Teabox The Taster’s Box Review + Coupon – January 2018
The Teabox Taster’s Box is a monthly box filled with teas shipped from Darjeeling, Assam, the Nilgiris, and Nepal. Along with the loose-leaf selections they send, they also include info so you can explore flavor profiling and compare your learnings to easily-digestible expert notes.
This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About the Teabox Taster’s Box
The Subscription Box: Teabox Taster’s Box
The Cost: $29.99 a month + free shipping. Save with 3 and 6-month subscriptions.
LIMITED TIME DEAL: Use code TBMSA10 to save 10% off your first box!
The Products: High-quality, loose-leaf teas and expert notes about each one
Ships to: Worldwide
Teabox Taster’s Box January 2018 Review
My relationship with tea: I’m a total tea-lover, but while I enjoy exploring new flavors, I really haven’t put much work into researching where my favorite types originate from, or what notes make them taste they way they do. Teabox hooks you up with all sorts of notes to research, presented in a very well-designed, easy-to-read way. This is my first time reviewing the Teabox, so I’m excited to see what I learn! Here’s a peek into the booklet they sent to familiarize subscribers with common tea descriptors:
Once you have a feel for the specifics you might look for in each flavor, perhaps you can more confidently delve into trying your hand at creating your own tasting notes. I myself was still a little overwhelmed, but my interest was also piqued.
Above is a pamphlet that unfolds into a series of worksheets, of sorts, so that you can start to fill in your own ideas about the taste, texture, aroma, color, and dry leaves experience of each tea from this month’s box.
And, rather than having to reference the original booklet and write your own terms, you can punch out these little pre-printed tabs and arrange them however you see fit on the worksheets.
For those who want to get a little competitive with themselves and compare their own notes to what the experts have to say, Teabox has also provided a brief rundown of the various offerings in the box from a tea connoisseur’s point of view. For this first month, I decided to reference the expert notes from the getgo, then brew the teas, and see if I could detect the flavors, aromas, and textures they suggest while I sipped. That felt a little more manageable as a newbie, but I do look forward to expanding my knowledge about different teas as my palette becomes more refined!
Before I dig into my tea reviews, I want to explain how I brewed them. Nothing fancy, but just for the sake of giving you all the info I have to give, here it is: for each tea, I filled my little robot infuser (see below – isn’t he cute?) with about a Tablespoon of dry leaves. I just eyeballed the Tablespoon, and in case you’re curious, the amount I put in the infuser each time is represented in the loose-leaf photos. Then, I poured just-boiled water over the infuser and steeped the tea, covered, for 4 minutes. I then lifted the lid, swished the infuser around a little, waited a minute or so for it to cool enough to drink (I have a sensitive mouth to heat), and enjoyed!
Himalayan Sunrise Oolong Tea, 1.8 oz. — Retail Value $10.99
The expert notes have me starting out with an oolong tea. I’ll be honest, I haven’t quite connected with oolongs yet, but I can’t put my finger on why. I think perhaps the ones I’ve tried in the past had too complex of a flavor for me to enjoy unassumingly while curled up with a movie, but this Himalayan Sunrise Oolong might have just changed my mind! In both color and flavor, it’s very light and mild, with a faint spice to it and a low caffeine level. I can’t wait to give this tea a second try and dig into some of the more subtle reasons why I like it better than other oolongs in my tea cabinet.
Pascoe’s Woodlands Winter Special Frost Green Tea, 3.5 oz. — Retail Value $9.99
Next, a green tea. I have a whole variety of greens and blacks in my tea collection, and while I do enjoy them both, I most often reach for a black. But, this one, like the oolong, is somehow better than some of the other greens I’ve had! My writing mentors would shoot laser beams at me for using the word “better” to describe a new experience, but, again, I’m still trying to figure out why it was a more enjoyable experience than some from past brews! Is it because I went into this tasting with a more open mind? Is it because this tea is super-nice quality and that loose-leaf varieties are more authentic? Perhaps both. Or, perhaps it’s again because it’s lighter and milder than others I’ve tried. It was actually surprisingly similar in flavor to the oolong. This will be another one I’ll look forward to trying a second time and exploring what makes it so nice.
Darjeeling Classic Spring Clonal Black Tea, 3.5 oz. — Retail Value $12.99
I was so surprised to find how light this black tea turned out. That’s a first for me. I swished my infuser around a good few times, worrying that maybe the hot water somehow didn’t seep in there well enough, but alas, the expert notes do refer to it as light. One quick thing to note about the photographs of these teas is that they all have a reddish glare to them…I realized after the fact that it’s because I was wearing a bright red sweater, and it was reflecting off my mug and infuser. Whoops! Sorry about that, guys! For a black tea, I was surprised to detect a little spice in this one. Turns out I have a lot to learn about black teas, as there’s more to the variety than I realized. This is a Darjeeling one, which I found is a characteristic commonly found in Darjeeling teas, whether black, green, white, or oolong.
Assam Masala Chai Tea, 3.5 oz. — Retail Value $5.99
Next, a good ol’ chai tea. I was worried that the smaller bits and pieces in this blend would escape out the holes of my infuser and leave me with a mouthful of cloves and peppercorns and things, but that wasn’t the case at all. A few pieces did get loose, as is often the case with loose-leaf teas brewed in this infuser, but they just sunk to the bottom and stayed out of the way. The flavor here was stronger than the others, but it felt fitting for the type of tea. I love a good chai tea latte in the winter and have been experimenting with making my own dairy-free lattes at home, so I can’t wait to give that a try with this blend.
Harmutty Special Summer Black Tea, 3.5 oz. — Retail Value $13.99
Finally, a second black tea, and one that was more similar to my other experiences with black tea. This one had a bolder flavor than the other, with hints of both sweetness and earthiness, which is what I love about black tea. For me, this was the most recognizable flavor in the box, so it was easy to consider it a favorite right away, but I was really pleasantly surprised with all the different teas, so it might have to be a tie. Either way, I can see myself reaching for this one most often, when I want to sip something easy and familiar.
Verdict: What a cool box! While I was initially a little overwhelmed by the amount of information that came along with the teas, I quickly found it to be a fun reference and a great way to learn about what I’m consuming. I calculated a value of $53.95 for the 5 high-quality teas included in this box, which is a great value for a $29.99 box (with free worldwide shipping). It adds up to about 60-75 cups of tea. Plus, you can’t overlook the qualitative cost of knowledge, which, to me, adds a great deal of value to this subscription.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you’ll receive February’s box.
Value Breakdown: This box costs$29.99 (including shipping) and you receive five teas, which add up to 60-75 cups. That gives an average value of about $6.00 per tea or $0.44 per cup. That’s way cheaper than any high-quality tea you could purchase in a teahouse or coffee shop!
What did you think of the Teabox The Taster’s Box?