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Curious Tea Subscription Box Review

20th June 2017

I’ve been getting in to tea subscription boxes in a big way over the last few months! I have a few regulars but recently started to wonder what others might be out there?

After doing a bit of research I found Curious Tea and reached out to them, they were happy to send me one of their boxes to review. I received their Discovery box which includes 4 different teas a month with 10g of each, the perfect choice for a tea blogger or if you enjoy variety!

You can also choose between their Classic box which includes 2 teas but with 50g of each so it really depends if you want the variation of 4 teas or more of 2 teas. There’s also the option to take out the subscription either monthly or quarterly with quarterly being slightly cheaper.

Tea Time!

Santikhiri Blue Pearls Oolong

First up is a beautiful milk oolong from Thailand with a stunning buttery aroma. The tea can be steeped multiple times with a satisfying flavour that evolved with each steeping, I found that the flavour became drier with later brews. This Oolong is lightly baked with an exciting floral aftertaste. It’s a nicely inviting colour that looks great in my glass teaware. Overall a fantastic Oolong! 😃


 

Nilgiri Parkside Estate Kala Moti

Next up is a black tea from the Blue Mountains of Southern India. I especially enjoy watching the hand rolled leaves resembling pearls, open up as they steep😍. Due to how much this tea expands as its steeped it really goes a long way, meaning it’s definitely a tea I’ll be drinking a lot of! I love the deep malty flavours, combined with subtle fruity notes.


 

Wu Yi Shan Rou Gui Oolong

This was probably my favourite from my subscription box. I especially enjoy oolong and have been addicted to its beautiful,  but subtle sweetness. It’s not overly sweet but the fruity notes are very prominent and blend amazingly with the delicate oolong goodness.


 

Wu Yi Shan Bi Luo Chun

I love the way this tea looks before steeping, with it’s deep green colouring and curly leaves. Once the tea begins to steep the leaves open up and turn a vivid emerald green colour, it’s particularly interesting to watch 😍

It produces a pale green liquor with a delicate green tea flavour. The flavour is primarily vegetal but with a sweet buttery aftertaste. This is definitely a tea I’ll be enjoying a lot in the upcoming weeks!


Final Thoughts

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my Curious Tea subscription box, it’s been a positive experience throughout and one that I’d highly recommend. A lot of the companies I work with send me predominantly flavoured tea, which I’m a huge fan of but it’s been nice to try these more traditional teas.

If you’d like to try a Curious Tea subscription box for yourself you can sign up on their website, I promise you won’t be disappointed 😃

A huge thanks to Curious Tea for sending me this subscription box to review, it’s massively appreciated😘

Thanks for taking the time to read my review❤️

Bye for now! xXx

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TeaTourist February Subscription Box Review

27th March 2017

Lately much of my tea drinking has been tea from my TeaTourist subscription boxes, it’s so exciting to have a varied and well selected set of teas arrive each month.

A Tea subscription box is perfect for anyone that would like to be more adventurous with their choice of tea, especially if you don’t have time to find the different teas yourself. The box fits straight through your letterbox and includes 6 different teas, with a very generous serving of each.

Be sure to read to the bottom for a voucher code to get 30% off your first TeaTourist subscription box.

This is my third subscription box from TeaTourist and all three have been fantastic, if you want to read my other two reviews you’ll find them here and here.

Review Time!

Ben Shan Oolong – Tea in the City

I’m a huuuuge Tea in the City fan! I’ve reviewed their Yunnan Gold and Wuyi Black, followed by their Cranberry Leaf and Rosebay Willowherb. I’m also a big Oolong fan so I knew this tea would be pretty special as soon as I saw it, and I was right!

Ben Shan Oolong is a deep green with a pleasant vegetal aroma, with leaves that really open up when you steep them. This is a great tea if you like to infuse your tea multiple times and it’s really satisfying to observe the change in flavours as you reinfuse.

