As “dry January” slogs on, it seemed useful to point out for teetotalers one of Long Island's most underexplored tea territories: the tea aisle at H Mart in Jericho.
Specifically, the Asian tea-focused aisle (there is another tea section stocked with Western teas such as Celestial Seasonings) is where you can find practically every stripe of green tea. The selection is vast, taking up one side of an entire aisle and spilling across a walkway into the bean section.
Among the leaves that fill these shelves are at least six kinds of matcha powder and dozens of green teas (jasmine, sencha, kukicha, et al.). There are entire shelves of oolong, medicinal teas such as burdock, calming teas such as jujube and chrysanthemum, plain old black and milk teas, and outliers such a Adlai tea (a Korean grain-based tea) and accoutrements like tapioca pearls (for bubble tea enthusiasts).
You won’t find many of these teas outside of an Asian market, which is reason enough to visit if you love tea, but the ones that you will find here are generally sold at lower prices than at a specialty tea shop or Western grocery. (An experienced tea retailer, though, can steer you toward higher grades of tea than are sold at H Mart).
Here are a few teas of note during cleanse-happy January that are stocked on these shelves. Prices start at $3 and rarely top $9.
Oriental Raisin Tree tea. This astringent herbal tea is produced from the leaves of a fruit-bearing tree native to East Asia, and has sometimes been called the “hangover destroyer” for its purported liver-toning qualities. (An extract from this plant is the key ingredient in hangover cure drinks sold in Asia).
Corn silk tea. Another subtly sweet tea, made from corn silk (obviously), that’s loaded with vitamin C and potassium is purported to reduce water retention and fight gout, among other things.
Genmaicha with matcha. This tea has anchored my winter mornings for years; it marries toasty genmaicha, a green tea with roasted brown rice, with vegetal matcha for a robust, chill-busting tea. H Mart has several varieties, both loose leaf and in bags, though I love a Japanese version distributed by Wismettac Foods. (The package is almost entirely in Japanese, but it's oblong, green, and sold at calf level.)
H Mart is at 336 N. Broadway, Jericho; 516-513-5050, hmart.com