From the basic stock of black tea, my cupboard is full of variety of flavours collected over the years from my travels: coconut tea I stashed from a hotel in Norway; dew tea from Korea; apple tea from Turkey; the list goes on… I cannot resist the sweet calls from teas I have never heard of, seducing me to give them a try. The pitfall of recklessly purchasing exotic teas without having tasted it of course has its own risks, and I still clearly remember throwing away the entire bag of Icelandic Moss tea that tasted like mould in water.
Oh, why can’t life be a bit easier?
Then came along the London Tea Club, a subscription box service that sends out three samples of different types of tea every month, customised to your taste and preferences. Each sample makes about 8 cups, just enough to last for a month without accumulating in the cupboard.
My package arrived in a box small enough to fit through the narrow post box, but its size was in no way a reflection of its content, which was bursting with delightful surprises. Along with the three very different types of tea (arriving in Italian viral tubes…) was a cute brown envelope that contained bite-size information on each tea, from their historical origin to brewing instructions that brought out the depth of their own unique flavours.
The three teas I received had very distinctive characteristics:
Hand-rolled Li Shan Oolong beads unfurl when brewed releasing its soft and buttery flavour and it makes a great go-to calming tea. English Garden is a fragrant herbal tea, bursting with floral and minty zest – perfect for moments that needs a spark of inspiration. Monk’s Blend is a ceylon tea with a twist, harbouring vanilla undertone and citrus finish, great with or without milk. I preferred it with full-fat milk so that it’s smoothness creates wonderful contrast with its tartness.
Disposable drawstring tea bag filters are included in the package in case there is no strainer at hand, and the ivory coloured linen pouch is a perfect size to store everything in it. Opening the cork stopper and slowly tilting the viral to slide down the loose tea into the cup almost feels like a serene ritual, and the information cards lets you get to know each tea on a much more intimate level, allowing you to fully appreciate the unique aroma and flavour they offer.
I have tried several other subscription boxes in the past and their products have all been satisfactory. What makes London Tea Club (<< visit them) so impressive is the small personal touches that make you feel like you are receiving a gift as if from a best friend… Its well thought-out, beautifully designed box coupled with friendly customer service and informative newsletters are well worth its ￡10 subscription fee, and it will suit anyone who is willing to explore deeper into the enchanting art of infusion.