Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tea Sparrow January 2016 Review

More delicious, wintry teas - including a chai variety! My favourite!


What is Tea Sparrow?  A fave sub in my house!  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  - tea balls are an inexpensive option) - 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). 
If you want to try Tea Sparrow, check out this 60% off offer and get your first month for only $8!  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 but Tea Sparrow allows you to skip any month through their website (although why would you want to?) and you can cancel at any time.  Enjoy!


I love Tea Sparrow's packaging - simple yet clever with the resealable bags.  And I love that they include more information, and recipes which use the teas, on their blog!

Organic Chai Rooibos
(rooibos, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and natural vanilla flavoring)

For some reason, on both their blog and website, Tea Sparrow is referring to the rooibos offering this month as "Red Hot Chai".  I'm not sure if this is the same thing? Or if I received a different variety of chai rooibos? Regardless, this is delicious! I love a chai tea - the spicy flavour is so warming and cosy.  Again, I would usually pick up a black tea version but Tea Sparrow is consistently getting me to like rooibos teas more than I expect to.  This is really good!  Tea Sparrow suggests using this tea to make a Chai Tea Latte.

Moringa Apple
(apple, pumpkin, carrot, grapes, fennel, moringa and natural apple flavor)

Well, this is something different! I've never had a moringa tea and I really enjoyed this.  It is very fruity so that's most of what I'm tasting, although there is a background flavour that seems more herbaceous which I assume is the moringa.  This tea uses the leaves of the moringa tree and is high in anti-oxidants.  It claims to clear the mind and boost energy without caffeine.  Since I have a baby and am working full-time, I am currently loving all the caffeine I can get my hands on so I can't really comment on those benefits.  I can say this is a tasty tea and I like it.  Tea Sparrow also shared a recipe for Moringa Apple Granola on their blog, which I might need to try. . . if I don't drink all the tea first!

Jasmine Chun Mee Organic
(Organic China green tea and organic natural jasmine scent)

I love a good green tea.  It is said to help in weight loss (which is a new mom's challenge, right?), lower blood pressure and regulate the ageing process.  Whether any of that is accurate, I do know that sitting down with a cup of tea could help in weight loss (since I'm having a tea instead of eating a snack) and definitely helps me to relax.  And I love to do that with a good green tea, in particular.  This one is really good and the jasmine is complimentary and not overpowering.  I think jasmine is either a love or a hate for most people. . . I love it but I know some people don't.  More tea for me!  Tea Sparrow also shared a recipe for Jasmine Green Tea cakes on their blog which looks delicious.

1894 Select Orange Pekoe
(Ceylon black tea and Assam black tea)

And the black tea selection for the month is. . . a little underwhelming.  I've mentioned before that I much prefer Earl Grey to Orange Pekoe and, while this is a nice tea, it's not changing my mind about that.  I've also commented about not loving being sent "neutral" or "plain" teas.  I get this sub to try some great varieties of tea and don't find myself reaching for the plain ones over some of the excellent, more exciting options (like, um, every other tea in this box?).  That said, it has been a few months since we've received a tea like this so I'm not upset.  For a while, it felt like there was one in every box and that didn't thrill me; getting a standard tea every once in a while, on the other hand, is perfectly fine.

And here's what they look like out of the package:
Clockwise from bottom left:  Organic Chai Rooibos, Moringa Apple, Jasmine Chun Mee Organic and 1894 Select Orange Pekoe

Overall Verdict:

I always love getting my Tea Sparrow package! Now that I'm back at work, I take a packet of tea and a steeping mug with me every day so I can enjoy some tea during my prep period.  It is a lovely bit of relaxing ritual in a busy day.  While some might find the cost of this subscription a little steep (get it?), I think it is a reasonable value for quality loose leaf tea.  If you've never tried loose leaf, I highly recommend giving it a shot - it might change the way you feel about a cuppa!

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