I first learned about Typhoo tea during one of my trips to England. Typhoo’s been around since the early 1900s, but I’d never seen it in the U.S. or even heard of it before that trip. It’s not a specialty tea company, and it’s a widely-stocked brand in England and Ireland, but, compared to other brands (including the also-British-made PG Tips) it’s rather difficult to find in the United States – or, at least, in Atlanta.
Having returned from that England trip hooked on Typhoo, I began searching for it here, and for several years reluctantly schlepped up to Norcross (which I consider the Far Side of the Moon) to buy it from The Taste of Britain shop (shoppe?) there. Then my friend Kris discovered that a couple of Publix supermarkets stocked it in their “British Foods” sections, and I later found that Whole Foods stores (well some of them, not all) also sold it. On one of the days a few years ago that I spent driving around the city to find some Typhoo, none of these places had it and so for awhile I resorted to ordering it through an Internet -basedcompany specializing in British foods.
Like any addict, I get a bit nervous when I notice that my Typhoo stash is beginning to dwindle, and I dread the annoying suspense and trouble involved in trying to find a place where I can replenish my supply. Over the years, friends who have learned how fervently I like this brand of tea will locate some and give it to me as a birthday or Solstice present, which is always wonderful. (I’ve been trying to convince my friends and family that at my great age I’d rather they give me edible presents than more knickknacks, and more of my friends and family members are remembering this.)
At any rate, I’d been assuming that, other than the occasional passing fear that Typhoo might go out of business during my lifetime, that the Perpetual Periodic Search for More Typhoo was going to be the only problem associated with making sure I always had some Typhoo in my larder.
Wrong. Last month, having again run out of Typhoo, I began the Great Search. I finally found a box over at the Publix on Clairemont Road (a store I otherwise seldom set foot in). Much to my surprise and chagrin, however, the tea was packaged in an unfamiliar-looking box, and the box contained not the distinctive round, cordless teabags I’d been using for a decade, but standard rectangular-shaped U.S.-style teabags, complete with annoying tag and microwave-unfriendly staple. Boo! Hiss! Could this mean that – gasp! – Typhoo was phasing out its old-style teabags? Did I now have yet another problem associated with keeping on hand an adequate supply of this kitchen staple?
Completely out of Typhoo at that moment, I reluctantly bought the box of offensively-shaped teabags and began using them, wondering how I might manage buying up all the packages of round-shaped Typhoo teabags that remain in the galaxy.
Before undertaking such a tedious quest, I decided to first email the powers that be at Typhoo and find out the relevant facts. Lo and behold, within 24 hours I heard back from someone at the company (further sealing my loyalty to this brand) and the news was good! Here are excerpts of what one Rahul Kale, Typhoo’s “Director of International Business,” wrote in response to my anxious concerns:
In the US market we sell two different type of Typhoo packs – one is a 80 count tea bag pack and another one is a 100 count tea bag pack. The 80 count pack is round tea bags (strong British blend – 3.125 gram tea per tea bags), while the 100 count tea bag pack has string and tag tea bags (American style tea bag with 2.00 gram tea)….We launched both the formats in the American market as there is a demand for both these packs bearing in mind 80% of Americans drink tea in a string and tag tea bag format and as a company we want to be part of the mainstream tea bag market. The consumption for 3.125 gram round tea bags is mainly with the consumers who shop in the Irish and British sets and drink tea with milk….Let me assure you that the demand for 80 count round tea bag is increasing every day in America and it is in fact our best seller.
Kale also reminded me that both World Market/Cost Plus and BigLots stock Typhoo, which was very helpful to know because, for political reasons, I don’t like to spend money at Publix or Whole Foods.
So, then, yay! No need to scour the planet (or the Internet) for Typhoo round-teabag suppliers, or to worry about the disappearance of those little round teabags!
This may seem a trivial subject to celebrate (or to document), but you’d think otherwise if you knew how much pleasure my daily cups of Typhoo bring me…and bring to the many Typhoo converts who first sampled this brand of tea from my teapot. The good news from Typhoo is just one more pleasant minor surprise that’s been part of the new year.
Another pleasant January 2014 surprise: my friend Randall’s thoughtfully providing (as a belated Solstice present) a huge additional stash of Typhoo for Calvin’s kitchen:
I’m throwing away what’s left of those pesky non-round teabags that the Publix so tackily stocked its shelves with, and am making plans – after the stash Randall gave me runs out (probably around my birthday in July) – to make a run to the CostPlus store up in Buckhead for my next stash…or to the BigLots store at Suburban Plaza (if the Wal-Mart that’s running off everything there now hasn’t ruined that option for me).
If you haven’t yet tried Typhoo yourself, beware! Once you have, it’s going to be difficult to want to drink anything else! (It’s most wonderful with half-and-half, by the way.) Oh, and one can buy the loose-tea version as well as the teabag version, and they sell a de-caf variety as well. (And if you like this brand as much as I do, you’re going to want a stash of de-caf so you can drink a cup of Typhoo on cold winter nights.)
Here’s a bunch of photos of what Typhoo tea looks like, so you can spot it quickly on the shelves.
End of commercial plug.