I don’t normally write posts about tea, but since I cannot drink coffee, I often get bored with the same old tea flavors. I thought I would try out a tea club so that I could experience different teas from around the world. Box clubs seem to be very popular now, so why not include tea?
The True Tea Club is a UK based company that specializes in sending boxes a variety of four teas from around the world every month to subscribers. These are loose teas, and require the use of an infuser. Here are some FAQ’s about their subscription, including costs. There are definite benefits to subscribing to a monthly tea box, but there are also drawbacks, especially if you have specific allergens and tastes. Let me elaborate.
Tea, in my case, comes with a myriad of ingredients that I need to avoid, such as nuts, and flavors I do not care for, such as Earl Grey and florally teas, as well as any gluten, dairy, or honey. When you first subscribe, you can tailor your selections to your own tastes. I did specify no gluten, dairy or nuts. I later sent an amended email (to which I received no response) stating I wanted no Earl Grey (I hate bergamot), and nothing florally. Having some flowers in the tea is ok, as long as it is not overwhelming. I know, I really fussy about my tea!
If you live in the UK, they will send your tea in an envelope. But live outside the UK, you will receive a box that is full of excelsior. In case you don’t know what excelsior is, think A Christmas Story and the famous leg lamp. Yes, that is excelsior that the dad is throwing all over the floor.
I didn’t think anyone even used that anymore. Both the outer and inner box were full of it. I tried to contain it, but it went everywhere. In fact, I am still finding pieces of it all over my house three days later. It even got into the diffuser and into my tea. Ugh….
I had to buy an infuser as I had discarded my other one on my last move. I am not a big fan of loose teas; they are a bit fussy, but you do get more variety that way.
Once I waded through the excelsior, I extracted four envelopes of tea. You guessed it, Earl Grey!!!!! No one had bothered to read my email, apparently. I was not about to call the UK (no 800 number), so I have sent it, along with another blend that I didn’t care for, to a dear friend. I will elaborate on that later. My apologies for the small type in some of the descriptions; I could not make it any bigger. You can find this information on their website.
These are the teas I received:
Lapacho tea does have side effects and can upset your stomach. I thought it best to avoid considering my tummy issues.
I did like the Tropical Sundance and Orange Crush teas. But it seems that these four teas are a standard first shipment. There was another review on this company and the reviewer received the same teas.
I was a bit disappointed with this subscription service for several reasons.
- I was not able to choose my tea. I saw other flavors on their website that I would like to have tried. Perhaps I will order some of these separately, but…
- The packaging turned me off. Was it really necessary to pack tea in excelsior?
- My email was never answered, or my concerns addressed
- Loose tea is a bit of a pain to make but that is my own preference (they did send four muslin tea bags that could be reused)
I have ordered a tea bag sampler from another company which I will review once I have tried the tea. I can’t say that trying this “box” subscription was worth it. But it certainly opened up my view of tea in general and I certainly won’t be in a tea rut from now on.
What do you think? Have you tried loose leaf tea? Have you tried a box subscription? Share your story in the comments!