Tea Runners is a subscription bringing you loose leaf teas from around the world each month – enough for 30-50 cups. You’ll also get tasting notes and brewing instructions.
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: Tea Runners
The Cost: $25/month (save with longer subscriptions)
The Products: 0.75-1 oz each of four different teas (these are from established tea companies but are re-packaged by Tea Runners into resealable bags)
Ships to: US (free)
Check out lots of great tea subscriptions in the Drinks Subscription Box Directory and make sure to add Tea Runners to your subscription list or wishlist!
There’s no information card with this subscription, but there is a ton of information on the teas and how to brew them on each bag (which is, honestly, kind of handy because you don’t have to keep a booklet on hand to remember what to do in each case).
Fellini’s Folly from Serendipitea – Value $2.50 (buy a 4 oz. box for $10)
This was the herbal tea for the month. This is a rooibos with anise, golden raisin, licorice root, orange peel, and peppermint. I didn’t read the ingredients list before I tried it and the anise and licorice root really stood out to me. I know these are often added to teas to add natural sweetness without sugar, but I think licorice in tea is an acquired taste I have not acquired. It is not a bad tea, and I think the peppermint, orange peel, etc., moderated the licorice somewhat, but next time I am going to brew it for a little less time and see if I can’t decrease the licorice flavor somewhat. (On the other hand, if you like licorice, try this!)
English Breakfast from Rishi Tea - Value $3.25 (buy 4 ounces for $13)
English breakfast tea is probably the type of tea I drink the most often (I usually start the morning with a Dragonwell green and then down 3-4 cups of black tea while I work). So, of course, I was happy to receive this. This variety is grown in Thailand and is supposed to have berry notes. I will admit I can’t detect these, but I have never been very good at that sort of thing. This is a nice black tea and I know it will disappear fast if I take it to work and put it in my desk drawer.
Kenyan Black from Ajiri Tea – Value $2.86 (buy 3.5 ounces for $10)
This is the second Kenyan black tea I’ve tried this year and I have come to the conclusion that Kenyan black teas are super strong! I think you could probably get by using less than a teaspoon of this one, too, because the smaller pieces mean a larger surface area for the water to contact. This is very earthy to me and a little grassy, but I also let it steep a bit too long. This will be a good one first thing in the morning at work to wake me up! Profits from the sale of this tea help pay school fees for orphans in Western Kenya.
Moonlight Jasmine from Rishi Tea – Value $10.13 (buy 4 oz for $40.50)
This is an interesting jasmine tea – it is not in pearl form. I am a huge fan of jasmine green teas, also, though I usually stick to cheaper varieties (like Prince of Peace), so it is nice to receive something premium to try out every now and then. I found the jasmine flavor and scent much stronger than the green tea part of this. I think I may need to use a little more next time – this doesn’t pack into a teaspoon well so I probably didn’t get quite enough in my first cup. It was quite nice as an afternoon pick-me-up, though.
Here are the teas brewed. From left to right: Fellini’s Folly, English Breakfast, Kenyan Black, and Moonlight Jasmine. I used my own disposable tea bags to brew this tea.
Verdict: I calculated a value of about $18.74 for the May Tea Runners. That is below the cost of the subscription, but I think there are a couple of other factors to consider. First, the companies providing these teas may not offer them for individual purchase in small sizes like you are sent with the box, so you are getting a chance to try a small amount of something and see if you like it before committing to a quarter pound or one pound bag. Second, although I’d heard of Rishi Tea before, Ajiri Tea and Serendipitea were new to me, so there is some brand discovery involved, as well. Third, you’d probably have to pay to ship and there might be a minimum order if you wanted to buy from each brand, individually. I did like trying all the teas this month, as well as discovering some new brands, and I have a lot left to enjoy for the remainder of the month. (I drink a lot of iced tea, too, and I may try using one or both of the black teas to make a pitcher of iced tea. I think both would be good that way.)
What did you think of Tea Runners? Do you get any tea subscriptions?