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Dating back to the Shang dynasty in the Yunnan region, where it likely started as a medicinal drink, tea has literally been around for thousands of years. Across various times and cultures, it has often been a uniting element bringing together some of the world's most brilliant, cultured, and passionate minds.
Now, in the 21st century, tea has nowhere near lost its relevance. It continues to be the most consumed beverage world-wide, second only to water. With such extensive and wide-spread demand, the market has thankfully responded with a multitude of options, sure to satisfy tea beginners and connoisseurs alike.
Wednesday, June 23rd
Incorporating some of the best aspects of the several tea clubs reviewed, Sips By earns our highest rating. Founded as a female led start-up, Sips By offers affordable club options that are personalized, nuanced, and connected to over 150 tea brands world-wide. Additionally, Sips By continues to receiving glowing reviews and recommendations from both novice and devout tea-drinkers alike. We'll raise a mug to that!
Most impressive feature
Arguably Sips By's most impressive feature is their simple yet thorough online quiz that helps determine your tea interests and potential flavor profile. While the majority of tea club boxes on the market take the liberty of choosing teas that are then delivered to tea club members, Sips By prioritizes your tastes when choosing which teas are included in your subscription box.
Teas matched to your taste
This removes the stress of having to commit to a particular tea profile package, especially for anyone new to the tea world - and still creates an innovative way to guarantee customer satisfaction with the teas shipped. After enjoying a warm, delicious mug of tea (or two, or three!) the customer can even log back onto their profile with Sips By to rate the types delivered, in order help Sips By better curate future boxes sent.
Narrow down your preference
Ultimately, the profile quiz asks only 9 questions of prospective customers, but the questions are notably comprehensive. From preferred tastes (do you like chocolate notes, citrus, floral, savory, spicy, malty?), to preferences for caffeinated vs decaf, to loose-leaf or bagged packaging, to types of tea (green, black, oolong, chai, iced, blends, etc.), to brew style, and finally frequency of consumption ("does tea run through your veins?"); Sips By considers it all. You're also asked to also rate on a 1-5 styled scale how strong each preference is, assessing willingness to explore. If there are any dietary preferences, such as dairy-free, gluten-free, or certain allergies, those may also be indicated.
Sips By club boxes also arrive with steeping guides, biodegradable tea filters (as needed for loose leaf teas), and exclusive offers from other brands. And with free shipping guaranteed, you end up paying only $0.75-$1 per cup of tea. Keep in mind, due to the carefully curated and personalized nature of Sips By's tea clubs, they unfortunately do not offer refunds for orders at this time. While we do wish this option was made more convenient for consumers, the requisite tailored and hand-crafted care needed for this kind of service, makes this an understandable limitation.
Sips by offers a unique Tea club experience. They match their teas to your unique tastes, and draw on over 150 tea brands across the globe to deliver a top-shelf product. If you want to enjoy the fun and variety that a tea club has to offer, Sips by should be your first choice.
You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who knows more about tea than Art of Tea. As informed and engaging curators of tea, their passion for introducing a good brew to novices and experts alike, shines through their website and various tea club options. Located in Los Angeles, CA as a tea importer and wholesaler, founder Steve Schwartz used relationships he built in Asia, India, Africa, and the Middle East to supply consumers with the most elite teas available. And, not only does Art of Tea care about its customers, their employees, and even the tea itself, are treated with utmost respect.
5 tea club options
In an effort to meet consumer preferences, while still managing to surprise and introduce new teas to customers, Art of Tea offers 5 different club options: Caffeine Free, advertised as herbal and botanical blends without stimulating effects; Classics, noted as the ideal plan for individuals wanting to explore the nuances of every tea type; Single Origin, of rare and exceptionally high-quality tea options; Explore, which will introduce a variety of blends imported from exotic locations; and Pyramid Sachets, which package the company's most popular teas in on-the-go sachets for busy schedules.
Wealth of tea information
Something we really enjoyed about Art of Tea was their website's absolute wealth of information on all things tea. From knowledge on the categories and strains of tea and tisanes, preparation recommendations, steeping recommendations, storage and water quality, caffeine content, benefits of tea, and even a "Tea Terms Glossary" -- Art of Tea clearly knows their tea, to a "T".
Additionally, the website provides a free Quiz that can help recommend various teas based on your individual preferences. While these results won't necessarily translate to your monthly club included teas (and we wish they did!), they do allow you the opportunity to purchase separate products sure to suit your needs.
Although Art of Tea is not the most affordable option on our list, their price point is comparable to many of our top-rated options. Additionally, Art of Tea donates a portion of all proceeds towards various charitable organizations. All teas provided by Art of Tea are certified kosher, fair trade certified, and certified organic.
With Art of Tea, you can enjoy a cultivated tea experience to the very last sip. They've earned a high ranking on our list.
Plum Deluxe wasn't named for selling plum infused teas as one might guess, but rather in reference to the old English definition of plum as something lucky and unexpected - and that's largely what awaits with a Plum Deluxe tea club subscription. Advertised as a niche and personal organic tea company, Plum Deluxe offers an intentional and decidedly thoughtful tea drinking experience - with a notable Portland, Oregon vibe (where the studio is located).
