Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We wish a merry and peaceful Christmas to all of our friends and customers! Thank you for supporting our new tea business this year. We look forward to continuing to share S.D. Bell Teas with North America in 2013!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tea at Christmastime

With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we’d share some ideas for tea-themed gifts and holiday tea parties. Of course our teas make a wonderful gift for any tea drinker on your list and there is still time to have them shipped for Christmas.

This is a great time to get together with friends and family to partake in a Christmas tea. This website, A Taste of Home, has a wonderful article full of ideas.

Some of my favorites are:
- Tea sandwiches cut with holiday cookie cutters such as a holly leaf
- A cookie exchange for a party favor
- A recipe for a holiday spiced tea with notes of cranberry

Other nice favor ideas are ornament exchanges or Christmas crackers — an English tradition! It’s also fun to just make tea a part of any other holiday event such as building a gingerbread house or wrapping presents.

Tea themed gifts are also fun for seasoned tea drinkers or those just starting out. Consider giving one or a few of your favorite teas to let someone else try and then you can compare notes! For a new tea drinker, a set of a mug (or teapot), tea and a strainer/tea ball is a great way to get someone started on loose tea.

Monday, December 3, 2012

S.D. Bell Teas Receiving Rave Reviews

Belfast-made S.D. Bell teas, imported by Best International Tea, are receiving rave reviews from tea writers across the United States. With 125 years of tradition and craftsmanship, it’s no surprise that American tea drinkers are falling for S.D. Bell.
Since 1887, four generations of the Bell family have handcrafted Europe’s finest teas in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Unlike so many teas in today’s marketplace, ours are blended slowly and carefully in small batches and handpacked to ensure quality.
Here’s just some of what tea reviewers are saying about S.D. Bell Teas. Try some yourself and we think you’ll agree. Visit our website at and use the code 20OFF to take 20% off your first order!
S.D. Bell’s Natural Leaf (Irish Breakfast) Tea

It was love at first sip.  Bold. Brazen, even. Just the thing to provide that comfort I crave.
It was full flavored with a bright, clean finish. Notes of earthy cocoa and a subtle maltiness rounded out the flavor profile. –
Slightly malty but with a hint of citrus, it's a refreshing morning cup, or a bright afternoon lift. It has the robust flavor I look for in a breakfast tea. ­–
"A solid blend of Ceylon and Assam with a natural sweetness."  -

To describe S.D. Bell's English Breakfast as a "good cup" is a bit of an understatement. I am always happy to promote black teas that raise my favorite drink's reputation. ­
A flavorful cup of tea (malty with a slight citrus backnote from the Ceylon) that was still smooth but also had a bit of astringency and kick. Good stuff. In fact, I’ve come to find it quite addictive. –

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Free Tea!

Tis the season of giving and here comes yet another opportunity for FREE TEA from Best International Tea!

Click here to visit "In My Opinion" blog for your chance to enter to win three boxes of our loose tea. You must visit that review in order to enter the contest.

Good luck!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Tea Recipes

I've posted some interesting uses for tea in the past including some fun tea-infused cocktails! Since it's Thanksgiving week, I was excited to come across this board on Yummly featuring great ways to include tea in your feast.

A freshly brewed pot of tea is certainly a great complement to your dessert course. You can also use tea in baking desserts, breads and other dinner recipes — including sauces and seasonings for your turkey! The Yummly board includes gourmet tea-food fusions such as tea-poached pears, orange tea brined turkey, cranberry tea cake. We like all the unique harvest-themed beverages you can add to your holiday table including hot mulled tea, green tea cranberry punch, holiday spiced tea, pomegranate mar-tea-ni and more.

Enjoy perusing these recipes and hopefully you'll enjoy adding a taste of tea to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another Great Giveaway at Tea For Me Please

We've got a second giveaway going on until Nov. 30 over at Tea For Me Please. Simply follow the instructions on the blog posting to enter the contest. There are lots of ways to enter including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The prize includes: English Breakfast, Lady Londonderry, and China Green Lemon & Mint teas!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Giveaway from Tea Happiness!

Be sure to pop on over to Tea Happiness for your chance to win a three-pack of our gourmet teas! Simply follow the instructions on the blog posting to enter the contest. The prize includes: English Breakfast, Lady Londonderry, and China Green Lemon & Mint teas!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Celebration Savings!

The fall harvest is in full swing and with Thanksgiving around the corner, we'd like to show our gratefulness for you our customers!

To show our appreciation, we're offering 20% off our teas for a limited time! With guests coming to town for a feast, why not add our S.D. Bell Teas to your Thanksgiving menu.

Visit our website, and shop around. When your basket is full, go to check out and at the bottom of the page enter the code 20OFF in the coupon/discount number space.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, leave us a comment to let us know what you are thankful for this year.

Friday, November 2, 2012

More About the Benefits of Tea

First things first — we hope all of our readers are safe and sound after the devastation that Hurricane Sandy has inflicted upon the East coast. We are based in New Jersey and really feel for the people in our state facing so many challenges and for our neighbors in NY and CT.  Once everything is back to normal, we hope everyone can decompress and unwind with a nice warm cup of tea — or if they can get their hands on one now, we promise it helps! 

