Argo Tea comprises a group of Chicago-based tea joints, which have gained reputation in the region for their signature teas. Established in June 2003 by Arsan Avikian, Simon Simonian and Daniel Lindwasser, these specialty tea restaurants of Illinois serve a wide variety of teas which include about thirty six types of international teas brewed from leaf teas. This tea specialty group claims to work with different tea farmers internationally and locally to bring the best teas of the world to their customers. The tea cafe chain endeavors to offer its clients the “Argo experience”, which is aimed at fulfilling the “one customer and one cup at a time” motto. Apart from tea, these beverage specialists offer coffee, accompaniment foods and teaware to their customers.
Varieties of Argo Teas
Argo Tea can be broadly classified into:
Green Tea- The company offers about seven varieties of green tea :
- The Japanese Sencha and Matcha blend
- Genmachia- Japanese green tea with roasted, popped rice
- Green Tea Chocolate Mint- a chocolaty and mint flavored beverage with actual chocolate and mint infused into it
- Green Tea Ginger Twist- a strongly flavored tea with ginger bits and a hint of lemon for citrus flavoring.
- Moroccan Mist- this is a Moroccan styled drink made with mint
- Green Tea Strawberry- strawberry and vanilla flavoring is imparted to this tea by infusing strawberry and vanilla.
- Green Tea Cinnamon Orange- orange and cinnamon flavorings are imparted to the tea by the inclusion of orange peels and cinnamon in the tea.
The distinguishing feature of these Argo teas is that unlike many other flavored teas, the flavor is imparted by the inclusion of the natural flavoring ingredients and not by the usage of chemical flavoring agents.
- Black Teas- nine different flavors of teas constitute this class
- Indian black teas- the Nilgiri, Darjeeling Champagne and Masala Chai which are aromatic teas. Masala Chai is a blend of the Indian spices of ginger, cinnamon and cardamom with vanilla flavoring.
- Earl Grey Crème, Black Currant, Mango Mambo, Ginger Peach and Carolina Honey are the other flavors of black tea. Mango mambo and black currant are teas with the flavor of mangoes and black currant respectively. Carolina honey expresses honey flavoring with shades of citrus flavoring imparted by lemon. Earl Grey Crème has an interesting blend of bergamot and vanilla flavoring. The English breakfast tea is a blend of the Asian teas of Chinese and Assamese varieties.
- Red Teas- teas of this class are of four different varieties- Red Tea, Green Rooibos Vanilla, Rooibos Chai and Rooibos pomegranate, all of which are based on Rooibos variety of tea. The Argo tea labeled as ‘red tea’ uses the South African Rooibos as the base ingredient. Apart from pomegranate, the Rooibos pomegranate tea also includes vanilla.
- Rare and White Teas- the Blueberry white tea consists of a rare blend of blueberries and white tea. The oolong Formosa is a rare, partially oxidized, Taiwanese tea . Another variety is the pomegranate white tea which is a rare and delicious blend of the fruit with white tea leaves.
- Herbal teas- this class constitutes about five aromatic varieties of herbal Argo teas which mostly include hibiscus. Almond, dried fruits, rosehip, cocoa, vanilla, mint, sweet apples and dried cherries are the ingredients that enhance the taste and nutritive worth of these teas.
The teas are served hot or cold.
Argo Tea Café Specials
Other than tea, the Argo menu comprises of other beverages and foods. These are:
- Seasonal specials- these include summer special coolers
- Signature teas- these delightful teas are made with the different classes of tea varietals discussed above
- Coffee- apart from tea, coffee is the second best beverage of Argo Tea. Organically cultivated, it is made with superior quality beans of Arabic coffee taken from countries like Ethiopia, Sumatra, East Timur, Nicaragua and Columbia. Shade-grown, these coffees tend to develop sophisticated flavors.
- Accompaniment foods- they are unique in that they are signature foods of the café chain and are served with tea. These include breakfast bites, fresh pastries, Panini, salads and grains. These foods, which are infused with tea, are also consumed independently.
Argo Tea: Trivia
The range of teaware of Argo Tea chain which includes teapots, tea mugs, tea infuser mugs and iced tea makers is an aesthetically appealing lot made with safe stainless steel.