.) is hand-sewn to create a dramatic flower-like bloom brew, the ideal tea to confidently sip on while high-wire walking across Mount Vesuvius. In addition to German-crafted Rooibos teas ($6–$8), Capital Tea's own signature blends posses mystical hand- and mouth-warming powers best saved for a chilly day.
Capital Teas traces its origins back to the late-nineteenth-century tea trade and the owner's great-great grandfather's tea estate in Sri Lanka. Five generations later, Great-Great Grandfather's famous black tea is still available ($12 for 3.5 oz.) along with countless other brewable blends.
To say Capital Teas’ proprietors, Peter and Manelle Martino, know tea might be a bit of an understatement. Fifth-generation tea merchant Manelle’s great-great-grandfather Francis Van Reyk was a Dutch tea planter who immigrated in the 1890s to present-day Sri Lanka, where he managed the Diyagama Estate, from which the Martinos now source their Great Grandfather’s tea. Manelle’s family has been in the tea trade ever since, a tradition she has carried to her own specialty tea business, which has several boutique locations throughout the D.C. and Maryland area. Additionally, Peter has become a popular speaker at World Tea Expos, where he frequently educates and inspires the tea world.
In addition to tea from Sri Lanka, the business carries more than 200 loose teas and herbal infusions from 18 countries including India, China, Japan, Malawi, and Kenya. A sniffing wall dispenses wafts of black, oolong, and mate teas, and knowledgeable employees drift around the store’s tasting stations to explain each flavor’s nuances and read the tea leaves in tasting cups.
Capital Teas also pairs customers with accompaniments such as teapots, brewers, tea-infused chocolate, and artisanal honey. In-store patrons may sample free tea samples—which are brewed fresh daily—, while online purchasers receive a free sample with every order.