In the meantime, we wanted to share yet another great article from the Washington Post about the benefits of tea. The fifth annual International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health was held on Sept. 19 and results from some recent studies were shared. The bottom line was that just about every single cell in the human body could potentially benefit from tea, with virtually no downsides.

All true tea (white, green, oolong and black - not herbals) comes from the Carmellia sinensis plant, which is composed of about one-third flavenoids, which are highly-beneficial to human cells. Professor Jeffrey Blumberg, chair of the symposium, said that "a serving of tea is like adding a serving of fruits or vegetables to your diet."

Here are some of the proven benefits of tea (the full article lists more):

It helps your heart
by keeping blood vessels unclogged and flexible. Blood pressure and stroke risk were reduced in epidemiological and clinical studies (even with sugar added).

It improves bone health. After drinking four to six cups of green tea daily for six months, post-menopausal women with low bone mass (osteopenia) achieve improvement in bone strength and muscle mass.

It can help your thinking. Tea helps your brain receive better blood flow and oxygen, reducing stress and inflammation, which results in improved cognitive function.

It can help you lose weight. Not only does tea have fewer calories than most beverages (zero without milk and sugar), but certain compounds in tea, and especially green tea, have been found to burn body fat.

Check out the full article for seven great tips for tea drinkers who want to improve their health!

Friday, October 26, 2012

World Tea East is a Success!

We had a great time at the World Tea East show in Philadelphia earlier this month. We made our debut at this show in 2011 so it was really special for us to return to the expo center a year later, having expanded our place in the US tea market and learned a lot more about the business.

One of the things we like best about being in the tea business is the people - we meet such warm, passionate, smart people at these events! As much as we are sharing knowledge about our product, the attendees and exhibitors at tea shows like World Tea East are really teaching us. This year's show had about 100 booths and more than a thousand attendees.

We're already looking forward to next spring's World Tea Expo and next fall's World Tea East show!

Our founders, Rob & Amy Milo, at our booth at World Tea East!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Night of Tea, Friendship and Learning

Last month we headed over to nearby Ana Beall's Tea Room in Westfield, N.J. for a tea tasting event.
The two of us who represented Best International Tea had never been to a formal tea tasting so it was a great opportunity for us to learn more about various varieties of tea and share our product with the other guests.

Nancy Baker, the owner of Ana Beall's, is extremely knowledgeable about tea and she put together a great program that included tasting six different teas in a progression from the lightest White Tea to a strong Pue'rh. In between we tried Green, Oolong and two different Black Teas including our English Breakfast tea. Nancy's method included a full sensory evaluation of the tea that included passing it around for everyone to experience the appearance and aroma of the dry leaf, smelling and tasting of the brewed tea and finally appearance and aroma of the infused leaf.

We learned a lot about tea harvesting and processing over in China and India from Nancy as well as one of the attendees who grew up in India. She gave us some great firsthand insight into how the tea plantations work.

Ana Beall's offers a large variety of teas and has delicious food and sweets. They also host tasting events like this and cooking courses throughout the year. We highly recommend paying them a visit if you are in the area! Check out their website here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Another Plus for Black Tea

It seems like we always touting the benefits of black tea but the good news just keeps rolling in for our favorite beverage. The latest study notes that black tea enhances relaxation and mental focus.

 Multiple studies by the Lipton Institute of Tea revealed that drinking a few cups of tea a day increased alertness and enhanced daily activities. After drinking two to three cups of tea, participants improved performance across all attention tasks and felt an increased sense of alertness.

Researchers attributed the key ingredients in black tea — Theanine, Caffeine and flavanoids — help improve the ability to focus attention. "Attention is an essential aspect of cognitive functioning in that it allows us to process a combination of continuous and complex information," said researcher Dr. Jane Rycroft. "Hence, the attention benefits of tea are very relevant to everyday life."

Read more about this study here and brew a cuppa for your brain today!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bagged vs. Loose Tea - Is it All the Same?

There's some debate over the flavor and quality of bagged tea versus loose teas. While we are partial to loose teas, we do carry seven flavors of bagged teas and think if the product is of a high quality, it can taste just as delightful.

Because of its convenience, bagged tea is by far the more popular format in the United States — it is quick and easy to brew and it's portable. New products are entering the market daily and with unique flavors such as fruit-infused green teas or unique takes on traditional black tea, the market is becoming saturated. Bagged tea is available for purchase nearly everywhere you go, from the grocery store to the convenience store.

Loose tea, however, can be more difficult to find — tea stores or specialty grocers are most likely to carry it — and takes a little longer to brew. One must measure out the tea and use a strainer or special tea pot to catch the loose leaves. However, it's widely accepted that the flavor of loose tea is just plain better. The larger leaves hold up much better to the hot water and infuse it with a richer flavor than the smaller bits that fill tea bags.

