Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tea Sparrow April 2015 Review

Mmmm. . . tea :) Nothing cures what ails you better than a delicious cup of tea.  Full disclosure:  I'm a tea junky.  And I'm kind of picky about my teas.  We have a fancy tea pot (this one) that allows us to brew the good stuff - loose leaf, of course - at home and I also have a mug (this one) for making a cup of tea on my break at work.  So when I read about a monthly Canadian tea sub, it was a no-brainer.

For $20 CAD per month (including shipping), Tea Sparrow sends 4 different types of loose leaf tea (so yes, you need some way to brew loose leaf although if you're not as hardcore about tea as I am, tea balls tend to be an inexpensive option - Amazon has some under $4!) - usually a green, a black, a rooibos and an herbal but sometimes they mix it up.  The teas are separately packaged and are each approximately 0.6oz for a total of about 35 cups of tea per month (less if you use a lot of tea in brewing, maybe more if you're willing to brew twice using the same tea like I am).  For those who regularly purchase quality loose leaf teas, the pricing on that is absolutely fair.  If you're used to boxes full of the bagged stuff, it might seem a little pricey but it's totally worth it!  Oh, and if you fall in love with a tea, while Tea Sparrow doesn't sell them, they do have the information for each blender - some of which are in Canada and some of which are not (shipping can be. . . pricey for some).

This was my first month (of many, I feel) of Tea Sparrow and I lucked out and found this 60% off offer making my first month only $8! So exciting! And, as of right now at least, it's still working.  When you click the above link, you will be taken to a password-protected page.  Enter "teas" as your password and you will be offered the promotional discount.  Please be aware that this will start a recurring monthly subscription (at least I'm pretty sure it does) but Tea Sparrow allows you to skip any month through their website and you can cancel at any time.  Enjoy!

This month, the focus or theme was fruit teas! A great choice for spring - especially with the full-on summery weather we've been having here.  That said, only 3 out of the 4 teas fit the theme which is. . . interesting.  But all 4 are delicious and make me happy :)  As you can see below, Tea Sparrow clearly labels each bag (and they are resealable too!) and includes brewing instructions and tips as well.

Clouds and Mist (100% Organic Green Tea)
Clouds and Mist:
While I do love a good green tea, and make no mistake this one is very good, I do wish this had fit the theme.  I have had some delicious fruity green teas in the past and would have enjoyed one here.  This is a lovely green tea but I have only had it once so far since it's not as flashy or exciting as the others.

Organic Cheery Fruit Tea (Caffeine-free, made with with Rose hips, orange peels, rooibos, pears, quince, fennel bitter dark and organic vanilla bourbon flavour)
Organic Cheery Fruit Tea:
Rooibos tea (sometimes called red tea or redbush tea) isn't really "tea" at all.  It comes from a South African bush, not from the tea plant at all.  It is naturally caffeine-free and has a little bit of natural sweetness to it making it a great choice for those who are concerned about caffeine intake or those who usually prefer their tea a little sweeter, like my husband.  Tea Sparrow is calling this an "herbal" which I suppose is because the rooibos isn't as prominent as some of the other flavourings? This was absolutely delicious, our second tea to finish completely.  We followed Tea Sparrow's advice and added a little bit of honey (well, I tried it without first since that's how I usually drink my tea) which did bring out some of the flavours a bit more.  I even tried it iced - and it was great that way too.  For me, this is what this sub is all about - I would never have bought this tea (rooibos isn't usually my fave) but we thoroughly enjoyed it!

Blood Orange Smoothie (Caffeine-free Rooibos with orange peel, hibiscus, rosehips, applies, safflowers, rose petals, vanilla and citrus flavours)
Blood Orange Smoothie:
So remember how I said the Organic Cheery Fruit Tea was the second tea we finished? This was the first.  Seriously delicious stuff.  Again, we added honey as recommended and again, Tea Sparrow was bang on with that suggestion.  Somehow this had a bit of a creamy flavour/texture in my mouth which contributed to the "smoothie" idea, I guess.  I didn't try this one on ice since we drank a few full pots of it hot instead :)

Chocolate Blueberry Organic (Black Tea with cornflowers, cocoa nibs, tea flowers and natural botanic extracts - all organic)
Chocolate Blueberry Organic:
Blueberry is usually a miss for me but chocolate is always, always a hit! Somehow this tea manages to taste creamy and delicious without reminding me why I dislike blueberries so much.  My husband hasn't tried this one yet. . . and he might not get to since I am probably going to finish it this afternoon!

Overall Verdict:
Yes, please! While this particular box only cost me $8 because of that awesome promotion (seriously worth trying out), I would still be very happy had I spent $20 on it.  I will be sticking with Tea Sparrow for a while, I suspect, and happily recommend it unreservedly!

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