TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — It might be safe to say that most Americans prefer coffee, rather than a cup of tea, on the morning commute.
However, hot tea has become increasingly popular across the country, and there are a few places in Tahlequah to purchase it in celebration of National Hot Tea Month.
One of the most popular places to find coffee in Tahlequah – The Drip – is also a place to find a hot cup of tea. Manager Sarah Cookson said The Drip sells virtually the same amount of tea as coffee.
"It really just kind of depends on the time of day," said Cookson. "Early mornings, we tend to do more coffee, and then later throughout the day we start to get more teas."
The Drip offers white, green, black, herbal, matcha and chai teas. The shop serves Rishi tea, so it's all loose leaf, each with its own strength.
"White teas have little to no oxidation," said Cookson. "As you go up to greens, oolongs and blacks, they start to get more oxidation, which means more caffeine. So our herbals have none at all. Those are the only ones we sell that don't have caffeine; it's more just about the flavor."
Cookson said the most popular teas ordered at The Drip are the chai tea lattes or green tea matcha lattes, because they tend to be a little sweeter and creamier. She added that the teas will cost less, until syrup and coffee are added.
"You can do a dirty chai and then you add espresso into it," she said. "So you get the tea and the coffee at the same time, but you're getting more of the tea flavor."
The Drip is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Just down the street from The Drip on Muskogee Avenue, RiverHawk Nutrition has become known for its cold energy teas and shakes. With temperatures dipping into the teens throughout the week, people might want to try hot teas.
"All of our regular teas have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee," said owner Jonathan Gammill. "You also burn about 90-100 calories drinking them. Then we have green teas that are a different kind of hot tea, because the green teas don't burn calories. They're just hydrating green teas."
Customers can purchase original green tea or pomegranate green tea at RiverHawk Nutrition, and the store's "regular teas" come in original, lemon, raspberry, peach, chai and cinnamon. Customers can also opt to add an Herbalife Liftoff for extra caffeine in their teas.
RiverHawk Nutrition is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For locals that would like to make their tea at home, Reasor's Foods carries a plethora of options, including Bigelow, Celestial, Twinings, Good Earth, Best Choice, Stash and Traditional Medicinals. Brittany McBride visited Reasor's Tuesday, and on her grocery list was Celestial's Sleepytime Tea.
"I like to get the Sleepytime Throat Tamer, because I always seem to have an itchy throat," said McBride. "I guess the licorice and whatever slippery elm bark is, is supposed to soothe your throat. It works for me and helps me go to sleep at night, so that's why I get it."
Whether its to gain some energy, fall asleep, help someone feel better, or just enjoy the taste, Tahlequah's shops and stores can fill any hot tea needs this January.