We are excited about the new trend of larger tea bags, often triangular shaped, that hold much larger leaves than the bits in traditional tea bags. There's a place for loose and bagged teas in our lives — for when we have the time to brew or when we're really on the go! And the bottom line, as long as you are drinking quality tea like our S.D. Bell teas, you can't go wrong with loose leaf or bags.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Decaffeinate Your Own Tea

Sometimes we want a cuppa when it's late at night but don't want to be kept awake by the caffeine. Our favorite loose teas contain caffeine, but there are some easy ways to decaffeinate your own tea without sacrificing flavor and quality. It's not possible to remove 100% of the caffeine, but you can get nearly all of it out and since a cup of tea contains much less than a cup of coffee, we think you'll still have no problem sleeping.

Here's a simple way to decaffeinate loose tea:
1. Boil water for your tea — twice the amount that you'd normally use
2. Put your tea leaves in the cup or teapot and pour enough hot water over them to cover the leaves
3. Steep the tea for 30-45 seconds, making sure all the leaves are saturated. 80% of the water soluble caffeine in tea is released in the first 30 seconds of brewing.
3. Pour off that water using a strainer to catch the tea leaves
4. Put the leaves back in the cup/pot and steep with fresh water as normal. You may want to add a little time to ensure the tea is at your favored strength. It should still taste perfect!

This trick also applies to bagged teas — just steep the bag in hot water for 30 seconds before pouring it out and adding fresh water. You can also share a tea bag with a friend, brewing your cup first and then giving it to the person who does not want caffeine. There's plenty of flavor to go around.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tea After Dark

There's been a lot of fun discussion lately about the use of tea in cocktails. Teas contain so many unique flavors that infusing them into alcoholic beverages can make for some unique tasting beverages. While it's not a new idea — it dates back to the British Empire — bartenders and restauranteurs are taking it to a new level.

Some interesting new takes include an Earl Grey MarTEAni, black tea infused cognac and fruit flavored tea spiked with champagne.

“When it comes to infusing tea into a cocktail, there are actually myriad ways to accomplish this,” suggested tea sommelier Chris Cason, co-founder of Tavalon Tea. “But also, it is important to remember that any good cocktail is about balance, and you don’t want to pair a light tea with a strong spirit or it will overpower it and vice versa.”

Here are a few suggestions for your own tea-based adult beverages:
- Make tea as you normally would and use it as the mixer: warm for a hot toddy or cold for a cool beverage
- Steep tea leaves in the alcohol itself, but not for longer than 45 minutes
- Tea-infused simple syrups can be made my brewing tea then adding sugar and melting it together

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tea for Weight Loss

We have long been reporting articles that tout tea is an aid to weight loss. In addition to the theaflavins and thearubigins in tea that help promote fat burning, the action of sipping tea throughout the day can help keep you both hydrated and sated, leading to a healthier lifestyle.

In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers at Kobe University in Japan found that regular consumption of tea suppressed damaging changes in the blood linked to fatty foods that can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

In the study some mice were given a high fat diet and others a normal diet. Each of these two groups were then split into smaller groups and given water, black tea or green tea for 14 weeks. Both types of tea suppressed body weight gain and the build-up of belly fat linked to a fatty diet.

But black tea, which is used in most ordinary cuppas, also counteracted the harmful effects on the blood normally associated with a high-fat diet.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Staying Hydrated with Tea

Though the summer heat is disappearing, it's important to remember to stay hydrated every day. While water is the best thing we can drink, tea (iced or hot) is also a great way to quench your thirst.

Because tea has so many health benefits — weight control, prevention of heart disease and diabetes and more — it's certainly a great alternative to sugar-filled beverages with empty calories. Tea is the second-most consumed beverage in the world (behind water) and every country enjoys it differently.

One of the other benefits of tea over other beverages is that the caffeine content is relatively low, especially compared to coffee or caffeinated sodas. An eight-ounce cup of tea contains just 40 milligrams of caffeine while the same amount of coffee has 80 to 120 milligrams.

Check out this article for a few more details on the benefits of sipping tea throughout the day to keep your body well hydrated and healthy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brew Do's: Drink Tea Like Local

Tea etiquette is a big part of culture abroad and it can be an awkward situation if a traveler is unfamiliar with local custom. That's why we love this article from the Wall Street Journal that teaches you how to drink tea like a local, wherever you might be!

Here are some snippets on how to blend in abroad and a link to the full article with more tips here.

In Turkey ... only use sugar in your tea, no milk or cream

In China ... make sure to pour your guests tea before yours and try tapping twice on the table (mimics a double bow) to say "thank you" after a cup is poured for you

Tea time in Japan can take hours. Don't have time? Try a cup of green tea (without milk or sugar) from a restaurant or cafe.

Don't be intimidated by "high tea" in Britain - it's not really formal and started as a working class meal. Afternoon tea is the proper term for this late-day pick me up.

In Germany ... if your tea is served in layers of sugar, tea, milk, etc - don't stir it, enjoy it as is.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tea Tasting at Ana Beall's in Westfield

Please join us for a tea tasting event at Ana Beall's tea room in Westfield, NJ next Weds. Sept 19!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Getting Ready for World Tea East

First a quick reminder - if you are reading our blog (thank you!) please be sure to "like" us on Facebook by clicking here and follow us on Twitter at @onlythebesttea 

In less than a month, Best International Tea will make its second annual appearance at the World Tea East show this October 2-3, 2012. World Tea East is a regional trade event that supports the growing demand for specialty tea and related products on the East coast of the United States. Attendees can visit Best International Tea at booth number 406.