The first infusion creates a smooth buttery flavour with a pleasant sweet aftertaste. The second and third infusions are less sweet and more vegetal but equally enjoyable. Once this tea goes in my teapot I can reinfuse and drink it happily all afternoon, which is exactly what I like in an Oolong 😀


Cherry Sencha – Cheshire Tea

The smell of this tea blew me away! As soon as the packet opens a super sweet cherry aroma bursts in to the room, it reminds me of cherryade but much much healthier! Alongside the cherry fragrance there’s a slight rose hint too, creating a perfectly paired smell.

When I steeped the tea the cherry aroma became even more incredible, I found myself hovering over the mug inhaling! I love the classic sencha flavour of this tea, which is the perfect match for the beautiful cherry sweetness. The hint of rose is also noticeable in the flavour but I like that the cherry flavouring takes centre stage.


Brockley Breakfast -Good & Proper Tea Co.

Breakfast blends aren’t really the blends I reach for when I’m looking for new tea but my mum loves them so I do keep some in the house, she’s more of a traditional tea and milk kind of lady.

The leaf in this blend is very evidently high quality, which can be seen in the rich amber tea it produces once steeped. Brockley Breakfast has a deeply satisfying malty flavour with a subtle sweetness that I really enjoy. I left the traditional tea and milk test up to my mum (I don’t drink milk) and she was thoroughly impressed, I’m trying to convert her to a loose leaf lifestyle so this is a step in the right direction!


Blend No 45 – Edgcumbes Tea Blenders

Next up is the smokey blend no. 45 from Edgcumbes Tea Blenders. This tea is a combination of Lapsang Souchong, Assam, Keemum and Darjeeling. I’ll be honest, I usually hate smokey tea, it always feels like I’m licking a bonfire but I was excited to find out how it tasted when combined with unsmoked black tea.

Although it did still have the smokey smell I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour! The black tea blended with the lapsang Souchong worked perfectly to ‘water down’ the smokey flavour, creating a good quality black tea with a warming smokeyness. This tea really lends itself to curling up with a mug in the winter and enjoying a Netflix session, I’ll definitely be keeping some for the winter, although it’s always winter in the UK! :p


Black Tea & Dandelion – Oteas

I was a little unsure about this tea when I first opened my TeaTourist box but I trust their judgement!:)

It has a wholesome earthy fragrance with nice high quality leaf, the dandelion fragrance isn’t overpowering and I was pleased to find the same with the taste. It’s nice to have a traditional black tea but with a little excitement on the side. The traditional vibe of this tea makes it perfect to share with the less adventurous tea drinkers in your life, the kind that tend to run for the hills if you mention matcha or oolong! 😛


Gunpowder – The UK Loose Leaf Tea Company

I’m always excited by gunpowder tea, I love to watch the small deep green pellets open up as you steep them and I’m addicted to the vegetal flavour and zingy aftertaste.

This is a high quality gunpowder tea that does have more of a zing than a lot of gunpowder tea to the point that it’s ever so slightly metallic, more than others I’ve tried but that’s fine with me and thoroughly enjoyable! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read my review of the February TeaTourist subscription box and I hope it’s helped you decide if a tea subscription is right for you!

If you’d like to try a box you can use a voucher code TeaTourist were awesome enough to give me for you guys. Simply use RUSSTEAS30 to get 30% off your first box, you won’t be disappointed!

A huge thanks to TeaTourist for sending me this month’s box to review, it’s been amazing as always! <3

To keep up to date with the latest posts from Russtea’s you can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or join my mailing list below 🙂

Bye for now xXx







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Teatourist Tea Subscription Boxes Reviewed

3rd January 2017

I’ve been interested in signing up for a tea subscription box for a while and have tried one or two in the past. I’m always on the look out for new tea so it really makes sense for me to have a selection delivered each month, plus it’s incredibly exciting!

Teatourist were lovely enough to send me a couple of their boxes for November & December so I thought I’d do a review of my experience and a run down of the 6 teas in each box. Read on to find out how I got on! I also have a discount code to get 30% off your first box which you can find further down the review 🙂 

 Review Time!

When the box arrived I was so excited, it fit straight through my door and was waiting for me when I woke up! The packaging is really classy with a box inside a slipcover and the inside of the lid has a stunning hot air balloon photo, it’s a lovely image to see when I dive in for my next tea to try!

