Coffee shops exist on almost every street here in Chicago, but with the introduction of Argo tea, it is nice to have new options. And on a warm day like we had yesterday, in Chicago, a cold refreshing tea hits the spot! Argo tea has always been one of my favorite places to take a break and get a drink, like a tea version of Starbucks, but local. Since going gluten-free, I have only stopped here a couple of times in cold weather and ordered a chai.
Yesterday I stopped at the one in Lakeview at 3135 N. Broadway, and asked if they knew which drinks were gluten-free. The employees said they did not know, but thought probably none of them. I was crushed, but I also assumed they may not know about exactly what gluten is. I have gone to places before where people thought gluten was dairy, so you just never know, and sometimes you have to dig for information. First, I tried using my iPhone to search online for answers, but found none. Next, I figured since it was between business hours on a weekday, I would call the main offices and try to get a more detailed answered, and good thing I did. I learned that all of their speciality drinks are gluten-free, including their syrups. All of their loose teas are gluten-free, except for the rooibos caramel. In addition, most of their pre-packaged greens and salads are gluten-free with the exception of the teriyaki chicken. These are located in the refrigerated case. The quinoa salad looked particularly yummy.
I choose the green ginger twist as this one has always been my absolute favorite. It is iced green tea mixed with carbonated water and fresh ginger and goes down way too fast. I love the idea of adding carbonated water to my tea, which is a much more refreshing and healthy alternative to sugar-laden soda. The Tea Squeeze is another favorite of mine which is a mixture of lemonade and hibiscus iced tea and the Mojitea, which is iced tea mixed with fresh mint and lime juice.
I have always been a huge tea fan, and to have a place that offers such a large and unique quality of teas makes it one of my favorite destinations when out and about, and the fact that Argo Tea is local adds to its appeal.
Argo Tea is based in Chicago and opened its first store in June 2003 at the corner of Armitage and Sheffield, since then has expanded throughout the city of Chicago and into Evanston, as well as a few locations in New York City.
When in doubt always do a little research, and hopefully you can get a more definitive answer as to the gluten content. Calling the main office is always a good place to start especially if its during business hours. I find my iPhone to be invaluable when trying to navigate the gluten-free status at restaurants or grocery stores.