World Tea East was the first big tea show that we ever exhibited at and we had a fantastic time in 2011. We are excited to return to Philly and interact with so many other great East coast tea vendors, buyers, and fans.

World Tea East 2012 will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia with nearly 100 exhibitors and 1600 buyers expected to attend — nearly double the participants from last year.

For details about the World Tea Expo, visit the website at

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tea Party Mistakes to Avoid

Last week we shared some great tips for a successful tea party and we hope you are all able to put them to good use! Of course to go along with our tea party "do's" there's also some real "don'ts" and we have those for you this week. These relate mainly to a children's tea party, though some rules still translate to adults.

Here are some tea party planning mistakes to avoid, courtesy of

1. Planning a tea party for a child who is too young: Little children are just too young to really enjoy and appreciate a tea party. Try waiting until they are at least five years old.

2. Inviting too many guests: In many cases, the more the merrier, but if there are too many children (or adults) running around, it will be hard for anyone to relax and enjoy their tea. A smaller group also keeps costs down.

3. Not setting a time limit for your party: Anywhere between one and a half and two hours is plenty of time for your first tea party.

4. Not involving your child in the party planning: Involving your child in the planning will increase her interest and desire to host events again and again. Let her help choose and address invitations and accept RSVP calls. The two of you can also plan the menu and activities together as well as any party favors.

5. Overdoing the menu: Keep your menu simple yet special and don't forget that children's tastes are less sophisticated than adults. Scones, cookies and tea sandwiches are great, but make them in kid-friendly varieties and don't worry about making everything from scratch.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tea Party Tips

Tea parties are so popular these days and we have a variety of teas that go well with food and are perfect for an afternoon cuppa with friends. Some of our favorite tea party teas are our English Breakfast, Lady Londonderry and China Green Strawberry & Vanilla.

Here are some great tea party tips from an article on Squidoo.

Tea Party Tips and Etiquette 

Tea Party tips and etiquette. Use your best china for a tea party. Teacups and saucers are preferable to heavy mugs. Invest in a small tea service (teapot, milk pitcher, sugar bowl, size teacups and saucers and six cake plates).

Use cloth napkins - cotton or linen at a tea party.

Present the food attractively at a tea party. Cover your tray or cart with a tray cloth, doilies or a pretty napkin. A single rose in a bud vase, or a basket of seasonal fruit adds warmth to the scene. Arrange food on a three tiered cake stand.

Atmosphere is important at a tea party. Instead of in the kitchen, serve tea by a crackling fire or in the garden. Decorate with fresh flowers and add the quiet, melodic background music of a harpist or pianist.

As hostess of a tea party, pour the tea, passing it to each guest in turn, adding sugar cubes if requested.

Your ladies might want to wear victorian hats and crocheted gloves at your tea party.

Give party favors at your tea party. Tea party favors vary and you can use your imagination and give according to your tea party theme.

Conversation should be light and fun-filled at a tea party, no gossip or deep subjects that can be disturbing to others.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Seven Unique Uses for Tea Bags

Clearly we think the best thing you can do with our tea bags is brew a lovely, warm cup of tea, though it turns out there are some unique uses for them after you finish drinking a cup. And chances are after some of the chores suggested, you'll want to relax again with another cuppa!

Buzzfeed brings us these seven random uses for used tea bags. Turns out you can empty the bag and sprinkle tea leaves around a rosebush as a natural fertilizer. And in case you rub up against the wrong kind of plant while gardening and get poison ivy, press a used tea bag against the itchy area for relief!

Tea also makes a great cleanser and conditioner for both your wood floor and your hair! Read about all the unique uses here.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

These Folks Loved Our Tea ... You Will Too!

As relative newcomers to the United States tea market, we are always looking to send our tea out to reviewers to get their opinions. There are lots of great people out there who are knowledgeable about tea and really take their time to try it and write thorough reviews. We find it amazing how everyone tastes a little something different even though they are drinking the same tea.  Thanks to everyone who has reviewed our tea! has done a nice job of helping us distribute our tea to several tasters and they have written really positive reviews of our S.D. Bell's Natural Leaf Black Tea. Click the name of the reviewer before the quotes below to read their full reviews. If you are a tea blogger or reviewer, please contact us and we'll be happy to share some tea for you to try.

Melanie said:
"I found the milk nicely evened out the acidity of the Assam, but also masked some of the maltiness. It also brought out the fruity tones of the Ceylon. It has just the slightest background note of peaches or apricots. Prepared with my normal amount of milk and sugar, it was a really lovely cup of breakfast tea!

Shaiha's take: 
"What did I think? Well I really liked it. Lately I have really been leaning towards Darjeeling when I have been drinking black teas however this tea does make for a nice change. And as it makes a nice second pot of tea, I have added it to my list to pick up."

