Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Tea with Alice March 2015

Kia Ora!

I normally unbox beauty subscription boxes on here, but today is a subscription box of a slightly different kind. I'm sure savvy readers have noticed that I include tea in my empties (which are otherwise mostly skincare). The two things I'm completely obsessed with at the moment are using face masks, and drinking tea. I normally buy tea from T2 and any other tea place I can, rather more frequently than I should. I have a love of dark black tea, but I also like to mix it up and drink fruit tisanes or flavoured black teas. I'm not a huge green tea fan, although I occasionally indulge.

Recently, I was over the moon when I discovered an Australian monthly tea subscription. I couldn't believe my luck when I contacted Tea with Alice to ask if they shipped to New Zealand and they said yes! Their customer support is wonderful, and despite me applying a day after their cut-off, they sent me out the March box rather than make me wait an agonizing 6 weeks for the April box.



It took about 10 days to get to me, not bad timing for international shipping. I love that they don't use excessive packaging, just a simple cardboard box to protect the tea inside. I also love the stamps on the front, as another hobby of mine is stamp collecting. I am stoked to be able to add some more Australian stamps to my albums. (Yes I'm a massive geek, but I'm cool with that).


The tea inside looks fantastic, and each pouch is resealable. The strawberry tea ball is included with the first order you make, and is a welcome addition to my tea making tools.


There were some introductory sheets, with a welcome and about the subscription. There is a personal message from Alice, who started the company (and appears to share my tea addiction).


The strawberry is adorable, and useful. I can see it being especially great for those who don't already have supplies to make tea with loose tea leaves, and it is a thoughtful addition to the subscription. There is also a calico bag which fits the pouches perfectly. I've popped them all in and stored them in my cupboard. It's great as it keeps all the Tea with Alice teas in the same place (for now), and will be useful if I want to take my tea on a holiday.


Finally, the stars of the show, the tea itself. You get four teas per box per month, but can customise your preferences a little bit. I've unselected the green tea option as I'm pretty sure I'll end up hating those types (personal preference and all), but I have ticked the black tea option, and the herbal/fruit option. You are guaranteed 8-10 cups of tea in each sachet, which is 36-40 cups of tea a month. Yum! I am excited to try all of these out.


Each tea has a description and brewing instructions on the back. I've only popped one photo of this in, so as not to overwhelm with information. I will put the description and instructions of each tea in Italics underneath the relevant picture, but wanted to put this picture in the first unboxing to show you exactly how the instructions are presented.


Detox Me Now!

There are moments that call for a little extra virtue! If your body is crying out for some purification and a good cleanse, then Detox Me Now will set you on the path to becoming the goddess on the mountain top!

Ingredients: Nettle, Red Clover, Burdock, Dandelion Root, Calendula, St Mary's Thistle, Lemon Verbena, Liquorice Root, Rhubarb Root and Lemon Peel. 

Steep at 100C for 3-5 mins - 1-2 cups per day. Organic. Caffeine free. 

I've been meaning to look into detox tea for some time now, so I'm really excited to try this one. The scent is not particularly appealing, but I don't think that is the point. The ingredients list looks fantastic, and the liquorice root is one of the stronger scents in the packet. I'll be doing a review of these teas, so keep an eye out for what I thought of this one.


No Dress Code

Orange Pekoe has had a long posh marriage to the service of High Tea. But this bright, delicate blend of Sri Lankan perfection requires no dress code: sip it in your PJ's or at the office, this golden brew is perfect for any time.

Ingredients: Sri Lankan Orange Pekoe

Steep at 90C for 3-4 mins. Contains caffeine.

I know that I love black tea, but I've never really looked at the types of leaves I like in particular. I can see myself learning a lot about the different ways of making black tea, and I'm excited about this. I will be trying out this tea straight away, and it does smell bright and delicate. Yum!


Breakfast in Bed

Waking up to the perfect cuppa will set you up for the day - this breaky tea is a triple treat; with a base of chocolatey Assam, the delicate twang of Orange Pekoe in the middle and the sweet high notes of malty Yunnan Red. This wake-up-cup will dare you to take on the day.

Ingredients: High grown Ceylon Orange Pekoe and Yunnan Red.

Steep at 90C for 2 mins. Enjoy with or without milk. Contains caffeine. 

I can't get enough of this tea. I love the deep notes in the scent, and the lovely warmth and depth that this tea has. It tastes fantastic on the tongue, and I am sad to say that I'm nearly finished this packet (I know it's only been a few days, but this one is a winner). I am deeply in love with this blend, and am probably going to spend a bunch of money buying more of it. Mmmmmm. If you like deep dark black tea then this is the one for you.


Purely Peppermint

The original and still the best! Powerfully fresh, cleansing, light and invigorating the benefits of this tea are endless; tummy, trimming, antibacterial, calming, the list goes on and on and on. But mostly it is just delicious. Purely peppermint: purely life. 

Ingredients: Organic peppermint leaves.

Steep at 90C for 3-4 mins. Organic. Caffeine free.

The leaves of this packet smell wonderful, very fresh and minty. I am not usually a big fan of peppermint tea, but I will try this and see how we go. I tend to prefer sweet and with plenty of depth, but this would make a perfect tea for after dinner and before bed. If I don't end up drinking the whole packet, my SO's mother is already keen to take it off my hands.

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Well, I think this subscription service is fantastic! I can't wait for the next month's box to arrive, and I will be re-ordering Breakfast in Bed at the very least. Yum!!

I will pop up a review of all four teas in a couple of weeks once I've had time to make lots of tea and taste test them properly - what a wonderful time I will have preparing for that review.

One small thing I have to note, and I feel a bit bad even mentioning it at all as it is a tiny niggle. The blurb on the back of each tea is fantastic, uses all the right words and makes the tea sound wonderful. However, and remember this is the English Masters student speaking, perhaps a double check of grammatical rules (particularly those around punctuation) wouldn't go amiss. I thought some sentences were a bit awkward, and simply changing the punctuation would help as all the right words were being used. Once again though, that is probably me being a pedantic grammar nerd, so not really a big deal, and definitely doesn't affect the quality of the company or the tea.

Overall, I am really impressed with this box from Tea with Alice. Not only do they have superior customer service, but they provide excellent tea and with different customisable options. I'm really looking forward to continuing to receive this box (and since I paid for a 12 month subscription this box will be continuing for awhile), and taste-testing the various types of tea.

What do you guys think of this box? Look out for the more detailed review to come in a few weeks.

Until next time ...