I was pleasantly surprised to find 6 teas inside, in the past I’ve only found 3 or 4 teas in subscription boxes so 6 is definitely appreciated. Each tea comes sealed with a card attached with a little bit about the company the blend is from and instructions for steeping, the instructions are really clear so this would be a great introduction to the world of tea for any newcomer.

The selection each month is extremely varied, with herbal blends, black tea, oolong, white tea and rooibos all making an appearance.

 

November Box

Orange Blossom Oolong – Easy Teasy

The first tea I knew I had to try from the November box was Orange Blossom Oolong. I’m a huge Oolong fan, it’s always refreshing and pairs well with a lot of flavours, there’s not much Oolong I don’t like and there’s also not much Oolong I like as much as Orange Blossom Oolong!

The orangey smell was inviting the second I opened the packet, I knew this was gonna be good! The orange flavour is a sweet orange rather than a citrusy orange which lends itself perfectly to an Oolong blend. It almost has a chocolatey hint to it as well, I couldn’t help thinking of Terry’s Chocolate Orange when I was drinking it, there’s also an enjoyable earl grey vibe to it.

 

Malawi Peony – Baraka Teas

This was another blend I was really excited about, I adore white peony and was particularly intrigued by the large leaves! Other white peony I’ve tried has had smaller leaves so it was nice to see it in a more natural form, you could imagine this tea being freshly picked for this blend.

Malawi Peony has a nice fresh aroma to it, while steeping it I was entranced by the large leaves swirling around. I enjoyed the crisp delicate flavour of this tea immensely, it was one of the first from the November box to run out!

 

Tummy Rub – Tea Box

This tea is a herbal blend containing fennel, chamomile, liquorice and mint. These are ingredients known to calm you down and ease an upset stomach.

I found that the flavour of this tea wasn’t amazing for me personally, I have a bit of a dislike of liquorice flavoured tea but I really enjoyed the chamomile element. Despite not being a huge fan of the flavour I did find it calming and especially good before bedtime and I had fun trying something different so overall a positive experience 🙂

 

Yoga Tea – T-Tox

The stand out flavours of this tea are the white tea and a candy sweet rose flavouring. The delicate flavour of the white tea has been blended with the rose petals perfectly, I was glad the rose didn’t overpower the white tea at all.

There’s also a hint of ginger and lemongrass that add a subtle but enjoyable flavour and nettle, known for it’s antiseptic properties. I found this tea was really economical and as it’s quite fine there really was a lot of cups of tea in the sachet.

 

Peppermint – Cheshire Tea

This tea blend comes all the way from the USA! I’m not the biggest fan of mint tea usually, I always feel that they’re overly minty and a bit harsh tasting. This mint tea is different! The sweeter peppermint flavours really come through, creating an enjoyably fresh experience.

Mint tea is known to be beneficial for digestion, it’s great for easing tummy cramps, giving this tea a medicinal purpose too. I really appreciate that this tea is so pure, it’s literally one ingredient: peppermint!

 

Japanese Kukicha – Shibui Tea

This tea comes from Shibui, a tea company I’ve previously reviewed not too long ago. I loved their tea the first time round, their caramel oolong and maple walnut are two of the most memorable teas I’ve ever had! You can find my shibui tea haul review here.

I must admit that I’m quite new to kukicha, having only had it one other time from Adagio. A huge difference I noticed straight away with this kukicha is its black, despite being a green tea. Kukicha is made up of the left over stems and twiggy parts of the tea plant that aren’t used, the last kukicha I had was a hay like pale green. This kukicha from Shibui has a slightly roasted flavour which is enjoyably unique and warming, making it perfect for cold winter nights!

 

December Box

Gingerbread Chai – Tugboat Brew

First up in this box is Gingerbread Chai! I’ve had another Rooibos based Gingerbread Chai from one of my favourite ever tea companies, my regular readers will know who! 😉

This tea is fairly similar but has a sweeter, less spicy flavour which makes it more of a naughty dessert-like tea. As soon as you steep this tea the smell erupts in to the room, filling it with a cakey gingerbread flavour. It’s a really economical tea, with a little tea turning your water to a beautiful amber.

