Bottom line: Each month, you'll try three different teas plus one bonus tea or herb sample.
Three one-ounce sample bags of tea each month
One small bonus sample of tea or herbs
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
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The Little Woods Tea Passport Subscription Box contains a month's worth of tea in each box. With three one-ounce sample envelopes and a small bonus sample, you'll be sipping all month long.
Little Woods Tea Passport Subscription Box: Features
Little Woods is a quaint shop in Iowa that specializes in teas and herbs, both for culinary and medicinal use. If you live near Ames, Iowa, you might be lucky enough to stop in the shop for a cup of hot, iced, or nitro cold brew tea, a fresh-baked scone, bulk loose teas, spices, herbs, and much more. The rest of us will have to make do with mail order.
Each month, the blending team at Little Woods selections three teas to match the season. Each envelope of tea contains one ounce of loose tea, enough to brew up to 10 cups of tea, depending on how strong you brew it. In addition to the three large samples, you'll also get a small bonus sample of another tea or herb.
The instructions say to brew one teaspoon of tea in eight ounces of water, but I found I preferred a tablespoon of tea in each cup. The instructions also say that you can re-infuse the tea leaves several times, but I found the tea too weak the second and third time around. I guess I like my tea strong! But taste is highly personal. I received the July box, which contained the following:
- Pretty penny: Oolong tea "Scents of rose and minty pennyroyal greet the nose, and a little spice tickles your tongue." This one has a note: Not to be used if pregnant. (!) I can't taste any of the specific flavors, I'll admit, but it is quite tasty.
- Eternal Youth: Red Rooibos "Tart and fruity, this hibiscus rooibos blend is refreshing and bold." The first cup I had, the dominant taste was rooibos; I could taste the tart and fruity hibiscus but only barely. When brewing subsequent cups, the hibiscus took over; I guess the rooibos leaves were at the top of the envelope.
- Digestif Ginger: Herbal Blend "A sweet and spicy classic French herbal tea blend to drink after a gourmet experience." The ginger and lemongrass stand out to me.
- Yerba Maté. This just tasted like tea, more or less. A littler grassier, maybe. Yerba maté can be bitter, but this one was quite smooth and not bitter at all.
I found all of these teas to be equally delicious, whether hot or iced. The envelopes themselves have detailed brewing instructions. The tea passport that comes in the first box contains general brewing instructions for all of their teas, plus several different ways to make iced tea (by the cup or the gallon.) It also has a page for each tea with a list of ingredients, its backstory, and space to write down your tasting notes. Each box you receive will have pages about each tea that you can add to your passport book.
Little Woods' tea subscribers will be the first to try their new teas and seasonal blends. If you just like trying new teas regularly, keep your subscription going. There will be no repeats for at least a year. If you fall in love with particular teas, you can order them in bulk from Little Woods directly. The subscription auto-renews until you cancel it.
Little Woods Tea Passport Subscription Box: What I like
I love trying new teas, and I don't mind being pushed out of my comfort zone a little bit. I tried some teas I'd never tried before with this subscription box. The passport and the backstories make for a charming tea experience. I don't currently have plans to travel to Ames, Iowa. But if I ever found myself there, I would certainly make a point of strolling Main Street and stopping into Little Woods for a cuppa.
Little Woods Tea Passport Subscription Box: What I don't like
Some subscription boxes solicit your tastes and preferences so they can tailor the box to you; this is not the case with Little Woods. I don't mind being surprised, but if I always prefer to have some input, all things being equal.
Little Woods Tea Passport Subscription Box: Bottom line
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 tea, culinary herb, or medicinal herb. The first box includes a tea passport, full of brewing instructions, and a page detailing each tea you receive.
Try three teas specially selected for the season plus a bonus tea or herb each month.