Thursday, May 15, 2014

Craft of Tea Review, May 2014 + 50% Discount Code!!

There are cat people and there are dog people.  Likewise, there are tea drinkers and there are coffee drinkers. I am a lifelong tea drinker but certainly no connoisseur as I mostly prefer flavored black teas and an occasional green tea. Having said that, I was thrilled to receive a box for review from Craft of Tea, which is a premium tea subscription service operated by a husband and wife team.

Craft of Tea offers a wide variety of handcrafted looseleaf teas. They do a lot of research that results in wonderful artisanal tea blends. You can customize your monthly box and choose from over 50 flavors of tea. You get a deluxe sample size vacuum sealed pouch containing each tea.  They have two subscription plans available:
  • Sampling Starter Box - 4 tea pouches - $19.95/mo. 
  • Full Size Tea Box - 8 tea pouches - $29.95/mo.
You can add the names of the teas you want during checkout or let them choose a nice selection for you. When you find teas you love, you can order them in various larger sizes directly from their website.

Craft of Tea also offers one time "Signature" purchase boxes that would make great gifts. Again, you can choose the tea blends included or have them choose for you. Available options are:
  • One month - 4 tea pouches - $24.95
  • One month - 8 tea pouches - $39.95
  • Three months - 8 tea pouches - $134.95
I received the Sampling Starter box which came in a brown cardboard box and contained four slightly translucent air tight green bags.  

Each pouch weighs .5 oz. and I'd say contains enough tea leaves for about 5 or 6 cups depending on the strength you make (probably more for hot tea).  I tried all of these as ice teas since that's what I prefer, but I'm sure they would all be great hot as well. The first one I made was an herbal tea called "Calm & Refresh".

This is a caffeine-free tea containing lemongrass, rooibos and honeybush, ginger, lemon verbena, apple bits and marigolds.  As you can see, it's a beautifully crafted blend. I thought this might be too strong but it is surprisingly light and the flavors complement each other well. Lemongrass is the dominant, but not overwhelming, flavor.

Next is a black tea blended with bergamot and vanilla.  I'm not a huge fan of vanilla flavored teas but in this case, it was light and added some interest to a very traditional tea. The bergamot was a nice touch that offset the vanilla in a very pleasing way.

Again, another pretty artisan blend!  I think of bergamot as being a citrusy orange or yellow color so not sure what the bluish pieces are unless they snuck in a bit of lavender.

Of the four teas, "My Inspiration" was probably my favorite.  This is a lovely premium green tea blended with pomegranate and raspberries.  

As I mentioned above, I'm mostly a flavored black tea drinker so the fruity notes in this one really appealed to me.  And it's just so aesthetically pleasing to the eye!

Last is "Starry Night", a caffeine free herbal tea containing strawberry, hibiscus flowers, apples, rose hips and lemongrass. This was the most unique and interesting of the teas I received.

It's an absolutely beautiful blend, like nothing I have seen before.  The actual tea leaves are almost an afterthought in this mix. While steeping, this blend just barely colors the water. The result is a nice light strawberry taste, made a bit more complex by the other flavors.

Experiencing Craft of Tea really succeeded in expanding my tea drinking horizons.  All four of these teas are ones that I could see adding to my regular rotation of blends. The quality of the ingredients and distinctive nature of the blends is obvious. The only criticism I have is that the pouches were very difficult to re-open once they had been initially opened and then pressure sealed across the top.  They were well labeled as to ingredients and specific steeping instructions.

If you would like to try Craft of Tea, they have provided a quite generous discount code for first time subscribers. Use LONESTARSHOPPER to get 50% off any tea subscription box or other products. Please be aware that this code is only valid from 5/16/14 through 6/16/14. Once this code has expired, I believe you can still use the code FREESHIP13 at checkout to get free shipping for either subscription plan.

If you love tea as I do, this is a subscription I think you'll enjoy!

Thank you for reading,


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