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.)
About Sips by
The Subscription Box: Sips by
The Cost: $15/ month + free U.S. shipping
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 50% off your first box!
The Products: 15+ servings of tea distributed among four different varieties selected according to your profile.
Ships to: the U.S. for free, Canada for $9.50, and Western Europe for $13.50-$17
Sips by January 2021 Review
The box came with this information card. There was also a card advertising gift subscriptions. My teas were selected based on a pretty extensive profile I filled out. This isn't an exhaustive list but here are some of the choices I made:
- Caffeinated or herbal - OK
- Black, green, white, and oolong - OK
- Licorice (this is often used to sweeten teas but I don't care for the flavor) - No
- Loose or bagged - OK
- Coffee flavors (I do not like the taste or smell of coffee) - No
- Guarana and yerba mate - OK
- Guayusa (this is in Runa Tea and it makes my throat tingle until I take Benadryl...) - No
- Chocolate - OK (encouraged, really)
- Flavored and unflavored - OK
- Stevia (I'm not a fan of stevia in drinks) - No
- You also had the option of picking vegan, which I did not choose, as some teas may have honey or dairy ingredients and I am OK with those, but then I selected not to receive anything meat/shellfish/etc. derived (might be easier for them to offer "vegetarian" as a selection as well)
- No mushrooms (there are mushroom teas and I have tried a few in other subscription boxes and I do not like them)
I thought the profile covered most things well. I'd add "vegetarian" as an option and would also add "no lemongrass" as an option because I really don't care for lemongrass. But overall the profile survey was pretty comprehensive. (There was also a specific allergy section where you could pick items from a list not to get.)
Let's see what I received this month:
Dark Chocolate Cookie Tea by Cookie Tea – Buy 4 oz for $15
I was curious to try this one because a reader had mentioned it in the comments from a past review. This one has black tea with coriander and cocoa bits. I think the coriander is complementary to the overall blend (isn’t it funny how it doesn’t taste like cilantro at all but comes from the same plant?). This one isn’t particularly sweet like the Stash Chocolate Oolong I’ve received in the past, but it is energizing for the morning.
Bai Mudan White Tea by Made of Tea – Buy 2 oz for $14
This is quite delicate and light so may even be good for early afternoon as, while it is caffeinated, it is less so than a green or black tea. It has kind of a lot of stems, which is not something you always see in loose leaf teas. (I looked it up and this seems common for this particular white tea variety from several brands.) I rarely follow the brewing directions exactly (I tend to forget and leave tea bags in there) and this one never really gets bitter, which suits me perfectly.
Matcha Lemon Verbena Mint by Matcha Love – Buy 10 Bags for $5.50
I don’t normally drink matcha because I don’t like all the powder that's often leftover in the cup. But when it’s in bags, that’s another story entirely! I’m still a little unsure what I think of this one. Lemon verbena is a lot like lemon, but not exactly the same, and it’s taking me a little bit to get used to. It does help add a bit of natural sweetness since this is an unsweetened tea. This one also has some regular green tea blended in so it may be a good starting point to get into matcha without going straight there if you need a bit of transition.
Super Irish Breakfast Black Tea by Stash - Buy 20 Bags for $3.95
Maybe it is boring but I have a thing for plain black tea. Although it doesn’t say on the Stash site, Irish Breakfast tea is usually a mix of Assam and Ceylon black teas. Although I drink black tea in one form or another nearly every day, I don’t know if I’d be able to tell the difference between Assam and Ceylon (or Darjeeling, etc.). But that’s OK because I like all of them. This does get a bit strong if you leave the bag in, but I like that. You could probably use one bag to brew a whole teapot worth of tea and get a little more use out of each serving. Anyway, I’m a fan and this is super affordable.
Disposable Filter Bags – Buy 100 for $12.00
If you get any loose teas in your box, you’ll receive a few disposable filter bags. I am a fan; they’re biodegradable and you don’t have to clean them.
Verdict: I didn’t calculate a total value for Sips by this month since the items aren’t sold online in the provided quantities and/or configurations. This was an interesting month for Sips By. Three of the brands were completely new to me, which is wonderful. I liked the mix of flavored and unflavored, as well as tea types (black, matcha/green, and white). I was happy that some – but not all – were on the sweeter side (not sweetened, I mean the flavor combinations provided some natural sweetness). Also, once again I really feel like my profile answers are being considered. You are paying about $1 per cup of tea, which seems expensive at first glance, but there are two things to keep in mind: First, you can’t buy these products in these sizes, so a little bit of the benefit is that you can sample some teas without having to buy an entire box. Second, you will discover some brands you had never heard of before. My local stores don’t carry Stash and the other three brands were entirely new to me. Although there are a few tea companies I order from, I am always open to expanding my horizons, and Sips By takes the effort out of searching.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, your subscription would start in February, and at any rate, depending on your profile quiz answers, your selections may be different from mine. From Sips by:
Allow up to 3 weeks for your first box to arrive. Subsequent boxes will arrive within 2 weeks of your original order anniversary date on a monthly basis until you cancel your subscription.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 50% off your first box!
Value Breakdown: This box is $15 per month, so you are paying less than $1 per serving of tea, or about half that if you like to steep each serving twice.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of Sips by? Do you get any tea subscriptions?