CJ is a fan:"To describe S.D. Bell's English Breakfast as a "good cup" is a bit of an understatement.   Black tea is probably my favorite consumable. ...  If a person had never tried black tea before, drinking Bell's English Breakfast would be a great way to introduce them to the concoction. ... In three to five minutes, you'll have tea that any Irish man or woman would be proud to serve and drink."

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Look at Our Roots

Good afternoon! Hope everyone has had a nice week and is looking forward to starting their weekend with a relaxing cuppa.

Today I thought I'd borrow from a blog over in Belfast to let our followers learn a bit more about where Best International Tea comes from. As you probably know, we are the North American importers of S.D. Bell Teas from Belfast, N. Ireland. Four generations of the Bell family have been crafting fine teas and coffees for 125 years over in Belfast. They also run a very popular cafe in town.

Take a look at this great post from the Hidden Belfast blog to read more about how our teas are served and enjoyed over in Northern Ireland.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Cup of Tea is Good for Your Heart

We all know that a freshly-steeped cuppa can warm your heart and soul, but this recent study proves that black tea is literally good for your heart! Drinking black tea can help lower risk factors for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. From the article:
"In the study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, drinking three cups of tea for 12 weeks (with no milk or sugar) led to highly significant reduction in blood sugar levels and triglycerides, which are unhealthy fats. Triglyceride levels fell by a whopping 39 percent in males and 29 percent in females.

In addition, drinking tea led to an increase in levels of HDL cholesterol, long considered to be the ‘good’ type of cholesterol."
Click here to read the rest and toast a cup of tea to your heart!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Keep Calm & Brew a Cuppa

Tea is not only a great individual soother, but also a relationship-builder.

A fun study out of Ireland shows that 80 percent of Irish people think tea is a source of comfort and 84 percent drink it when they are trying to relax and unwind. Because tea is so important to individuals, it also brings a deeper value to relationships when it is shared. The study also showed that 57 percent of people feel that someone truly knows them if they make them a cup of tea to their liking.

Dr Eddie Murphy, Clinical Psychologist said, “Small courtesies, warm smiles and making a cup of tea the way someone likes it, shows recognition and awareness - that you care about them.
“When people make tea for someone they’re making an emotional connection which in turn increases fondness and trust, thus enabling the relationship to grow and develop.”

So in addition to making you feel relaxed and calm yourself, a cup of tea might just strengthen a friendship too!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Cup a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

We really enjoyed reading this article in Oprah magazine and it can also be found online here. It outlines the unique health benefits of specific kinds of tea. The following is courtesy of

It can warm your soul or cool you off on a sweaty summer day—but did you know that tea can also prevent the formation of brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease? And that's not all: A potful of research is showing how various brews can ward off pathogens, hypertension, even cancer. Check out these four healing cups; we'll wait while you put the kettle on.

Darjeeling (Click here for Best Tea's version)
The Brew
This delicate infusion—considered by many to be the best tea in the world—is made from plants grown in the Himalayan foothills of India's Darjeeling region.
The Benefits

More than half the global population harbors a pathogen called H. pylori; 15 to 20 percent of those people develop ailments including ulcers, gastritis, and gastric cancer. But in a recent study, scientists found that various teas inhibit H. pylori—and that Darjeeling steeped for five minutes has the greatest effect. Just hold the milk; it can block the activity of compounds in the tea.

Oolong (Click here for Best Tea's version)
The Brew
The leaves of this elegant Chinese tea are semi-fermented—allowed to wither briefly, then bruised to spur oxidation, and dried before the enzymatic process is complete. Oolong's varieties range from light and sweet to thick and woody.
The Benefits

According to a study of more than 1,500 subjects, a half cup to two and a half cups daily of oolong tea or the more famous health star green tea can lower a person's risk of hypertension by 46 percent. Oolong and green tea are rich in antioxidants that help control an enzyme that raises blood pressure.

Black (Click here for Best Tea's version)
The Brew
When tea leaves are allowed to fully ferment, they develop the bold, tannic, earthy flavor of black tea. (Its color, though, is closer to red.)
The Benefits

Four antioxidant compounds (called theaflavins) found in black tea appear to protect the brain from disease in a very specific way. Last year a group of German researchers published findings stating that these compounds prevented the formation of senile plaques (likely by binding to amino acids that would have otherwise formed the plaques), which contribute to the development and progression of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Welcoming Two New Additions

Best International Tea is excited to announce two big additions to our line — we will now be importing S.D. Bell premium chocolates and coffees! The line currently features five varieties of chocolate bars and three types of coffee.

From its home in Belfast, S.D. Bell has been blending and crafting Britain’s finest coffees, teas and chocolates for 125 years. The S.D. Bell coffees now available for the first time in the United States include: Brazil Santos (full-flavored, medium roast), Kilimanjaro Blend (smooth, dark roast) and American Roast (medium roast from Honduras). The handmade chocolate line includes milk and dark chocolates, peppermint crème, dark chocolate with chili pepper and milk chocolate with roasted almonds.