Passion for tea
One of the most attractive aspects of Plum Deluxe is their ability to match a high-quality product with an extremely tight-knit community. Their website feels as though they could connect you with your future best friends, and their passion for tea is simply the avenue for connection. With every club box, you'll receive not only the tea option you've paid for, but also a sample of either a 2nd or 3rd tea, depending on your subscription package. They'll also deliver brewing instructions, tea pairings, recipes, and members-only discounts and specials.
Additionally, Plum Deluxe offers extremely competitive pricing, as one of the lowest cost tea club options we've reviewed. Not a frequent tea drinker, but still looking to branch out? You can even sign up to receive just 1/2oz of tea each month, along with all the regular benefits, for $7.50 per month. And did we mention that all Plum Deluxe teas are vegan, dairy, and gluten free? Clearly this is a tea you can wax poetic over, while reading your favorite poem.
While Plum Deluxe provides multiple advantages for consumers, a small, family-owned and operated organization, can translate to some limitations. Aside from the choice of caffeine or decaf, individuals don't have a way to communicate their preferences, or what they are looking to gain from a tea drinking experience. While a taste-testing panel attempts to ensure quality for customers, ultimately with any package you end up paying for at least 3 months' worth of tea with no ability to predict whether or not you will actually like the product. And unfortunately, since the company is limited to only making enough of each batch of tea to fulfill current demand, they are unable to offer refunds or exchanges on the products you receive. Perhaps a natural constraint, but a constraint nonetheless.
Ultimately, Plum Deluxe offers competitive tea of the month clubs for tea-drinkers of every level. If you're looking for an inviting community aspect and affordable brews, you may not need to look further. However, if you have any uncertainties or concerns regarding the product delivered, we recommend checking out a tea club with a shorter commitment span.
Amazing Clubs has an extensive history supplying monthly clubs for various products, and that reputation ensures quality for customers. Rated a #1 Tea Club seven years in a row according to the Wall Street Journal (and as advertised on their website), a purchase of one of their various club packages practically ensures delivery of a quality product to your door.
Exciting and unique flavors
In addition to supplying a premium product, Amazing Clubs Tea Club also provides quite exciting and unique flavors. Ranging from blacks, to greens, to oolongs, and custom blends; some recent examples listed on their website include Black Tea with Cinnamon & Apple Spice; Hibiscus Tea with Cherry; Rooibos Tea with Chocolate & Peppermint; and Green Tea with Pomegranate.
They'll Love It guarantee
While Amazing Club's professional panel of tea taste-testers decide which teas are delivered in each shipment to consumers, they are backed by a "They'll Love It!" Guarantee. Each month the recipient will be emailed an announcement of the teas being delivered, and if for any reason the recipient is uninterested in that month's teas, they are easily able to skip that month with the click of a button. In fact, only the recipient's first month will be delivered without an email, so as to minimize the risk of ruining anyone's surprise gift.
A couple drawbacks
We did find a couple of drawbacks with the Amazing Clubs tea club. First, their tea clubs do not offer any caffeine-free tea options at this time, limiting their ability to serve many potential customers. And, while their website claims Amazing Clubs will guarantee to offer the most affordable prices for tea clubs, we found several tea clubs that actually enter the market at a lower price point - and who do so, without committing customers to a minimum 3-month plan.
Still, Amazing Clubs is recognized for their impeccable customer service, and if you're willing to spend a little more in order to get a little more, you are assured to receive an excellent product. If this suits your needs, then you can sit back, enjoy your cup, and feel free to peruse your complimentary Tea Lover's Newsletter with information on monthly selections, fun tea facts, and steeping recommendations.
Simple Loose Leaf offers good quality, and standard tea club packages for buyers to choose from. Harvesting leaves from areas all over the world, including China, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, and others, they strive for innovative and exploratory products. However, the family-owned business prides itself most in sticking to the basics - their value system. True to its name, Simple Loose Leaf tea club boxes are intentionally kept simple, as the company partners with a charity in Arkansas that provides employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.
Variety of tea club boxes
We love the different package options available for individuals to learn and choose from. With the Sampler Box, you can explore a wide range of tea experiences, from single origin, to blended, to naturally flavored. In contrast, the Herbal Tea Box would be ideal for customers craving new and unique teas with dynamic seasonal flavors - without any stimulating effects. For anyone needing a little more "oomph" in their daily pick-me-up, the Black Tea Box and Green Tea Box, respectively, offer 4 loose leaf teas of that type, or 3 different teas of that type and a "surprise" gift included.
What you'll get
Each box includes 4 hand-selected loose-leaf teas, with 10 grams (0.35oz) of each tea type, 4 reusable linen tea filters, and information on each tea with tasting notes. However, we were less than thrilled with just how basic the teas are packaged, the limited amount of tea supplied in each package, and that they were the only tea club on our list that does not include free shipping. Simple Loose Leaf supports a fantastic cause - we'd just like a little more support for customers as well.
