The Tea Mistress, LLC came from the mind of Amanda Vermillion, an ITMA-certified tea master. Started in 2013, the company started as classes, talks, and presentations business, but quickly expanded into tea retail as demand grew. She sent me her Tea of the Month Club box for July, and here are my thoughts.
What is the Cost?
The cost is $12/month including shipping for loose leaf tea or $13/month including shipping for bagged tea. You get to choose three teas from a monthly list of tea that the owner compiles. They have enough tea for at least 2-3 cups each container.
What is the Packaging Like?
The tea came in tins, which I absolutely love. They do have a clear top but I still think that tins really are the ideal storage container. I was really impressed that I could not smell the aromas outside of the container, since these teas had quite a potent aroma.
What is the Sourcing Situation?
For the Oolong tea, the sourcing information was stated (from Fujian, China), but not on the Pomelo Basil Black. I could not find any further sourcing information on their website, but I have a feeling that they are making the information available as it becomes available.
How are the Teas?
Watermelon Oolong: I was most excited about this tea out of all of them. It just sounded amazing, and the aroma was almost candy-like and extremely fragrant. I was instantly reminded of a watermelon airhead. As I steeped the tea, I could still smell a strong candy-like aroma with some oolong typical aroma coming out as well. I was nervous 1 tsp was not enough, but the leaves unfurled so beautifully (full & luscious leaves), and was plenty strong enough in flavor. As I drank the tea, the flavor was much like subtle candy or pop rocks and was absolutely delicious. The sweetness really settles on my taste buds, and I had to restrain myself from chugging the tea. I did another steeping and was surprised that there were still watermelon flavors to the tea.
Ingredients: Ti Quan Yin Oolong Tea from Fujian, China, Papaya Pieces, Plum + Safflower Petals, Natural Flavors. (Organic Compliant).
Price: $5 per ounce.
Pomelo Basil Black: I chose this one because it just really intrigued me. I have not had any tea with basil and I was not sure how I was going to feel about it. After drinking it, I am still not sure. I love the taste of basil but drinking it is just a whole other case. The tea was kind of citrusy but had that basil freshness. There were a slight tartness and astringency that lingered on my tongue, as well as a bit of dryness as I continued to sip on the tea. The aroma of the dry leaves was extremely potent, so much that even just the teaspoon that I had used filled the room with the aroma. My mom was not really sure about the aroma, she really felt that basil is more of a food combination and possibly not for tea. It is an odd aroma and flavor honestly, but one worth trying at least once.
Ingredients: Black Tea, Dried Pomelo Cubes & Peels, Basil Leaves, Natural Flavors
Coconut Macaroon: The real question is should I be drinking this tea (it has traces of dairy in it that I did not see when picking out the teas)? My answer is yes, and I will drink the rest of the sample as well. The aroma of the “leaves” was very strong and aromatic. There were sweet elements, kind of like a mix of apple pie and coconut. As I brewed the tea, I was surprised by how light of a color was produced. It also appeared a bit cloudy with a few floating particles. The aroma switched to a lighter version of the original aroma, being still quite sweet and almost creamy. The tea is very interesting to me, with almost a non-existent front taste but a huge hit of flavor in the back. The flavor consisted of almond and coconut, as well as a bit of pineapple sweetness. It actually is quite sweet as it cools down. My mom described it as “warm coconut water with tea”. She also tasted pineapple and almonds.
Ingredients: Apple Pieces, Pineapple Cubes (Pineapple, Sugar), Roasted Coconut Flakes, Freeze-Dried Marzipan Drops (Almonds, Sugar, Humectant: Invertase), Flavoring, Coconut Flakes, Freeze-Dried Yogurt Granules (Skim Milk Yogurt, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Modified Starch, Acidifying Agent: Citric Acid), Sweet Blackberry Leaves
Would I Purchase from this Company Again?
I am really debating buying some of the Watermelon Oolong, so yes, I would totally consider buying from this company again. I really liked the different varieties of teas and the option to choose what you get each month. Each of these teas are quite aromatic and there are elements about these blends that I really liked. So, I would think this would be such a fun subscription to have each month, but I do wish a little bit more tea came. The quantities are a bit small, but since shipping is included, the price still is fair.
I have A LOT of subscription boxes ready for you guys for this series. It is not stopping anytime soon, and I am so happy to be supporting and discovering some small tea companies and tea subscription boxes. I hope you are enjoying! Happy Brewing!