Watch for the new products to appear on our website in the coming weeks!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The World Tea Expo Has Arrived

It's finally here! We've been waiting months for our trip to the 2012 World Tea Expo in Las Vegas. The show started yesterday, June 1, and will run through Sunday, June 3.

If you are at the show, please be sure to stop by our booth, number 323, to sample our English Breakfast Tea. We are having a great time meeting so many fellow tea lovers, sharing our tea with them and trying out other teas and tea products, gadgets and more. There are so many creative, smart tea drinkers and it's a great environment here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Best International Tea would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day!

We also extend our deepest gratitude for those who have given their lives so that we may be free to live ours. They made the ultimate sacrifice to protect liberty! We are also very proud of all of our veterans and current servicemen and women who keep America safe.

Let's raise a glass of iced tea to them on this warm Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Prepping for the Big Show!

Anyone who has ever enjoyed a Broadway show or a big festival knows that there is a lot of work done behind the scenes to make the finished product beautiful and entertaining. Of course when the prep is well done, it makes the finished product look effortless!

Behind the scenes work at a trade show is no different. Like hundreds of other exhibitors, we are busy preparing for our World Tea Expo debut, coming up June 1-3 in Las Vegas, Nevada! A show of this magnitude is a huge undertaking for World Tea Media to put on, getting the expo center to hold many exhibitor booths and attendees, preparing individual booths, signage, ticketing, refreshments and so much more.

For us, the prep starts months in advance, as our Best International Tea team brainstorms about what message we want to deliver at the upcoming show. We think about what worked and didn't work at previous shows and make long lists of what we will need to bring to the next event. This includes everything from our tea to sample and sell to booth decor to paper towels!

With the World Tea Expo being all the way out in Vegas, we have to ship all of our supplies out ahead of time. This week we are packing everything up — packaging it carefully, of course — and getting it ready to ship out in a big crate. Our supplies will be waiting for us when we arrive in Las Vegas and we'll unload it and make our booth look as wonderful as our tea tastes.

We can't wait to share our tea and make new friends this year at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter

Happy Friday fellow tea lovers!

Our S.D. Bell teas may be 125 years old, but we are very much in the 21st century! We'd love it if our readers on here would "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Click here or the link on the right to be directed to our Facebook page ( and follow us on Twitter by clicking here or link on the right.

We'll post specials, tea musings and ideas!

Monday, May 7, 2012

More on Tea and Health

Happy Monday readers!

In keeping with the theme of tea's health benefits, here's another article from SELF magazine via

Here's a brief excerpt, click here to read the rest.
Java junkies, this blog’s for you: As a coffee lover myself, I would never suggest giving it up entirely, but it’s worth considering trading a cup or two a day for a different brew—tea. As with coffee, the caffeine in some teas is linked with reducing your risk for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and more, and tea contains antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds. But research now suggests that certain teas boast special perks, which means you can select the specific leaves that can help you reach your personal health goals! Customize your cup today with one of these good-for-you sips.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Toast to Your Health ... With Tea!

Okay back to those wonderful health benefits of tea! Here are some specific ailments that tea has been shown to positively impact:

Heart Health:
Current research shows that drinking tea can offer significant heart benefits from reducing heart attack risk to lowering bad cholesterol. A Harvard study found that those who drank a cup or more of black tea every day had a 44% reduced risk of heart attack. Further, a six-year study from the Netherlands found a 70% lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily. Additional studies have found that tea drinkers also have lower blood pressure.

Cancer Prevention:
The antioxidants found in tea combat free radicals that can contribute to the growth of abnormal, cancerous cells. One recent study found tea drinkers to have a 42% reduced risk of colon cancer compared to non-tea drinkers. Additionally, the consumption of black tea has been associated with significantly reducing the risk of the most common form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma.

Neurological Benefits:
A study featuring 30,000 adults found that drinking three or more cups of tea per day was associated with a 69% reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Tea also contains theanine, an amino acid unique to tea that may help prevent age-related memory decline.

Additional Benefits:
• Tea has less caffeine than coffee: Tea has on average 30-40 mg of caffeine per cup compared to 135 mg for coffee, making it a great alternative if java gives you jitters, headaches or indigestion
• Tea protects your bones: Tea drinkers who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, when compared to non-tea drinkers
• Tea helps with you maintain a healthy weight: Tea has no calories, unless you add sweetener or milk and it also helps keep you hydrated

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Tea Time in NJ!

Happy Friday folks!

We're putting the second half of the tea health benefits series on hold in order to share this fantastic news article with you.

Our local paper, The Star Ledger, has a great feature on tea rooms in Northern New Jersey. The article profiles four different types of tea rooms and talks about how tea aficionados are taking back the term "tea party" from the political realm.

We hope you enjoy reading the article as much as we did. Click here to check it out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tea for Thought

It seems as if every day there are reports on the news, talk shows and internet about the health benefits of tea. With so many new stories and ideas, it can get a little confusing! We wanted to break it down for you and the bottom line is — tea is great for your health. We will be blogging two posts about these health benefits. This first one will give you backgrounds on how and why tea is so beneficial to your body.