Brew that you'll enjoy
While you could find higher rated tea club subscriptions at comparable prices on our list (once you include the cost of shipping), we're glad to see the variety of tea club boxes and are satisfied that Simple Loose Leaf can provide a valuable brew that you'll enjoy.
Since 2004, The Whistling Kettle founders have been following an entrepreneurial dream to provide quality tea for the modern era. The Whistling Kettle prides itself in its ability to appeal to every type of customer, and their home location in New York has even been voted the best tea shop of the Capital Region by Times Union two years in a row. They believe tea is not just a remembrance from the past, but a delicious drink that is more than relevant of the 21st century.
4 flavorful tea boxes
The Whistling Kettle's tea club packages are a little more unique in their offered subscriptions. Consumers can choose from the Adventure Box, which samples every kind of tea type (black, green, oolong, pu-erh, & flavored and non-flavored herbal); the Keep Calm Box, featuring decaf teas, fruit tisanes, naturally caffeine free rooibos, honeybush, and herbal blends; the Black Box, filled with breakfast blends, uniquely flavored tea, and single source options; and the Purist, containing only teas with no added flavors.
Only loose-leaf tea
While the variety of teas and number of cups made from each delivery are certainly impressive, the brand ultimately runs middle of the road and lacks luster. Only loose-leaf tea is shipped, and although there are provided loose tea bags to "help get you started", we find this could be a turn off for customers new to the tea drinking experience.
You're also committed to at least 3 months of shipments, with a product you may be uncertain of at a higher-end price compared to other tea clubs reviewed on our list. Luckily with the higher price, you are almost certain to obtain free-shipping; but there are competitive companies that also offer this feature.
Room to improve
We believe with The Whistling Kettle, you will likely receive your money's worth of tea. Their multiple package options and free shipping make them a fit contender to consider. The real prize of the company however, appears to be their physical tea shop location; and their tea club subscriptions could include further benefits and perks, such as tea info pamphlets, membership discounts and special offers, and a more affordable cost to compare against competitors.
Teabox is an acceptable option for anyone considering a tea club subscription. Earning a reputable position amongst tea club reviewers, and providing 5 different premium teas-- the largest amount of tea per subscription box on our site - it's a valid option for members to consider. With all the bombastry of a large corporation though, it lacks some of the family-friendly and thoughtful touches of our superior rated companies. It also has, by far, the higher price point of any of our reviewed companies, almost double that of even our "middle-of-the-road" competitors - and we're just not quite sure it's worth it.
Themed tea boxes
Teabox differs from its competitors in that it sends one themed box each month. Throughout your subscription plan, you may receive black teas, green teas, oolongs, whites, chai, iced teas, and blends, produced from regions all over the world. Teabox is also sure to include instructions, descriptions, and thematic explanations with each box.
Lack of customization
We like the solid representation of various tea types - however, Teabox lacks any sort of customization. Customers interested specifically in learning or exploring a certain kind of tea, will more or less have to settle with whatever is delivered that month. At such a high cost, we would want more personalization offered for customers.
Limited to 3-month plans
Although offering a 1 month plan, which benefits anyone who just wants to test out products, Teabox unfortunately offers no more than a 3 month plan; if you're hoping to enjoy your tea year round, you'll have to take the extra step to renew your subscription every 3 months. The website could also be updated to include more FAQ questions - we couldn't even determine whether or not caffeine-free options would be made available to customers, due to lack of specificity on their webpage.
Better choices available
If brand name recognition and maximizing the amount of product delivered are your priorities, Teabox may be a good fit for you. Considering the plethora of tea clubs available on the market though, we think your time - and sip - is more valuable. We recommend looking at a higher-rated tea club in our list.
Tea clubs provide an alluring avenue for tea drinkers of any level to either further cultivate their taste, or venture out of their comfort zone to explore assorted teas from all over the world. Gift a tea club to a loved one, or treat yourself to a delicious brew-there's a whole world and history of tea to try, one sip at a time! With a tea club, each month will bring something either dependable, exciting, or just plain different, to try. And if you discover a new passion for tea, or a particular type of tea, you can likely continue to purchase more of it, with the click of a button.
You may feel out of your comfort zone and only ready to begin with the basic, tried and true tea options. Maybe you feel completely open, and simply want to test what the experts deem as quality. Perhaps you already know you enjoy the delightful citrus taste of various herbal blends, or the creamy and nutty version of earl greys, and you want to expand on those horizons. No matter what your particular position may be, we believe there's a tea club with your perfect sip, waiting for you.
Chain grocery stores and likely even local tea shops, won't begin to offer the same wide variety and premium selection as tea clubs. Many of the tea clubs we've reviewed even have particular values, ethics, and charitable contributions, that could speak not only to your taste buds, but to your very spirit. With source locations ranging from India, the Middle East, China, South America, Japan, and Sri Lanka, your taste will be opened to so much more than local shops or chains can offer.
With such high demand, and a broad and expansive marketplace to choose from, it's no wonder tea clubs consider to rise in popularity. However, the tea clubs themselves are likely to vary in style, flexibility, focus, and price point. It's important to research what tea club features are most important to you:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Tea Clubs available today. We hope these reviews help you find the right Tea Club membership to suit your needs!
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