I am introducing my new fun series: Subscription Box Saturday! I am hoping that most Saturday’s I will be reviewing a new subscription box and my experience with them. Since I had a couple of subscription boxes in the review pile, I really thought that this would be a great time to start this series. Today’s subscription box is from Bruu Tea. Bruu Tea is a tea company based in the UK, who want to connect tea lovers everywhere with gourmet tea that is tailored to your preferences.
My subscription box came with three teas, a themed surprise, a small infuser, and one “discover” tea sample, which informed me about a particular region and tea estate (I was told by a few other people though that amount of tea can change month to month, and that they never got a small infuser ball). This “discover” tea and information changes each month. My themed surprise was in the form of a chocolate bar that was vegan and eco-friendly, which I was happy and surprised to get. A person can also customize their subscription boxes a little bit by removing teas that they would not want to receive and also marking any additional ingredients they would prefer not to have such as licorice or dairy.
I fully admit, this review is a bit late. I received this box back in February, right before I left for California and came back to a global pandemic. My mindset was not right for tea reviews even though I did try. After becoming a little bit more mentally sound, I went back to my reviews albeit a little late. So, these teas are not the most recent but it does reflect on the quality and mission of this tea company. Here is what I thought:
What is the Price?
The price for this box is 10 Euros (about $11 USD) for three pouches of tea, a small themed surprise, and a “discover” tea. They have different prices for purchasing this box in bulk, such as bulk discounts for getting a 6-month subscription. Shipping inside the UK is free and states that it is 2.99 Euros anywhere else. I reached out for a code to include, but was unable to secure one. I do know a few people have some codes floating around though, but if I get one, I will definitely put it in here!
How was the Packaging?
I loved the package that this tea came in, I cannot find the picture I took of it, but it was absolutely branded out and lovely. Their whole presentation was absolutely breathtaking and I loved the utilization of the mini-tea cards to decorate the tea pouches and also inform the consumer of the sourcing, notes, and what it is. The tea pouches felt very lightweight and seemed to keep the aroma of the tea out.
But…How were the Teas?
Royal Star: This tea has quite the fruity aroma, most likely the currants. I continued to smell the dry leaves while steeping (yes, I acknowledge that is probably not normal). The aroma of the brewed tea was very similar to the dry leaves, just slightly less potent. It was also a lot stronger than the taste of the tea, which is also normal. This tea is quite light and delicately balanced, with a nice floral feeling to the tea. I did not realize at first that it was a green and oolong blend, as I could not really detect that normal “tea taste” associated with green or oolong tea (Maybe more oolong tea tasting if I had to determine it).
Ingredients: Green Sencha & Oolong Tea, Sunflower, Cornflower Petals, & Currants
Size: 14 grams
Source: Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Given Info about the Source: Nuwara Eliya has the highest altitude of any of the tea-growing ranges in Sri Lanka. The climate is rainy and cooler than most of the other tea-growing regions; frost can occur in the area at higher elevations. This area has a consistent humidity throughout the year, and tea is harvested here year-round. The most desirable harvests tend to be from January through March.
Biscottea: The aroma of the tea leaves when I opened the pouch was so heavenly, full of sweet apple and cloves. The aroma reminded me a bit of a chai tea, slightly sweet and spicy. The taste was naturally a little sweet, with some spice settling on my tea. This tea very much reminds me of a chai but it is more gentle and more flowery. The feeling with each sip was quite smooth and creamy, which really paired well with my breakfast (avocado toast and 2 cookies). Drinking the tea a few more times after that solidified my thoughts. The aroma is so lovely and light, but the taste is also quite pillowy and gentle. Sometimes I find chai too abrasive on the senses, but this tea while it reminded me of a chai, it did not overpower my senses.
Ingredients: Black Tea, Apple Pieces, Cinnamon Bits, Coriander, Cardamom Pods, Orange Slices, Pink Peppercorn, & Cloves
Size: 14 grams
Source: The Khongea Tea Garden in Assam India
Given Info about the Source: The tea garden is situated in the upper reaches of the Assam region on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River, paired with vibrant spices from the region. Today, Indian Tea is some of the most famous in the world and Assam tea was first found growing wild there by the Scottush explorer Robert Bruce.
Earthy Oolong: I ended up putting this tea in my gaiwan to truly experience this tea. I first rinsed the leaves to try, and then set to brewing it. The first steep had a woodsy, umami-like aroma that was super familiar to me but I could not put my finger on it. After further analysis, I realized that this was a mineral aroma that I was experiencing. There is absolutely no other explanation. The flavor was both sweet and lightly savory, which was very unique. It really lingered on my palate and left almost a woodsy aftertaste. The second steeping brought a little different experience where I seemed a bit less dynamic in flavor, but still very enjoyable. I ended up doing another steeping, which resulted in a different brew as well, but I still enjoyed it immensely. I think out of oolongs, Yancha is not always my favorite. It really requires me to be in a certain mood and mindset to fully appreciate it.
Ingredients: Pure Oolong Tea
Size: 14 grams
Sourced: Wuyi Mountian, Jiangxi Providence, China
Given Info about the Source: This tea is grown in the mineral-rich soil beneath the towering cliffs of the Wuji Mountains, where oolong has earned the nickname “Yancha”, meaning rock tea.
Discover… Bogapani – Christmas Chai Tea: Super light-tasting but bursting full of flavor. The aroma is very much orange spice. I like that it is a green tea instead of black, it really highlights the individual spices and flavors. Extremely refreshing. Sometimes I find that chai tea can be weighed down by the tannins in the black tea (I have only ever had black or herbal chai tea) which can lead to a bit of astringency or even bitterness. This tea has a smoothness to it and really goes down quite easily. I think this might become one of my favorite chai teas which is sad because this was just a small discover sample. Since this tea was a discover tea and a special sample, it has an extensive history which I will share with you.
Ingredients: Bogopani Green Tea, Orange, & Cinnamon
Sourced: Bogapani Tea Estate, Assam, India
Elevation: 130m above sea level
Soil Type: Alluvium
Season: Second Flush
Given Info about the Source: This tea estate was originally planted in 1916, which makes it one of the oldest estates in Assam. Its name in the local dialect means “clear water”, as it is situated very close to the upper Dehing Reserve Forest were many animals like leopards, tigers, elephants, and porcupines roam. The tea bushes in Bogapani are well-established and yields a consistent harvest year-round. These established plants produce high-quality leaves. This tea is from the higher quality June harvest and utilizes the fresher, fine-needle leaves.
Would I Purchase from this Company Again?
Yes, I definitely would (although this was gifted to me for review purposes). And I am not saying that lightly. Cute packaging aside, this is my first personal experience with a subscription box (and I have tried a few subscription boxes before) that values transparency and sourcing. I absolutely love transparency and giving credit to the location that it was sourced from, it is more important than anything else honestly. Plus for the price, I really think these teas were quite fun to experience and made me feel good inside drinking because I knew exactly where they were from. If anything, the sizes were not the largest.
So, how do you like Subscription Box Saturday? I am already so excited to share the next one, but I have to patiently wait! Is there any companies you want me to review next? Comment down below! Happy Brewing!