A Pacific Northwest company, Velvet Monkey is headquartered in McMinnville, Oregon.

For the best cup of tea, regardless of type, abandon the tea bag and switch to loose lea, the best teas available on the market. Fresh loose leaf renders more taste, aroma, and antioxidants. What is often available in tea bags are tiny flecks of leaves that fit within the confines of the bag, whereas loose leaf is allowed to literally unfurl itself during the steeping process. Loose leaf also lends itself well to resteeping, cutting the cost in half or more. The average cost of loose leaf tea, even premium blends, is 33 cents per cup. When compared to buying a morning latte, even the finest tea is an economical choice—not to mention calorie-free.