Why tea? While most people enjoy tea because of its wide variety of delicious flavors and aromas, the warmth and relaxation it provides, tea is also natural, health-enhancing beverage that is high in antioxidants. Naturally, tea contains no additives, preservatives, sodium, fat or sugar and is cholesterol free.

What are the ingredients that make tea so healthy?
Tea contains flavonoids, naturally occurring compounds that are proven to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, which if present can contribute to cardiovascular diseases, cancers and Alzheimers. Tea also contains additional immune system-boosting compounds.

Does it matter what kind of tea I drink? Research has shown that all varieties of tea leaves have beneficial qualities. Black, green, white and oolong tea leaves come from the Camellia sinensis tree and all generally contain the same amount of flavonoids.

Be sure to check back in a couple of days for part two. Don't forget to visit the Best International Tea website to get some premium teas that will taste great and benefit your body and mind.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

The tea world will be taking Las Vegas by storm this June and Best International Tea is thrilled to be a part of the festivities!

The 2012 event will mark S.D. Bell’s first inclusion at the World Tea Expo from June 1-3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  We have already exhibited at the World Tea East in Philadelphia and the Coffee Tea Festival in New York among other events. The World Tea Expo is the world's largest trade show/conference for premium tea and related products.

The flagship product of Best International Tea’s imports is S.D. Bell’s natural leaf English Breakfast Tea, which is sold in collectible tins and cartons of loose tea as well as tea bags. The company also imports 15 different loose tea varieties and five bagged teas from S.D. Bell’s.

For details about the World Tea Expo, visit the website at

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter, Happy Spring!

What a beautiful spring weekend it is here in New Jersey, home of Best International Tea!

Spring has been slow and steady in its arrival here, but daffodils are now blooming everywhere and tulips can't be far behind. It's the perfect season to enjoy a Lady Londonderry or one of our unique Green teas.

Most of all, we would like to wish a very Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all of our friends and customers in the tea world.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Special!

Visit our website to take advantage of a great spring sale - save 50% on all six varieties of our Specialty Tea Bags!

Our boxes include 25 individually foil-wrapped, premium tea bags and are now priced just $6.50!

We offer six flavors: Belfast Tea (similar to English Breakfast), Decaf, China Green, Darjeeling, Peppermint and Lapsang.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1887 Was Quite a Year

2012 marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of S.D. Bell teas and here at Best International Tea, we'd like to think that the best thing to have happened in 1887!

We are very grateful that Samuel David Bell decided to found S.D. Bell & Co, back in 1887 in Belfast, giving us his gourmet, world-class teas that we import to America today courtesy of the fourth generation of his family.

With this milestone anniversary, we got to wondering about what else occurred or started in 1887. Here are just a few of the many events and our thoughts (in italics) ...

• Jan 5: The first U.S. School of Librarianship opens at Columbia University
We are all grateful to librarians for the role they played in our education

Jan 28: Construction of the Eiffel Tower begins in Paris
Both the Tower and the Tea have lasted 125 years, we'll let you decide which is more impressive!

Feb 2: Groundhog Day is first observed in the US in Punxsutawney, PA
Old Punxsutawney Phil told us six more weeks of winter this year but the thermometer says different

•  April 14: Legendary character Sherlock Holmes first appears in written works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
We bet Holmes and Watson would love to relax with a cuppa S.D. Bell after cracking a tough case

June 21: Britain celebrates the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, celebrating the 50th anniversary of her reign, which lasted until 1901. Her 63 years and 7 months on the throne make her the longest-reigning British monarch and she provided over a period of great industrial, scientific and artistic success.
We imagine the Bell family celebrated Queen Victoria with a toast

Aug 31: Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope, which produces moving pictures
Movies have come a long way since 1887 but our tea has stayed a classic

• Nov 15: Painter Georgia O'Keefe is born
Her painting and S.D. Bell tea: both masterpieces!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Best International Tea has been featured in the March issue of Inside New Jersey Magazine. The writer, Karen Prager, does a wonderful job telling our story from the very beginning! I think you'll enjoy getting to know quite a bit more about our founders, Rob and Amy Milo, and the many, many interests they have in addition to tea!

Though it really has not been very long since our intrepid tea undertaking began, Rob & Amy's love of tea runs deep and this is article is a fine retrospective.

Here's a brief excerpt, enjoy the rest of the article by clicking here.
The life that he does have has allowed Milo and his wife, Amy, to do a great deal of traveling over the 46 years they’ve been married.

The Chatham couple’s latest business, Best International Tea, grew out of their many trips to London and their affection for the pleasant ritual of afternoon tea.

“Amy would tell me, ‘We’re not having lunch — we’ll do teatime,’” Milo says. His wife’s favorite tearoom is Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly, and she is also fond of the Claridge’s and the Brown’s Hotel afternoon teas.

From every trip to London, Amy would bring back “plain, black tea — always loose,” she says.

The couple’s longtime friend, Penni Garcia, “knows good tea,” says Milo, and “when she visited her auntie in Belfast, she brought us back some tea.”

