Like steam engines and cryogenically frozen sea monkeys, tea leaves come to life with just a little hot water. Harness the transformative power of hydration with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of loose tea at Capital Teas. Choose from the following locations: Bethesda, Annapolis, Dupont Circle, and Oxon Hill.
Run by fifth-generation fine-tea merchants, Capital Teas collects steepable herbs from around the globe to spice up morning mugs. Patrons can sift through an array of black teas, including Chesapeake Sunrise ($18/4 oz.) and Figgy Pudding ($18/4 oz.)—a dark tea that invokes cherries, figs, and nostalgia for the good ole' days when men wore puddings. Cream Earl Grey White ($29/4 oz.) twists the classic brew's flavor with a Pau Mu Tan white drizzled in oil of bergamot for a pleasantly gilded hue, while the fragments of apple, cinnamon, beetroot, and crushed almond create the classic aroma of Roasted Almond ($18/4 oz.).
In-store prices vary from online prices.
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.