The Whistling Kettle Serves up Fine Tea in New York, Sees eCommerce Boom with Its Iced Tea Offerings

New York-based The Whistling Kettle is an independent, loose leaf-tea centric restaurant and retailer that’s been serving fine teas in New York's Capital Region since 2004.

Proprietors Kevin and Meahgan Borowsky debuted The Whistling Kettle luxe loose-leaf tea brand after saying farewell to high profile N.Y.C. careers – and they’ve seen a lot of success over the last 20 years.

“We both found a strong love for tea as young adults, not only for its taste but for its effects on health,” said Meahgan Borowsky, president of The Whistling Kettle. “We took advantage of combining that love of tea and created a business we thought was a more modern and accessible interpretation of a tea room. We wanted to be as inclusive as possible, so we ditched the lace, offered a diverse menu and plenty of tea, but had other options like coffee and wine infused cocktails. It took time and patience to change people’s perceptions, but after a few years we became a destination – which prompted us to expand and open additional tea rooms, all of which have been successful.”

The Borowsky’s entrepreneurial growth story reverses the convention of the bricks and mortar leading to an online store, as the duo popularized their distinct tea brand with such success that it supported their first tea-focused restaurant in New York’s destination village of Ballston Spa (just south of Saratoga Springs).

Their other tea-centric cafes in Troy and Schenectady offer a modern interpretation of the traditional afternoon tea with a retail selection, including a “Great Wall of tea” with more than 100 varieties.

This past year saw the opening of a new tea bar and retail shop for The Whistling Kettle – located at the company’s home-base in Albany, N.Y., and the company continues to thrive.

Of course, in addition to the physical locations of The Whistling Kettle, the company’s teas are sold nationally online.

To make it all happen, the company’s in-house team actively sources tea from small farms all over the world. They also blend their own unique and continually evolving array of flavorful teas, supporting their mission of creating luxury teas at a fair price – all with a focus on sustainability.

Summer Iced Tea Cocktails and an eCommerce Boom with Iced Tea

Recently, The Whistling Kettle experienced a summer ecommerce sales boom with its iced teas. The company said this is likely due to record-breaking heat, recent revelations about manufactured sweeteners in prepackaged teas, and the steady rise in online shopping.

The brand’s new summer fruit and classic southern-style iced teas, easy-to-use iced tea brewer, and new BPA-free insulated travel tumbler have all been popular of late.

Inspired by the brand’s summer success, The Whistling Kettle shared recipes for iced summer cocktails – made from some of the brand’s favorite teas – to spice up or cool down summer.

Kettle Tea Sangria

Blood Orange Hibiscus Fruit Tea
Sparkling White Wine

Steep 1/2 cup of blood orange tea, chilled
Pour in 1/2 cup of sparkling wine
Add 1/2 cup lemonade
Pour over ice and garnish with citrus

The Whistling Kettle - Kettle Tea Sangria
Kettle Tea Sangria (Photo: Courtesy of The Whistling Kettle)

Sparkling Sweet Tea

Kettle Iced Tea Blend Tea
Sparkling Wine
Simple Syrup

Brew 3/4 cup of Kettle Blend tea
Add 1/2 cup sparkling wine to chilled tea
Supplement with 1 oz simple syrup
Pour over ice and garnish with a slice of lemon on the edge of the glass

The Whistling Kettle - Sparkling Sweet Tea - Tea Cocktail
Sparkling Sweet Tea (Photo: Courtesy of The Whistling Kettle)

Blackberry Sage Noir

Blackberry Sage tea or other dark berry flavored tea
Pinot Noir
Simple Syrup
Frozen blackberries (optional)

Brew 1/4 cup of berry-flavored tea, chill
Add in 1/3 cup lemonade to chilled tea
Add 1/2 cup Pinot Noir
Supplement with 1 oz simple syrup
Pour over ice and garnish with berries

The Whistling Kettle New York
The tea wall at The Whistling Kettle (Photo: Courtesy of The Whistling Kettle)

Cucumber Melon Sake

Cucumber Melon green tea
Simple Syrup
Cucumber Slice (optional)

Brew ½ cup Cucumber Melon tea, chilled
Pour in ¼ cup Sake
Add 1 oz simple syrup
Squeeze juice from a slice of lemon
Pour over ice and garnish with cucumber slice

The Whistling Kettle - Cucumber Melon Sake
Cucumber Melon Sake (Photo: Courtesy of The Whistling Kettle)

The Whistling Kettle’s iced teas, hot teas, specialty tea cocktails and mocktails are served at its restaurants in Ballston Spa, Troy, Schenectady and Albany, New York.

To learn more about The Whistling Kettle, visit For tea and barbeque pairings for the summer, check out the The Whistling Kettle blog.

The Whistling Kettle - Purple Papayaberry Tea
Purple Papayaberry (Photo: Courtesy of The Whistling Kettle)

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