On these cold winter days, you can’t go wrong with a comforting, steamy hot cup of tea or coffee.
Here are a few shops that offer an amazing array of flavors to make at home as well as a whole lot of wonderful ideas for gifts, from teacup sets to towels, jams and mugs.
Hundreds of teas at Clipper Ship Tea Company
TO DRINK At this Huntington tea shop, you can winnow down your selection by tea type: white, green, oolong, black, Pu’er, decaf; category: including matcha, wellness, chai, sleep/relax, breakfast teas, or flavor: dessert, smokey, citrus, jasmine, fruity and more. "We have 240 loose teas," says owner Melissa Wawrzonek.
About half of the teas are unflavored from country of origin, including Japan, India, Sri Lanka China and Taiwan; the other half, proprietary blends created in-house.
Popular smokey teas include log cabin, with maple and chives, burnt sugar, with vanilla and caramel, campfire, both smoky and nutty, and the latest creation: bonfire chai, with smoke, chai and chili pepper.
There are dessert teas, like raspberry butter cookie, spice sugar cookie and English toffee and a number of chocolate teas, including chocolate truffle.
TO SHOP For gifts, there are 42 different sampler boxes of loose tea, such as wellness, turmeric, ginger, sleep, holiday, fruity, relax and an assortment of travel tumblers with built-in infusers for loose tea and infuser ceramic mugs with lids.
Go pod wild at Village Coffee Market
TO DRINK Choose from 180 flavors of recyclable K-cups, the majority of which are Terrace Café store brand, at this coffee market in Stony Brook.
"We have any kind of flavor you can imagine," says owner Gary Contes, citing chocolate maple bacon, banana foster, here comes the sun, Long Island blend, Bridgehampton, peppermint mocha, gingerbread and eggnog as some of the bestsellers.
"We also have the largest selection of decaf flavors of any company anywhere," says Contes, adding tiramisu, southern pecan, Vermont maple crunch are just a few.
TO SHOP For non-K-cup drinkers, there’s whole bean and ground coffee and custom gift baskets for local honeys, fruit jams, teas, tea towels and mugs. Coffee grinders and vintage coffee pots and coffee cans make great gifts. "We like to make it more of an experience when you come here, whether you buy something or not," Contes says.
For some time, Michelle Giordano had heard about the Village Coffee Market. "I finally went down there and I was hooked," said Giordano, 47, a dog walker who lives in Nesconset. On her frequent trips to the Stony Brook shop, Giordano has purchased coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate, Christmas gifts, honey and even a T-shirt emblazoned with their motto, "Encourage Someone Today."
"It’s how I start my morning with their coffee," she says. "And, now I’m hooked."
Get a subscription at Georgio’s Coffee Roasters
TO DRINK A few months back, this Farmingdale spot started offering coffee subscriptions for their medium, dark or high octane roaster’s choice flavors.
"You can make the subscription for every two weeks, for every month — whatever you decide," says owner Georgio Testani. "And you can cancel whatever time you want, you can skip one, you can change it whenever you want." Orders of $45 and over are delivered free the next day within the tristate area and $5 for anywhere else in the country.
All of Georgio’s coffee is made sustainably from farms in Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ethiopia, Panama, and Guatemala. One new and unique coffee is a Costa Rican Perla Negra that tastes like red wine and cherries.
Among the more popular flavors are Fede’s Blend, a medium/dark blend with hints of milk chocolate and Testa D’Oro, an espresso blend with a "golden head" crema.
Artisanal teas and tisanes at SerendipiTea
TO DRINK "We consider ourselves an artisanal operation," says Linda Villano, co-owner of this Manhasset shop. "All of the blends we have are made to order and all the recipes are ours, in house."
Some of the more unique flavors are teas made with cacao nibs and cocoa powder, such as Buccaneer, a single estate Indian black tea made with coconut, chocolate and vanilla.
Villano carries a variety of tisanes: botanicals, herbs, spices and fruit flavors, all naturally caffeine-free.
TO SHOP To go with the Japanese Matcha, a very pulverized green tea, they sell accessories such as a bamboo whisk, matcha bowls and a chashaku spoon. There’s lip balm made from their own tea in Morrocan mint and strawberry kisses, which tastes like a chocolate-covered strawberry.
Other practical or gift items are a selection of For Life Japanese-inspired teapots, tea strainers and tea balls, as well as 12-pack tin samplers in fruit, floral, chocolate and other flavors and wooden box samplers.
WHERE TO SHOP
Clipper Ship Tea Company, 297 Main Street, Huntington, 631-651-2764; clippershipteaco.com. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Village Coffee Market, 131 Main Street, Stony Brook 631-675-9525; villagecoffeemarket.com. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Georgio’s Coffee Roasters, 1965 New Highway, Farmingdale, 516-238-2999; georgioscoffee.com. Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SerendipiTea, 73 Plandome Road, Manhasset, 516-365-7711; serendipitea.com. Open Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.