Your Favourite Tea Subscriptions
Hi! We’d like to start a new thread talking about all the different tea subscription boxes out there and sharing your experiences with them.
We are Tatjana and Tom from https://teapro.co.uk/ :-)
We started our own tea journey about a year ago when we accidentally stumbled into an artisan tea shop and bought our first Dragon Well Green tea. We were blown away by the taste and started wondering what else we have been missing out on. Turns out quite a lot!
We started exploring different tea types and quickly realised that with over 1500 varieties out there (and that doesn’t even include blends), it can be quite overwhelming!
That’s why we decided to start teapro – a tea journey that guides you through a different tea type each month, so you learn all there is to know about the magical and mysterious world of tea, while sipping our carefully selected premium loose leaf teas.
Our first box starts this May and includes a variety of what we call “magical teas”.
After that, we will be tackling different styles of each tea type every month!
Now that we have introduced ourselves properly, we really just want this to be an open community where people can exchange their experiences about tea subscriptions as we know that there are tons of them out there!
Who wants to go first?
I’ve never tried one. I’ve always been curious about this sort of thing, but since I have a problem of “too much tea” in my house currently (and have been working hard to clean the cupboards out!) I’ve always been worried about a service that meant “guaranteed tea” coming in every month and quickly having too much to deal with. I do know if I ever tried one out, I’m more interested in ones that give you samples from lots of different vendors, and not one that only gives you a selection from a single vendor, since I prefer sampling a wide variety.
I’ve never tried one because they are usually quite expensive and there are some food sensitivities I worry about (and also some dislikes like grapefruit and licorice root). Also shipping tends to be expensive to Canada. Instead, I usually order sampler sizes (10g or less) from companies like 52Teas or Amoda or TeaBento. I usually do not buy larger quantities except for tried and true favourites.I already have too many teas and I will never get through 50g of a tea unless it is one of my top favs.
I had an Eco-Cha Tea Club subscription for over a year, and you’re right, it was a lot of tea, especially as it was 75 g of the same thing. It’s now USD$35, which is a bit expensive in Canadian dollars ($15 per ounce, if you’re wondering). Nonetheless, it was some of the best Taiwanese tea I’ve had and I’ll be sad when it’s gone.
I’ve done a few (Amoda, Sipsby, Tea Sparrow, A Quarter To Tea), but I’ve never stuck with one for longer than three months.
Generally I found either that I was being sent too many kinds of tea that didn’t interest me without a way to filter them out, that the teas being selected for me were too similar to what I’d received in past months (even if I did enjoy them), or for subscriptions that were more tailored to my personal taste preferences and/or that sourced samples from outside companies I was often being sent samples of things that I already owned…
There are a few subscriptions that I would be interested in partaking in, like the White2Tea one, but the Canadian shipping cost on top of the dollar conversion amount has made it challenging to justify trying them out.
Paying for shipping every month instead of making big orders a few times a year definitely adds to the cost. I think a subscription is only worth it if you’re new to tea and want to try many things out or if you can’t get the teas you want any other way, as with the Eco-Cha club.
I did the Verdant Tea subscription for a few months. It was nice to get some new things to try, but there’s some stuff I still haven’t gotten to since I haven’t stopped coming up with teas on my own that I wanted to try. Verdant’s boxes have been (I’ve only gotten the three) all from one grower, so there’s little variety. It’s a nice deep dive (here’s 15 g each of five Anxi oolongs!), but it also means a box could easily be entirely a bust.
So yeah, at this point for me, after a few months and the novelty wears off and I just feel inundated with tea I didn’t pick, which I don’t drink because I have other stuff I am more excited about.
@Mastress Alita I can totally relate with the “too much tea” problem! We have teas literally falling out of cupboards when we open them.
The funny thing though is that we end up having too much of some teas and somehow still manage to run out of our “favourite teas”… haha it’s quite a phenomenon! It usually happens from getting full size packages of teas and then not liking them. I guess in that sense, getting tea subscriptions where they send you smaller sample sizes is better, so at least if you don’t like it, you won’t have tons of it at home and if you do like it a lot you can always order more of that specific tea.
What are your favourite teas?
I’m kind of interested in educational boxes that provide deep dives into one particular tea type, such as those by Verdant and Teaful, but getting five iterations of something you don’t like is a risk. And yes, it’s funny how we can have cupboards full of tea and yet regularly run out of our favourites. :)
I’ve had a few tea subscriptions, and am currently subscribed to A Quarter to Tea and 52teas. The appeal there is the new things every month, and limited quantities; a subscription guarantees that I’ll get everything. I imagine I’ll get bored of them at some point (and sometimes, there are teas I don’t care for), but I’m enjoying it for now. I was also subscribed to Verdant’s boxes for a while (first, a box with blends, and later, a box with all straight teas) – I found that I disliked most of the blends due to ingredients I didn’t care for, so abandoned that one, and the straight tea subscription was more of a cost thing, as I enjoyed it. I was also subscribed to Amoda but although there were some absolute hits, they started trending towards wellness blends, which I have zero interest in.
@Arby – Ordering samples is a brilliant idea. Not every company offers those, but the ones who do are really clever in my view :-)
@Roswell – wow, you really have tried quite a few of them. Yeah, keeping the selection of the teas fresh and exciting is a fair point. Could I ask what shipping cost you would find reasonable for a service like that?
@mountmccabe – hmm… yeah, that’s definitely a big question we considered when starting teapro – what teas to use and whether to collaborate with different brands. In the end, we just decided to be flexible and work with different suppliers depending on the needs of the box. I’ve heard of Verdant tea and they seem to be doing rather well. However, like you I would feel quite restricted getting all my teas from one supplier. It makes the whole experience feel somewhat less adventurous… hehe
It would depend on the size of the box; am I receiving one sample in a large quantity? Four or five samples but small quantities? Four or five large samples? Obviously is the quantity of tea received is larger than I’d be willing to pay more for the shipping – but I’ve seen subscriptions where the Canadian shipping cost is equivalent or higher to the actual value of the tea in the box, and that’s frankly ridiculous.