The next tea subscription box that I am reviewing is Tea Sparrow as part of my Subscription Box Saturday series! They sent me their Original Tea Box plus one extra tea back in February, but due to current events, I was not very quick to reviewing it. So, these are February’s teas but I still can accurately report on the quality of tea, price, and packaging. Tea Sparrow started in 2010 as the industry’s first blended tea curating house. Currently, it is a tea subscription box company that handpicks all tea blends from dozens of tea vendors to choose which teas will be in the next month’s box. This is different from most other subscription tea boxes as many companies use these boxes to promote their own tea blends, but Tea Sparrow goes through other company’s tea blends to ensure that they are always providing their customers with new blends.
What is the Price?
Tea Sparrow has four different kinds of subscription boxes, the Herbal Tea Box, Caffeinated Tea Box, the Original Tea Box, and the Tea Bag Box, all for $20 per month. Each box comes with four different kinds of teas (or 18 tea bags if choosing the Tea Bag Box) based on the type of subscription service box that is ordered. My tea pouches were 18 grams of tea, but I am unsure if that is their standard size. I was not able to find a code for you, but I do have a referral link. This referral link will allow me to make a small commission off of a purchase that you make on Tea Sparrow, which in turn helps me run my blog and generate new content!
How was the Packaging?
The tea pouch itself is omnidegradable, meaning that it can be fully composted in your backyard. I have found that in the past that biodegradable and omnidegradable packaging tends to be less airtight. The individual packages were not the best at keeping the aroma in the bag, so I can assume it is not completely airtight at the zipped part. So with that in mind, I might decide to change out the packaging once I have some available. I really loved the packaging that the five teas came in and that it used the least amount of paper and packaging needed. That made it seem more sustainable, with steeping instructions printed on the inside of the box instead of additional paperwork.
Analyzation of the Teas:
Organic Lavender Cream: The dry leaves had an aroma that reminded me of a decadent Earl Grey. With a brewed aroma that was quite aromatic and lovely, slightly less than the dry leaves. This tea had a beautiful red amber color to it. The taste of the tea was lovely and had a bit of a milder earl grey feeling to it. I was surprised that I could definitely taste the creamy aspect of this tea. The aroma of lavender lingered on the taste buds (my fiance smelled fruit loops…unsure what that meant). It was funny because we did not connect that it was an Earl Grey until after we brewed it and thought it smelled familiar (we were quite tired and really needed the caffeine). We realized that we had been quite dumb to not realize it sooner, but it was a lovely surprise either way.
Ingredients: Organic Assam Black Tea, Organic Lavender Petals, Natural Vanilla and Bergamot Liquid
Cascara Nights: I can actually taste every single ingredient in this tea. The mint gives it a fresh feeling, the lavender is wonderfully aromatic and gives a lovely texture to the tea, while the cascara gives hints of sweetness here and there. It is quite relaxing and comforting to drink. I am currently drinking this in bed, while watching some videos on my phone. It really added to my decompressing process and allowed me to take small moments and put down my phone to enjoy the tea. The aroma was fantastic. My sinuses were slightly congested due to being around some fluffballs that loved being by my face, so the clarity was warmly embraced. Mint and lavender is a fantastic combination before bed, I might even say that I prefer it more than chamomile tea in regards to relaxing and before bed moments. I actually made a pot of this and snuck it into my room without my mom noticing (she loves mint tea but especially loves lavender). I will get her to try this and report back.
Ingredients: Organic Spearmint, Cascara, Organic Lavender
Organic Blueberry Rooibos: The aroma is very fragrant, almost of a blueberry muffin. In general, my mom does not like rooibos but this one was packed full of blueberry and hibiscus flavor that the rooibos taste does not shine through as much. It also doesn’t have that sour berry taste either, but a nice balance of both tartness and sweetness. I actually used a French press to brew this tea (just for the fun of it honestly) and because the bottom of it continues to steep, the hibiscus became more prominent and tart in the tea. So we tried a second steeping as well, which would have probably worked better if we had used a normal teapot and the leaves had not sat steeping on the bottom of the French press. At first, it seemed like slightly flavored water with some aroma to it. But the more it steeped as we sipped, it did get a bit more of a rooibos flavor with a hint of blueberries.
Ingredients: Organic Red Rooibos, Organic Blueberries, Organic Hibiscus, Natural Blueberry Flavor
Organic Cacao Tea: This tea was extremely chocolatey. There was almost a raspberry or cherry dark chocolate aroma to the dry “leaves”. I was a bit put aback when I noticed a little oily film on the top of my tea, but I guess that cacao is possibly a bit more oily and such. It has almost an oily feel and taste to it, which makes it seem heavier. It has a delicate taste but a heavier feeling. Drinking this right after dinner made it the perfect dessert tea, but I do not think I could drink a large pot of this tea alone. My dad is a big chocolate fan, so I gave him a small sample of this tea. It was not for his tastes at all. I personally am not a huge chocolate person, but I did not mind this tea. I think because I do not have a huge appreciation for chocolate, I can drink more different variations and enjoy it, where my dad loves chocolate and any kind that deviates from his normal tastes is not as well received.
Ingredients: Organic Cacao Bean Shell
Organic Jasmine: I was concerned after smelling the aroma of the leaves that this tea would be overpowered by the jasmine, but I was pleasantly surprised. This tea has a nice balance of jasmine and green flavor. Definitely not super overwhelming on the senses, which I really appreciated. I have stated in many Jasmine Green Tea reviews that this type of tea is my go-to when I am stressed, so I was indulging a bit during this stressful time and the end of my undergrad education. I am finding it difficult to find differences in Jasmine Green teas as it does not really vary from brand to brand (at least from what I have tried and seen). This type of tea seems to be quite consistent.
Ingredients: Organic Green Tea, Organic Jasmine Flowers
Would I Purchase from this Company Again?
I would order from them again (although this box was gifted to me). With that being said though, I was a bit torn. There are a few pros and cons for this subscription box. A benefit is the sustainability of the company and the eco-friendliness of the packaging. However, while I think it is wonderful that they made that a priority, the pouches do not do the best of keeping the aroma out which means I would probably want to replace the packaging with a tin or glass jar. another benefit is that they have mostly organic ingredients, but I was disappointed that they do not explain where the tea is sourced from and have that traceability available to consumers (this is becoming a big thing for me, I love paying a bit of respect and homage to the tea farm or area of origin for the tea). With all that being said, if I was purely looking for a variety of quality teas, I would 100% consider this company an option as they have a lot of options and I did enjoy every tea that was sent to me. More benefits include their quality of tea, the blends were extremely lovely and well done, and that they give a good quantity of tea for the price of the subscription box.
I hope you are enjoying this new series! I am having so much fun putting these all together and really researching the companies. Enjoy the rest of our Saturday! Happy Brewing!