 


Winter Spice – Chash The Fine Tea Company

This blend was one I wasn’t crazy about, it had quite a medicinal smell to it with strong aniseed and fennel aromas. Upon steeping I found that it was a very unique blend with a sweet aftertaste from the liquorice, I was also happy to find that the mint wasn’t overpowering.

I’m not really a fan of herbal teas but I’d recommend this tea if you like more herbal flavours or are looking for something new to broaden your horizons!

 


Shiraore Green – Momo Cha Fine Teas

I loved this blend! It smells so fresh and natural while instantly turning the water a vibrant green colour. The flavour is so pure and really refreshing, it has a really delicate vibe to it with an exciting zing.

Shiaore Green is one of those blends that I’d really describe as being creamy, before being obsessed with tea I would never of understood someone referring to tea with no milk as creamy but it really is! I’d highly recommend this tea and am excited to explore the range of tea this brand has to offer!

 


Marzipan Rooibos – Hoogly Tea

I just don’t know where to begin with this beautiful blend! As soon as I opened the December box and saw marzipan I couldn’t wait to try it. I’m a big drinker of rooibos, I love drinking it at night instead of fruit tea all the time. I’ve found some really exciting flavours out there, this is definitely a contender for the best rooibos I’ve tried!

It smells just like battenburg cake, with a sweet cakey almond aroma, as the water hits the tea you can smell this tea throughout the house! I love the marzipan taste with the nutty rooibos, this is an epic find by Tea Tourist 😃

 


Citrus Ginger

I’m not a big fan of ginger tea when it’s more herbal, spicy ginger and not a sweet dessert blend. I was quite sceptical about this tea as I have a soft spot for sweet tea blends so this isn’t a tea I would usually go for.

I decided to go for it and see if this tea would surprise me! It’s definitely a blend that will wake you up in the morning, with a real zing from the citrus and instant alertness from the ginger. It was one of my least favourite teas but it was made up of good quality ingredients and definitely something different to add some extra excitement to the December box! 😊

 

Scotch Acorns – Nothing But Tea

The smell of this tea is heavenly, with sweet chocolate notes and high quality black tea combined beautifully. The flavour is another awesome combo, the black tea flavour is perfect with a small chocolate hint, making this tea fantastic as a guilt free treat.

It’s also a tea that is very economical when used in a tea bottle, it doesn’t over infuse too much if you leave it in and doesn’t take much tea at all to make a bottle full. I’ve recently been enjoying a new tea bottle, it’s really good quality and the neoprene handle is convenient for hot drinks 🙂

 

Final Thoughts

I’ve loved my experience with the TeaTourist subscription! It’s super convenient, straight through your door and with a large selection of very different teas.

You also get 6 teas each month which is really good value at this price and the amount of tea in each sachet is very generous. To make these TeaTourist teas go even further you could consider a tea bottle of some kind, I’ve written a Top 10 Tea Bottles post that’s a great place to start if you’re looking for a tea bottle.

The subscription service is perfect for tea bloggers as you’ll be served with 6 new teas to review each month and 6 new tea companies to check out 😀

Teatourist have given me an extremely generous discount code for my readers to get 30% off their first subscription box! simply use the code RUSSTEAS30 and you’ll receive the discount off your first box!

A huge thanks to TeaTourist for sending me these month’s subscriptions!

Bye for now! xXx

 

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Shibui Leaf Tea Haul Taste Tested & Reviewed!

23rd May 2016

A little while ago I was lucky enough to be sent a box of joy by Shibui Leaf Tea. Inside the box there was a selection of loose leaf teas, an awesome mug and some empty tea pyramids for making your own teabags (super cool!).

On to the review!

Full Cup

Loose Leaf

Caramel Oolong

This was one of the teas I requested because I love Oolong and caramel seemed like the perfect accompaniment. This tea smells beyond words, succulent & sweet, with a buttery quality. I could actually just leave bowls of this around my house, the smell is that good!

