Best Tea Subscription Box iMore 2021
A tea subscription box is like a gift that keeps on giving. Whether you gift a subscription to yourself or a loved one, it's a fun way to try new teas that you might not otherwise find. Some tea subscription boxes will be a surprise each month, but some let you pick the teas you want exactly with no surprises. Others, like Free Your Tea use your feedback to curate a special box just for you each month. Here are some of the best tea subscription box services out there.
- Best Overall: Free Your Tea
- Best All-Natural Flavors: Tea Sparrow
- Most Worldly: Tea Runners
- Best Healthy Teas: Simplicity Teas
- Best Community: Plum Deluxe
- Best Price: Dollar Tea Club
- Best for Tea and Coffee Drinkers: Amora
- Best Tea and Herb Shop: Little Woods
- Most Exotic: VAHDAM Teas
- Most Unusual Flavors: August Uncommon Tea
Best Overall: Free Your Tea
Free Your Tea is my favorite tea subscription box model. While each month is a surprise, you do get some say in what teas you'll receive. The first box contains six small tea samples. After tasting each one, you'll rate each tea and share your general tea preferences. Based on your feedback, subsequent boxes will contain a month's worth of tea that you're very likely to enjoy (plus a small sample of a tea that Free Your Tea wants everyone to try.) Read more about Free Your Tea in my review.
- Six samples to try in the first box
- Your preferences and ratings are used to choose future teas
- Disposable filter bags included in the first box
- Pay monthly or save money by prepaying
- A month's worth of just one tea (plus one random sample) in subsequent boxes
Best All-Natural Flavors: Tea Sparrow
You don't need artificial flavors to have tea that tastes interesting, distinctive, and adventurous. Tea Sparrow's Tea Subscription Box contains four envelopes of loose leaf tea that contain only natural flavorings. Each Tea Sparrow Tea Subscription Box has one black, one green, one rooibos, and one herbal tea.
Every month is different. If you prefer, you can get an all-herbal variety. There is enough tea in each box to make up to 35 cups of tea. However, if you follow the suggested brewing strength, it won't stretch that far. Read more about Tea Sparrow in my review.
- Four delicious teas each month: one black, one green, one herbal, one rooibos
- Can choose a "no caffeine" tea subscription box if you prefer
- No artificial flavors
- Money-back guarantee if not delighted
- Can avoid certain ingredients if you wish
- The suggested brewing strength doesn't make many cups per box
Most Worldly: Tea Runners
When you set up your Tea Runners subscription, you can choose which type of box you want: All Black Tea, Herbal Tea, Pure Tea, or Original. The All Black Tea Box contains all black teas, of course. They may be blended, flavored, or pure teas. The Herbal Tea Box contains a variety of caffeine-free herbal tisanes. (Technically, if it's herbal, it contains no tea. Rather, it's a tisane.) The Pure Tea Box can contain black, white, green, oolongs, and pu-erhs but no blended, herbal, or flavored teas. The Original Box is a mix of all the above teas and tisanes. Learn more about Tea Runners in my review.
- Fun theme each month
- Opportunity to try different teas
- Can choose the types of teas you want: Black, Herbal, Pure Tea, or a mix
- Learn about teas from around the world
Best Healthy Teas: Simplicity Teas
Simplicity Teas curates and blends teas for both taste and purpose. Each month, you can learn about the healthful benefits of tea as you sip. Simplicity Teas offers two different sizes of subscription boxes: a smaller one with two teas and a larger one with four. Each mini box contains two different teas, a baggie (10 cups), and a smaller vial (6-8 cups). So, you can make up to 18 cups from the mini box. The regular size box comes with four teas, enough for 40 cups of tea. Note that the regular box comes with free shipping, while the mini box does not. Read all about Simplicity Teas in my review.
- Delicious variety of curated, organic teas
- Two subscription box sizes
- Teas with purpose
- Teas can be steeped twice
- First box come with an infuser
- You can't pick the teas yourself
Best Community: Plum Deluxe
If you're only interested in the Plum Deluxe Tea Subscription Box, that's great. But if you want more, Plum Deluxe has a blog you can follow with tea tips, recipes, and more. There is also an active online community for Plum Deluxe customers to connect with like-minded tea aficionados. Each Plum Deluxe Tea Subscription Box is curated and hand-blended by Plum Deluxe staff specifically for the subscription boxes. The loose-leaf teas are organic and naturally flavored. The standard tea subscription box contains a one-ounce pouch of tea, which is enough to make 15-20 cups. You can choose a regular or caffeine-free subscription. Get all of the details in my review of Plum Deluxe.
