November 30, 2011, 9:15 AM

Reading the leaves

Republic of Tea tries to make the search for the perfect leaf as painless as possible.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Black, oolong, green, 100% white, rooibos—buying tea can be daunting even for those sippers who’ve long since graduated from Lipton. But Republic of Tea tries to make the search for the perfect leaf as painless, and visually enjoyable, as possible. The journey starts near the top of the RepublicofTea.com home page. Consumers can click on such categories as Tea Varieties or Tea Collections, or, just below, types of tea that are matched with their respective images—black, for instance, with the leaves in a tiny pile above the name. Once the shopper arrives at the black tea page, he is presented with more choices, all neatly arranged in tabs below a larger image of the leaves: unflavored black, black full-leaf, black tea bags and so on. One can almost smell the scents rising from the cup.

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