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 and Canada for free, International for $12
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
This card was included. More information on the teas, themselves, is printed on the packages.
Organic Bliss Tea from American Tea Room – Value $4.88 (buy 2 ounces for $9.75. Additional sizes available)
This smells lovely – very fruity and sweet. This is a combination of green tea and white tea with dragonfruit pieces, lemongrass, kiwi, raspberry pieces, natural flavoring, and sugar. I could do without the sugar (I prefer not to drink sugar-sweetened beverages) but really, there’s not too much. I’m not really tasting the lemongrass here, which is OK by me. The kiwi and raspberry are standing out, and maybe also the dragonfruit. This is a lightly caffeinated tea and it is doing a good job of keeping me awake as I write this review!
Mystic Mint Tea from Rishi Tea – Value $3.50 (buy 4 ounces for $14)
This is a caffeine-free herbal tea. The main ingredient is peppermint, which is pretty obvious from the picture of the leaves. This also contains cardamom, licorice root, and essential basil and clove leaf oils. I will be honest, I could really do without licorice root in tea as this is just not a flavor I like all that much, but it is not overwhelming here and the peppermint does a lot to moderate it.
Dragon Claw Oolong from Tea Runners – Value $6.25?
This is an oolong tea from the Ilam Region of Nepal. (Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea that is neither green nor black, properly, but may have some characteristics of either.) If you are going to try oolong tea, definitely go for one like this and not one of the mass market brands. (My first oolong tea was from Bigelow and it made me think I didn’t like oolong, when I actually do…) This has an almost grassy flavor that is definitely very Asian in quality (as opposed to something designed to appeal to Western palates). I did steep this a bit too long, but it worked out, regardless; this tea seems to stand up to such things. (You can’t buy teas directly from Tea Runners so I used this one to estimate the value.)
Black Gold Biluochun from Tea Runners – Value $7.50?
This one is interesting. I believe it is my first time having any Biluochun tea. (Biluochun is apparently typically processed as a green tea but this one is black.) This is from Yunnan, China, and comes in little pearls that unfurl as you brew it. I like this one. It is definitely a black tea that will appeal to many Westerners, but it is a little different from your typical Assam or Darjeeling, too. I had a couple of cups of this, this morning, and it will probably be the first one to disappear from this shipment. (I drink an excessive amount of black tea, though.) I used this tea to estimate the value.
Here are the teas brewed. From left to right, we have Organic Bliss, Mystic Mint, Dragon Claw Oolong, and Black Gold Biluochun.
Verdict: I calculated a value of just over $22 for the July Tea Runners. Although that is a little below the cost of the subscription, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One, when I could find the exact items online, none were available in small quantities for you to purchase and try – you had to buy a big bag/tin, and then if you didn’t like it, you were stuck with the rest. And two, there can be a lot of variation in quality with tea, so for the two where I had to provide estimates, the value could actually be several dollars higher, depending on the source. At any rate, if you are looking to sample a lot of teas (and/or types of tea) before purchasing, this subscription definitely provides you with an interesting variety. I’ve learned about new brands, tried new types of tea, and tried new teas from familiar brands. If you drink as much tea as I do (usually more than 5 cups a day), those are valuable experiences. (Also, I recommend you buy something like this as it is a lot more convenient than the steel ball tea strainers.)
What did you think of Tea Runners? Do you get any tea subscriptions?