- Organic, naturally flavored, hand-blended loose leaf tea
- Tea blog with tips, recipes, and more
- Active online community to connect with fellow tea lovers
- Accessibly priced
- Caffeine-free subscription option
- You can't select preferred flavor profiles
- Flavors I tried were very subtle
Best Price: Dollar Tea Club
If you're looking to expand your tea palette in interesting ways without a large financial commitment, check out Dollar Tea Club. Its lowest price tier is just three small samples for a dollar (plus $5.50 shipping.) Each of the three envelopes contains enough loose-leaf tea to brew two or three cups of tea.
My tea subscription box from Dollar Tea Club contained one decent tea, one terrible tea, and one of the best teas I've ever had! But I enjoy tasting new teas regularly and discovering new favorites, even if I have to kiss a few frogs along the way. Learn more about Dollar Tea Club in my review.
- Low subscription starting price
- Several subscription tiers to choose from
- Ethically sourced
- No artificial flavors
- Did not love every tea
- Don't get to note your preferences until the highest tier
Best for Tea and Coffee Drinkers: Amora
You can get an Amora Tea Subscription Box, or you can get the Amora Coffee Subscription Box, or you can get both. The Amora Tea Subscription Box model is one of the more flexible plans I've tried. You choose precisely which teas you want, how many tins, and how often you want them. Amora offers six varieties of hand-picked, organic, artisan tea. Each tin contains 16 sachets of fresh tea.
If you don't like any of the teas you try, you can exchange it for a different variety. Amora teas are made in small batches, on-demand, and shipped via two-day priority mail. Read more in my review of Amora.
- Flexible subscription model
- You can combine subscriptions and get both coffee and tea
- Artisan, organic tea
- Fresh teas and coffees
- Satisfaction guaranteed
- Not a huge variety of teas (or coffees)
Best Tea and Herb Shop: Little Woods
Little Woods' Tea Passport Subscription Box is a tasty way to try the teas of the season. Each month, you get three one-ounce sample envelopes of curated teas. This is enough to make up to 30 cups of tea. At least one of the teas will be caffeine-free for your evening sips. Also, you get a small sample envelope of a random tea, culinary herb, or medicinal herb each month. The first box includes a tea passport, full of brewing instructions, and a page detailing each tea you receive. Read more about Little Woods in my review.
- Seasonally selected teas
- At least one caffeine-free tea per box
- No repeats in a calendar year
- Detailed brewing instructions included
- First box contains "passport" to take tasting notes on your teas
- No personalized selections
Most Exotic: VAHDAM Teas
Fourth-generation tea entrepreneur Bala Sarda launched VAHDAM to cut the multiple middlemen and bring you Indian tea at the peak of freshness. Each month, you receive five envelopes of different loose-leaf teas. There won't be any repeats over a year, so you'll be trying 60 unique teas.
Each envelope contains 10 grams of tea (about .35 ounces), which can make four or five cups of tea, depending on how strongly you brew it. If you do not enjoy the teas you receive, your money will be fully refunded. Check out my review for more about VAHDAM Teas.
- Teas are sealed and shipped in the prime of freshness
- Taste five interesting new Indian teas each month
- Empower India tea industry on a macro level, giving fair prices to farmers
- Climate Neutral and Plastic Neutral certified brand
- Your money will be refunded if you don't like the tea
- You don't get any say in selecting the teas
Most Unusual Flavors: August Uncommon Tea
Ever wondered what chili and chocolate tea might taste like? How about espresso bean, or bourbon? Tobacco? August Uncommon Tea is the tea for adventurous sippers. The Top 10 Sampler box contains all of the above and comes with 10 envelopes, each containing four tablespoons of loose tea. Two are herbal, one is green tea, one is oolong, and the rest are black teas.
Also included is a plastic tablespoon, which is the amount August recommends that you brew in 10 ounces of water. According to the instructions, you can re-infuse the teas once or even twice. Since this isn't really a "tea subscription box," you can order the sampler or just order whatever strikes your fancy. Read more about August Uncommon Tea in my review.
- Utterly unique tea flavors
- Huge variety of tea types and flavors
- Good selection of gifts and sampler options
- Sort by flavor profile, tea type, or dietary need
- Tea accessories available
- Teas might be too unusual for some
Unless otherwise noted, all of the above tea subscription box services auto-renew each month, but you can cancel anytime. All of them ship loose-leaf tea, not pre-bagged tea, so you'll need an infuser to brew your tea. Most of them also sell the teas on a non-subscription basis, so if you decide on some favorite teas, you can buy the ones you want.
I won't claim that a tea subscription box is a cheap way to buy tea, but it certainly a fun way to buy it. If you tire of the same old teas available at your local grocery store and the national chains, a tea subscription is a good way to mix things up. It also makes a fun gift for the person that has everything. I love trying new teas and discovering new favorites. I do prefer to have some say over what kinds of teas I'll be receiving, which is why I like Free Your Tea so much.
Credits — The person that wrote this guide
Karen S. Freeman is a teacher, writer, and family woman. She loves to travel, play with tech stuff, drink coffee and tea, discover amazing new restaurants, and experience new things.
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