I can’t get through my day without at least three cups of tea. Sometimes more.
That’s a lot of tea.
My first morning cuppa has to be English Breakfast tea. That’s non-negotiable. Mornings and I don’t get along, Period. So I need my shot of caffeine but I also need routine to ease me into the whole daylight/morning/work thing (shudder).
The rest of the day is up for grabs. Cuz I can be crazy like that. That’s right… I can live on the wild side…
Sometimes I gulp down vats of genmaicha green tea. Or I treat myself to one of my treasured strawberry chocolate tea bags. Or perhaps a decaf sweet and milky chai before bed. It depends on my mood or what I’m doing.
I like to have a lot of options.
I’ve been toying with the idea of trying out a tea box subscription for… well… like… a year or two. It appeals to me on many levels – the big one being the chance to try a lot of different teas without a big commitment.
If I like something, I can go all out and buy a big bag of it.
If I don’t, no biggie. Three to four cups and I’m done. I don’t have to get into a depressing long term relationship out of guilt because I don’t want to waste a big bag of tea.
So when Amoda tea asked me if I’d like to try their monthly subscription box for February curiosity set in and I was diggin’ it. I was away for a good chunk of February but when I got back, I found the little box sitting on my office desk and it was the first thing I opened – even before some cheques.
Yeah, I was that excited!
Amoda’s box is lovely. It contains four tea samples, all neatly packaged in sealed bags, each with their own labels that tell you the name of the tea, the type of tea (black, green, herbal, rooibos, etc), who made it, a list of ingredients, how much to use per cup of water, optimum water temperature for steeping, and steeping time.
They also give you the caffeine level, which I rarely see unless a tea is decaffeinated. This is nice for us folks who are past the age of 35 and suddenly discover we can’t deal with a lot of caffeine after a certain point in the day (don’t laugh or make old people jokes – this is going to happen to you at some point.)
The box also comes with a roll of fillable tea bags, which I loved! If you don’t have a tea strainer these are a life saver when using loose leaf teas. They’re great to take to work with you and pop in your desk drawer so you don’t have to rely on pre-bought teabags if you don’t want to.
There’s a nice sheet with tasting notes for each tea tucked in the box, with the teas listed in the same order they’re packed. It’s all carefully wrapped in tissue and there was also a 15% off coupon for members who might want to purchase a larger quantity of any of the teas.
I was really impressed with the level of thought and detail that’s gone into the box program and it’s all packaged beautifully in a surprisingly small box. Well I guess it’s not really surprising but for some reason I envisioned a giant box but really… tea is not that bulky! 😀
My February box contained two black teas (lavender cream earl grey and keemun), one green tea (hazelnut pear) and a herbal tea (serene).
Lavender Cream Earl Grey is one of my all time favourite teas so it was the first I tried. As soon as I ripped open the sealed bag the scent poured into the room – earl grey is a very fragrant tea on it’s own but with the lavender added it’s so lovely.
This is another reason to appreciate the sealed bags – the thing you don’t notice when you open the Amoda box is any fragrance. Tea, especially teas with added ingredients can have a very strong scent when fresh. And you don’t really want all those scents mingling – and if you can smell them, the teas are going to lose their freshness quickly.
This lavender cream earl grey was lovely. Earl grey has a very strong citrus note from the bergamot. Some people don’t like it, but I personally love it. I totally get Captain Picard and his “Early Grey – hot” order. But the addition of the lavender and vanilla soften the citrus note and make it a lovely, soft, creamy black tea and this particular blend from Aromatica nailed it.
Some people like it with milk but I prefer it black with a teaspoon of honey. Sometimes a squirt of lemon because I actually really do like the strong citrusy note of full on Earl Grey.
I’ve also tried the Hazelnut Pear green tea and I think I will actually right a separate review of that one because it’s so very different from any green tea I have ever had before. Still on my list to try are the Serene and the Keemun.
One question I did get asked when I shared a few photos of the teas on Instagram was how many cups I got from each sample. Definitely 3 cups out of the earl grey and hazelnut pair.
The box itself is $18/month and includes free shipping so I think the value is there. It still works out to far less per cup than a cup of tea out in a cafe (I paid $4 for a cup of tea in a rather well known Vancouver hipster cafe last week and it seriously ticked me off – not just the price but the price for a really lousy cup of tea that had about 3 sips in it).
And as I said earlier, I really like the opportunity to try new teas in small batches. I will definitely be doing a reorder of the Early Grey and the Hazelnut Pear. I can handle a long term relationship with those two – they’re worth a spot in my tea cupboard!
I also like that Amoda is a Vancouver company and very passionate about what they do – it’s always great to be able to support a local small business!
The Amoda monthly tea box gets two thumbs up in my books!
Disclosure Notice: Amoda tea sent me a complimentary monthly tea box to try. I was not required to write about or promote it and I was not financially compensated to do so. As always with a product review, all opinions are my own and I try my best to give my readers a fair and balanced review that reflects my opinion of the product.