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: $16.00 per 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-$17.00
Sips by March 2021 Review
The box arrived with the information card you see here. 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 include 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 perhaps also "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:
Find Strength by Teamotions – Buy 2.75 oz for $25.00
This is a green tea, so lightly caffeinated. The product page says it can be re-steeped, but I don’t usually do this because I brew tea for too long in the first place. This is primarily a jasmine green tea (also has safflower and marigold petals) although it does also include eleuthero root (also known as Siberian ginseng but is not related to actual ginseng).
I have found some teas with eleuthero taste kind of medicinal to me but I actually didn’t notice that here. I do like jasmine green tea and drink it often, but what’s nice about this one is although it has similarity to something I enjoy, it is not identical – there’s a new dimension to it, I guess from the other flowers and the eleuthero. Anyway, I’d be interested in trying more from this brand in future months, as it was a new brand for me.
Blackberry Sage by Republic of Tea – Buy 50 Bags for $10.00
I was familiar with this one, as you will notice in the fourth picture, that is just something I had in the kitchen already…bought on a whim from Whole Foods and have repurchased at least once (but my husband drinks this one too).
This is mostly a fruity black tea; the sage is not super strong to me. Blackberry is a good combination with black tea, in general, and although this one is also available in bulk loose leaf packaging, sometimes I just want a tea bag for ease of cleanup.
Kanchangangha Noir by Nepal Tea – Buy 1.7 oz for $14.00
This is a black tea from Nepal. I am not as familiar with Nepalese tea as I am with tea from India or China (for what it’s worth, Indian versions of black tea are likely more familiar to the Western palate than Chinese teas are.) I found this to be a little like Indian teas (think Assam or Darjeeling), but also that it had some notes that reminded me a bit of Chinese teas. I suppose that makes sense given the location of Nepal right between India and China.
Anyway, this may be a good way to transition into Chinese-style teas as there will be familiar elements but also something new. This one claims to have caramel, raisin, and dark chocolate notes, and I am actually kind of noticing that here, whereas usually I don’t. This one is complex and enjoyable even plain.
Marfa Dark Roast Yaupon by CatSpring Yaupon – Buy 2 oz for $13.00
I received a different yaupon tea a few months ago. It’s actually not a tea plant, but rather a native North American plant related to holly that naturally produces caffeine. This one doesn’t have tannins, so it doesn’t get bitter even if you forget and leave the tea bag in like I do. It’s hard to describe what this tastes like if you haven’t had yaupon before but if you like black tea you will probably enjoy it (and you may even like it if you don’t like black tea, because it lacks the bitterness that can be associated with over-brewed black tea).
This company works with probation officers to hire people who might otherwise have trouble finding work, and offers flexible schedules to their workers in their packaging facility, so they also do good in their rural community!
Biodegradabble Tea Filters – Buy 100 for $11.00
Whenever you get loose leaf tea, you will receive some of these as well. I am a fan; there’s no clean up because you can just toss them but they won’t stick around in a landfill forever. It solves the problem of what to do if you’re new to tea drinking and don’t have a mesh tea strainer, which is something you don’t want to receive every month (I have like a dozen from subscription boxes now).
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. I have liked this subscription every month so far. I really feel they pay attention to the profile I filled out (MSA readers have commented that they received totally different boxes in a given month) and even though I did already have a full-size container of one of these, the other three were completely new to me. (And I guess the fact I got one I already bought indicates their matching algorithm is pretty accurate.) Although you may not be getting a really high value, ounce for ounce, I feel like this subscription can actually save you money in the long run. First off, you get to try a small amount of a product before committing to a full size purchase. You can’t just buy 3 or 4 servings in a store, you have to get a whole box, and what happens if you don’t like it? You’re stuck with the rest. Here, you are more likely to get teas you’ll like in the first place due to the profile, and you can try them in smaller quantities than you’re able to buy in stores or online, so there’s no getting stuck with a pound of something you don’t enjoy.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, your subscription would start in April, 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 $16.00 per month, so you are paying less than $1.00 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?