Monday, February 27, 2012

Coffee & Tea NY Festival Recap

“I think tea drinkers are the most wonderful people; they’re thoughtful, they want to learn, they want to share experiences. They sip it here, it’s just a wonderful thing to see,” said Amy Milo.
That's such a great quote from our co-founder, Amy Milo, when asked to reflect upon the Coffee & Tea NY Festival that we attended this past weekend, Feb. 25-26. The Best International Tea crew had a great time exhibiting at the event, which was attended by a staggering 5000 people! The event was a delightful celebration of all things coffee, tea and more. The people in attendance had such a desire to learn more about not only about S.D. Bell, but also about the tea growing, processing and brewing process for all teas.

We had so much fun sharing the story of Best International Tea and SD Bell with the crowd and went through nearly 15 gallons of tea giving out samples! That's A LOT of tea. Even more so, we enjoyed touring the other exhibitors' booths and being in such a warm, welcome environment with others who are just as passionate about tea (and coffee!) as we are.

This article has a little more about the show. We hope to post more news from the event as it comes.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Jolly Good Business!

We are so excited to announce that Best International Tea has been featured in this month's issue of Inside New Jersey Magazine! A few months ago a reporter from the magazine interviewed us and we have waited patiently to see the results.

We think the article is great and hope you'll enjoy learning more about how Best International Tea came to be. You can enjoy the article online by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Coffee & Tea Festival

Best International Tea will be exhibiting at the NY Coffee & Tea Festival in two weeks Feb. 25-26) The event is open to the public and with the coupon above, you can get tickets for 1/2 price - either print this out or buy online with the promo code above.

Check out the Festival's website here.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Welcome to the Family

It's been an exciting couple of weeks for us at Best International Tea and we are thrilled to announce that we have expanded our line to include 15 different loose tea varieties and five bagged teas from S.D. Bell's in Belfast!

It all began for us with the English Breakfast Tea, which holds a special place in our heart as the very first S.D. Bell tea we tried and the reason we started Best International Tea. English Breakfast is the perfect tea — smooth, creamy, buttery — and it remains the flagship product in our line.

Now we welcome a whole host of teas to North America and we can't wait for you to try them! Some of the new varieties include: Chamomile, China Green Tea, Earl Gray, Lady Londonderry, Orange Pekoe, Peppermint and more. View the complete line here.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Toast to Your Health with Tea!

We liked this great article from Fitness Magazine, via Yahoo, regarding the health benefits of tea.

Below is an excerpt about black tea, read the whole article here.

Black Tea
What it tastes like
: Strong, earthy, astringent
The health benefits: It helps prevent heart disease and ovarian cancer.
The science behind it: Drinking three or more cups of black tea a day can reduce your risk of heart attack by 11 percent, British researchers recently reported after reviewing 14 years' worth of studies.
Black and green tea also protect against one of the deadliest cancers for women. Sipping just one cup every day will lower your risk of ovarian cancer by 24 percent; having a second cup will lower your risk by 46 percent, according to a Swedish study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. That's because the polyphenols in the tea may inhibit the growth of or even help destroy ovarian cancer cells, says study author Susanna Larsson, PhD. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Another Great Review

The folks over at Tea Review Blog spent some time with our Lapsong Souchong and penned this positive review in the fall.

Here's a sample:
"This tea is a premium quality Lapsang Souchong that is sure to please even the most discerning palate.  Without sweetener, this is a strongly smoky, yet silky tea. With a bit of honey, the nuttier flavors seem to open more."
And the full review can be read here.

Please let us know if you are interested in reviewing our teas and/or selling them in your stores!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tea Reviews!

We love sharing our tea and have enjoyed sending samples to tea reviewers all over the country.

We'll be sharing some of the reviews we've gotten this year, starting with a very positive response from Lainie over at She definitely knows tea and we were thrilled with how much she enjoyed our English Breakfast Tea. Here's a sample:
"I then allowed the tea to steep for six minutes before decanting. Viola! I had a flavorful cup of tea (malty with a slight citrus backnote from the Ceylon) that was still smooth but also had a bit of astringency and kick. Good stuff. In fact, I’ve come to find it quite addictive: I’m normally a Chinese black tea enthusiast, but this is a great alternative to a Yunnan or Keemun in the morning."
And the full review can be read here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Welcome to Our Blog

The past year has been an exciting one for us at Best International Tea. As we entered the business of tea importing, we also joined a great community of tea lovers, many of whom are also bloggers. We have been encouraged by the warm reception of our Belfast teas here in the US and have enjoyed exchanging ideas and reading about tea through blogs, so it's time to join in ourselves!

For those new to our brand, our company was founded by Rob and Amy Milo, who spent 46 years searching for the perfect tea before discovering S.D. Bell's teas from Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Milo's received the tea as a gift and soon contacted the Bell family about importing and the rest is history. Founded by Samuel David Bell in 1887, S.D. Bell remains a fourth-generation family business and is in its 124th year. We started with the flagship product, the English Breakfast Black Tea and are now importing the full line.

We look forward to sharing news from our company as well as ideas and banter about tea on our blog and welcome sharing and comments from our readers!