I'm very glad to be kicking off a renewed focus on foodie themed posts with this review!
For those who have been reading for a while, you may remember that this site started off in 2013 as a food blog, Audacity of Food. As time went on, I diverged into writing about a multitude of topics and finally ended up with what you see today.
Another little factoid regular readers may remember is that I am obstinately a coffee girl. I love the stuff so much that I actually ran my own small coffee business straight after university.
You can therefore understand my trepidation when I was asked to sample a selection of teas from a local York company, True Tea Club*.
Whilst I never say no to a good old Yorkshire brew, "fancy" tea is an under-explored area in my culinary repertoire. However if you were to ask me about speciality coffee, I would probably bore you half to death.
Despite my previous affiliations, In the spirit of good sportswomanship I only felt it fitting to uncover for myself the world of natural loose leaf teas!
Did True Tea Club manage to convince me to come over to the "dark" side? Read on to find out...
So what's the deal?
True Tea Club work on a subscription basis, which means you are able to get a selection of teas delivered straight through your letterbox each month. It's a concept which has worked well for both coffee and chocolate (I have both on repeat order), so I see no reason why tea would be any different.
The standard subscription of £10.00 a month gets you four different teas, enough to make around 40 cups. You can customise this and get more, alongside stating any dietary preferences.
The user experience
Before going onto the actual tea, I do want to take a second to talk about the website, as I feel this is such an important part of any subscription service - it needs to be easy to use and full of the right information.
Overall True Tea Club's website is pretty good. It's very clear what you can buy, both in the sense of subscriptions and individual teas (which are available).
The only part of the process I haven't experienced for myself is the cart and billing section. If you have tried this and have some comments, please do leave them below! I'm sure other readers would appreciate it.
My expectation from such a site would be that the full sign-up process would be pretty standard and simple. It's useful to note that you can cancel anytime and they have a decent FAQ section.
Regarding the packaging, another important factor in any foodie experience, True Tea have nailed it. Everything fits in through your letterbox and the outer packaging is recyclable, which gets points from me!
(To be fair, it's extremely hard/impossible to get recyclable food safe packaging, so I can understand why the bags that contain the tea are not recyclable.)
My only last point on this side of things is that there is no information regarding the provenance or ethical nature of the products. Obviously for someone such as myself, this is hugely important and a deciding factor in the buying process.
What is the tea like?
Pretty damn good!
OK, I'll obviously expand on this a little:
I was sent in my selection four very different blends: Orange crush, Tropical Sundance, Delaney's Gunpowder and Antique Romance.
This was a nice selection actually, as I was able to try out two green teas, a black tea and a fruit infusion.
To be honest, black tea isn't really my thing, so Delaney's Gunpowder probably fell on a deaf tongue. I did enjoy the opportunity to try it though and loved the texture of the small pellet-like leaves.
The Orange Crush blend filled the room with a gorgeous scent as soon as I opened it! I'm also happy to report that it tasted as good as it smelt, which can often be an issue with fruit infusions.
Tropical Sundance again is probably not a flavour I would pick for myself. However if you're a fan of coconut, this is for you. Again, it was nice to try something new though and unexpected.
Antique Romance was undoubtedly my favourite. The blend itself is a visual pleasure, with little hints of blue cutting through red and golden fragments. It also had a beautifully subtle flavour, much like the china rose petal teas I am occasionally partial too. This is something I would certainly drink in the future and also would love to experiment cooking with!
Are you converted to tea then?
Yes and no. I mean, let's be honest, I will always be a coffee girl at heart.
However it was a lovely surprise to be able to try a selection I would never ever have picked for myself. That's really the beauty of subscription services in my eyes, the regular appearance of the unexpected!
Overall I feel True Tea Club offer good value for money with this package and have a very high quality set of teas. My only concern, as noted above, is the provenance. However I will enquire further and update this blog regarding any further information.
It's really great to also see this kind of business start and grow here in my home city of York. We are known as a foodie destination and True Tea Club will only add to our growing culinary reputation!
Find out more about True Tea Club and their subscription packages here
*This subscription box was complimentary, however my opinion is my own, as always.