NEW YORK (MainStreet) If you make a habit of reading personal finance articles, you'll probably find the age-old trope: "If only you gave up that daily coffee . . ."
As we settle in for a winter of cold, the temptation to buy a warm, happy drink grows stronger. At most coffee shops, a decent cup costs at least a few dollars, while even the nicest teas and coffees cost less than $1 to make at home. And that includes blends from the tea purveyor for 5-star hotels like the Mandarin Oriental and the Ritz-Carlton.
I reached out to a bunch of prominent tea and coffee companies to see if they could provide samples for a taste test. All brands sent the coffee or tea varieties they most wanted to showcase, and we gladly tried the motley assortment. My husband, Boris, was the coffee expert, and I took the lead on tasting teas. We're not professional taste-testers, but we did our best to follow good practices (new habits I've developed: warming my teapot in advance and being more precise about steeping times).
We chose winners in different categories; there are more tea categories for the simple reason that we received greater and more diverse quantities of tea. There's no decaf coffee category, because we only received a couple samples of decaf and didn't really like them. Same with instant.