One thing I love about Oolong is you can get a lot of tea from not much leaf, as it really lends itself to being infused multiple times. During these infusions you can follow the tea on a delectable taste journey as each infusion tastes different to the last and from a practical point of view, this makes this tea very economic.

On to the taste! As you swirl this golden liquor in your mouth you can taste the beautiful delicate quality of the Oolong as well as a devilishly sweet caramel flavour, that’s just strong enough to be enjoyable but without overpowering the Oolong flavour. I think this would be great iced but also fantastic to cuddle up with on a cold night and lets face it, with the British summer coming up the latter is more likely! :p

 

Spout

Ti Kuan Yin

This is another excellent Oolong, with light floral notes. I received these in high quality pyramid teabags, there’s more than enough tea for multiple infusions in each teabag and the teabags allow the leaf to move around enough to infuse well.

This was a really flavoursome Oolong with quite a delicate savoury flavour, you can also taste a subtle underlying floral sweetness which gives it some extra character. It produces a brownish liquid with a really unique scent and it’s malty flavour is so refreshing to drink, definitely a good Oolong! 🙂

 

White Peony

White Peony (known in China as Pai Mu Tan) is always a tea I look forward to, the delicate sweetness of the white tea is fantastic and super refreshing. It’s produced from the handpicked bud and first two leaves of the tea plant, this creates a clean royal tea.

The leaves are a really good size which is always a nice thing to see and each pyramid teabag is filled with a lot of tea so you can easily make a couple of cups of tea with one teabag. It has a slightly floral quality to it which is subtly sweet but it lets the white tea flavours take centre stage.

 

Pouring

Maple Walnut

Another tea I requested a sample of is Maple Walnut and I’m so glad I did! This tea smells sooo good with a sweet maple fragrance and a hint of walnut. The pieces of walnut and the leaf are really nice sized and you can tell this tea is special when you first prepare it, the smell just fills the room with sweet nuttiness.

Once steeped it makes a vibrant green liquid which I could just sit and smell all day! The taste is amazing, it’s really sweet and has a slightly toasted quality to it, reminds me of toasted marshmallows. The walnut flavour is definitely noticeable but not overpowering, I wondered if it would be too nutty but it’s not at all. The tea leaf, walnut and maple are all there with precisely the right amount of each.

 

English Breakfast

English Breakfast

I was lucky enough to receive my English Breakfast in a beautiful polished chrome cannister, it’s really stunning and I’ll be sure to refill it once it’s empty and store it on my desk. These cannisters would make the perfect gift for any tea lover and it definitely adds a certain elegance to the experience, after all, presentation is everything!;)

I feel that English Breakfast is really drab unless it’s really good, without any extra flavours the quality of black tea can really be noticed. Luckily this is a really good English Breakfast, it has a deep malty brown colour to it and it’s epic with a couple of biscuits to dunk in it. It has a very slight sweetness to it which makes it more enjoyable than a lot of other English Breakfast tea I’ve tried. My mum loves English breakfast, even with all the exciting tea I make for her she still insists on English Breakfast with her breakfast and she definitely approves of this English Breakfast!

 

The Unexpected – Shibui Mug & Tea Filters

mug

An unexpected inclusion from Shibui Leaf Tea is a mug that has a tea themed word search on it, with words such as Roobios and Assam. It’s bone china and dishwasher proof, a really nice touch is one of the words is Shibui and it’s been outlined as the only word found so far, which I really like! Again this would be the perfect gift to give with some of the gorgeous teas above.

 

Filters

I also received some tea filters, which basically act like teabags that you can fill yourself and pull closed with a drawstring at the top. They’re unbleached, chlorine free and biodegradable so great all round! I use something similar when I go away so I don’t have to carry an infuser for loose leaf tea with me but these are more convenient with the drawstring closure. They’re also an absolute bargain at £3.95 for 100!

 

So that’s my haul reviewed! A huge thanks to Shibui Tea for sending me their products to review and for their generosity, it’s very much appreciated.

You can check out their amazing store here.

Thanks so much for reading this review, I hope you enjoyed it. Bye for now! xXx