(Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Transit Tea has us walkin’ on sunshine with its new drinks & earlier hours

April 5, 2023
By Matt Sterner

I’ve had the pleasure of writing about the creative minds behind Transit Tea a few times now, and I’ve enjoyed it every time because I get to carry on a conversation with Manish Shah, who has also owned Maya Tea Company for more than 25 years.

When I ask others about Transit Tea, they immediately confess their love for the beverages.

For instance, it’s the “endless refreshing options” and vegan-friendly drinks that have Tucson Foodie’s social media manager, Hannah Hernandez, head over heels. “The passion and integrity that Manish and Kristin infuse into their products and the experiences produced through Transit Tea is an inspiration,” said Sam Jump, a doer of all things at Tucson Foodie.

(Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Recently, the inventive tea shop celebrated its two-year anniversary at 2645 E. Speedway Blvd. with a buy-one-get-one-free deal. However, don’t get down in the dumps if you missed out on the event back in February because new drinks are upon us — something Shah has playfully named Transit Tea 2.0.

It’s all about the adaptogen

“We’ve simplified the menu, cleaned up our offerings, it’s really focused, but I’ve added a few things,” said Shah. “We used to have a blend called Tulsi, which is Indian holy basil, and I replaced it with an adaptogen blend that has Tulsi in it — that I created. It makes you feel amazing! It’s an herbal tea — has no caffeine — but it’s an adaptogen so it has four or five different things. An adaptogen gives you energy and it just helps your body manage stress. I’ve got four different adaptogens in there, and, holy cow, it makes you feel amazing.”

(Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Avoiding that post-caffeine drag is something on Shah’s priority list and the adaptogen-blend teas really do the job well. The adaptogen is available in sodas and snow cones as well

Also, it’s not always about feeling super alert and amped throughout the day when sipping on a tea — Transit Tea also has your back when a sense of relaxation and ease is what you desire.

(Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

“What’s most exciting about tea is that we get to show off all the gears,” said Shah. “It’s full of antioxidants and all kinds of good juju. Whether it’s traditional tea, or if it’s herbal tea, it’s really good for your blood and you’re doing it for your heart. I feel like tea is a great way of saying ‘where you are and where you want to be.’ So, it’s not just about the variety of flavors.”

(Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

“It’s also about the variety of feelings and impacts that tea could have. And it’s just fun, right? Come on by because you can get that feeling and you can get that flavor.”

New matcha shots

Another new addition to the menu is Transit Tea’s matcha. It’s available to add to most if not all drinks on the menu.

Matcha at Transit Tea (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

“So, the matcha is the opposite of the adaptogen because all of a sudden you’re getting a burst of caffeine and phytonutrients,” said Shah. “It’s a game changer from a pure perspective. At this point, we’re doing it in ways that nobody else is and we have a couple of offerings nobody else can touch.”

They’re whipping the matcha into a shot and then dropping it into your drink, giving you a boost of energy that’s much different from what you’d typically receive from a gas station energy drink.

(Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)
Oh, but they have energy drinks as well

Transit Tea is also dabbling in the energy drink market. The Vibes energy drinks are made by Maya Tea and the shop on Speedway is selling four different types.

“It’s not just caffeine,” said Shah. “We think of energy more holistically like the Moxie, which has lots of caffeine and a lot of L-theanine. Then there’s the Focus which helps you stay dialed in and the Happy, which has just 20 milligrams of caffeine — it’s really light and refreshing.”

Vibes energy drinks by Maya Tea (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

“And then we have Chill, something that only has five milligrams of caffeine, ashwagandha, and other things to kind of relax you at the same time. Plus, the packaging is just beautiful.”

So, with all of these new drinks poppin’ on the menu at Transit Tea, we’re going to need more time in the day to taste them all. Don’t worry about it because they’ve thought of that, too, with new hours of operation.

New hours at the tea shop

As of right now, Transit Tea is opening earlier five days a week at 7 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., Monday through Friday.

“I’ve expanded hours so we can capture that morning traffic,” said Shah. “That’s a big difference and it’s huge for us to be open so early — capturing the early crowd.”

(Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

And, lastly, there’s a chance you caught Transit Tea set up at the Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair (a similar setup to what they have at the Heirloom Farmers Markets). Well, they caught the eye of the Cooking Channel’s “Carnival Eats” as well and will be featured in an upcoming episode.

Keep an eye out for that and keep your energy levels in a healthy state with Transit Tea’s latest beverages. The shop is currently open from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Transit Tea is located at 2645 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information, call (520) 433-2886 and visit transittea.com.

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