Later this month, it will be two years since we bought our little house.
While that “new homeowner” shine has worn off a little – I still haven’t gotten around to most of the projects I had planned, and I’ve given up on ever being one of those people who tidies up after herself automatically – I still love this place as much as I did when we first moved in.
With one exception: the kitchen.
The first place that Stringer and I ever rented together had a kitchen so big you could probably have fit the rest of the flat in it, assuming you took some Tetris-style liberties. And I think it’s spoiled me for life. The kitchen in our house is easily bigger than the one in the last place we rented (we traded kitchen space for a study, and to not be faced with three flights of stairs when we got home from work) – but the lack of storage space, and work surface space, is a continuing source of frustration.
A couple of weeks ago, I went downstairs in the morning to discover that Stringer had transformed the space overnight. He had bought this hanging contraption which goes over the back of the door and creates shelf space, which he had filled with all the jars of herbs and spices and packets of loose-leaf tea that had gathered on the countertops and in the cupboards. Greeted with that display, I had two immediate thoughts: one, why do I keep thinking we have run out of dried rosemary; and two, I don’t half have a habit of purchasing and then forgetting all about loose-leaf tea.
That’s why True Tea Club, who recently sent me one of their monthly subscription boxes* for review, has the right idea. At first, I planned to list the small packet sizes of the four teas that you get in each box as a negative. But, given my track record, it’s almost certainly for the best.
Based in York, True Tea Club specialise in high quality loose-leaf teas, sourced from small grassroots suppliers around the world. Each month, subscribers receive four premium teas which might be white, green, black, oolong, chai, rooibos or herbal. Boxes range from £10-20 a month with free delivery in the UK (£3.75 internationally): the higher price gets you bigger bags of that month’s selection of teas. The £10 standard box gets you two teaspoonfuls of each tea, but the potency of the loose leaves means that they can be brewed more than once.
As well as your teas, each True Tea Club box also comes with four empty tea bags – making it ideal if you’ve never tried loose leaf tea before, or as a gift. As much as I enjoy the rituals of tea-making, infusers and strainers can be a bit of a faff if you’ve never used them before, or you want to bring your tea into the office.
The teas included in the first box were:
- Vanilla Cupcake Roobios;
- Rainbow Chaser Peppermint;
- Earl Grey Rebel;
- Mighty Mango Green Tea
Each came in a resealable pouch, clearly labeled with individual brewing instructions.
From the second each pouch is opened, it’s obvious that they are made with quality ingredients: the smell strikes you right away, and the blend of beautiful ingredients is extremely attractive (when I brewed up the full pouch of Rainbow Chaser in my giant mug at work, the colourful ingredients bobbing in their little paper bag reminded me of a spring roll).
My favourite thing about loose leaf tea is the scope for combining exciting ingredients with tea leaves, and that’s something that True Tea Club has nailed. While my experience to date is that the labels don’t always match with the content – Vanilla Cupcake, for example, is a roobios (redbush) tea blended with banana chips, which tasted nothing like the cakey treat – they certainly get points for imagination.
But perhaps my favourite feature of the True Tea Club is not so much what is in the box, but what you can choose to leave out. If you’re not a fan of a particular type of tea, just let the company know at checkout (or, if you only realised after trying one, drop them a line at a later date) and they’ll leave it out of future boxes. So if, like me, you think green teas taste like grass, you can ask not to be sent any green teas. Although I should warn you that the tropical scent from the Mighty Mango in this box was almost enough to convert me, and certainly made it my favourite from the selection I was sent.
If, on the other hand, you absolutely love one of the blends in your box, you can order a full-size pouch on the True Tea Club website with 15% off.
I absolutely loved this subscription box. From the empty tea bags, to the letterbox-friendly slimline packaging, True Tea Club has thought of everything – and, at £10 a month for what can be as much as 40 cups of tea if you re-use your leaves, it’s excellent value for money.
Not convinced? Well, for a limited time you can get 50% off your first True Tea Club subscription box – that’s a box for as little as £5, including delivery in the UK – if you use the code LOVE at checkout. They’ll even ship your first box within 24 hours!
This post contains a PR sample, but all views are my own and unbiased.