Sips by is a new personalized tea subscription. Before subscribing, you fill out an extensive profile about your tastes and preferences (caffeinated versus herbal, flavored versus unflavored, how you brew your tea, and related questions) and then you’re matched with teas for the month. Try your teas, give feedback in your Sips by account, and improve your matches for future months.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Sips by
The Cost: $15 a month + free shipping
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 50% off your first box!
The Products: Four tea samples from different brands, matched to your profile. You will get enough tea to make 15 fresh cups each month!
Ships to: U.S.
Included was this card that has more information on the teas from this box. Note: what you get each month may not match what I get, if we filled out our profile surveys differently.
1 Reusable Loose Leaf Tea Bag – Value $1?
10 Disposable Loose Leaf Tea Bags – Value $0.50?
Every Sips by box will have some disposable loose leaf tea bags packaged inside a machine washable reusable loose leaf tea bag. I think these are both great inclusions since loose leaf teas are often provided in this subscription. Some loose leaf teas are pretty fine and pieces might come out through other strainers – these bags prevent that. (No idea what brand these are, so I’ve used the value of similar items for a cost estimate.)
Raspberry Pecan Rooibos from Zhi Tea, 0.2 oz. – Value $1.58 (buy a 0.5 oz. sample for $3.95, 2 oz. pouch for $10.95, 4.6 oz. tin for $23.95, and a 1 lb. pouch for $51.95 on )
This was absolutely my favorite tea this month. Loved it. The rooibos flavor was definitely present but it worked super well with the pecan, which added a nice nutty touch. The raspberry was milder but worked with the overall blend.
This is a pretty good chai. (Mine wasn’t “latte” because I didn’t put milk in it. It works as a spiced black tea, as well.) The fun thing about this one was how easy it was to identify whole spices (cloves, cardamom pods) in the tea. The actual black tea was mild and overtaken a bit by the spices, but I found I could control that to a degree with steeping time.
I am familiar with this brand from back in the days when I still had Birchbox and they still sent tea. Although I think the brand is lovely, I am just not a fan of licorice in tea. The licorice flavor was overwhelming here, so this was not my favorite. But, I can totally see why this would turn up in my box based on how I filled out the profile, and I gave feedback, so I’m sure next month will be better.
Seeing Harney & Sons takes me back to when my boyfriend (now he is my husband) and I would spend Friday nights at Barnes and Noble (this was the brand they had in their coffee shop). (We stopped going to B&N when they decided to be a toy store and decrease the size of the science fiction and fantasy section to about one shelf.) Anyway, I found this to be a nice Earl Grey. I actually liked the bergamot (Earl Grey and I don’t have the best history) and the caffeine level was pretty good, as well.
Here are the two non-caffeinated teas. The Teapigs Liquorice and Mint is on the left and the raspberry pecan rooibos is on the right.
And here are the two caffeinated teas. On the left is the Earl Grey and on the right is the chai latte.
Verdict: I calculated a value of $10.58 for the March Sips by. I have a couple of thoughts on the matter. Of course, I would like to see a value at least equal to the cost of the box, and this is about 30% under. However, I also recognize there is always going to be some variation in value for this subscription because different people will have different preferences and fill out their profiles in different ways.
You are promised 15 cups of tea from this box, so the price of the subscription equals $1 per cup of tea. For a discovery service with some curation based on personal taste involved, I am OK with $1 per cup of tea (with the understanding that I can then go somewhere and buy more of teas I like). I am also definitely curious to see how my tea selections improve as I give feedback.
As for the teas themselves, I think this was a pretty good first box. Sure, there was one I didn’t care for, but there was also one I am definitely going to buy again because I loved it so much.
What did you think of Sips by? Do you get any tea subscriptions?