Ability to purchase more tea?
You’ll probably come across tea that you absolutely love and will want to buy more of. Another question would be can you buy more of a particular tea from the seller? Some boxes that mix different brands will not be able to do this – you will have to order from different companies which may be inconvenient. Some companies have a very limited selection of tea on their website. Some clubs offer perks in the way of discounts to their website for plan members. It’s good to know what your options are in advance.
Anything else included?
Some subscriptions will send you the tea by itself, some will send you some disposable tea bags, and some others offer infusers or even teapots. If you already have a collection of teapots, you may not want to pay for an additional one you don’t want or need. On the other hand, if you are sending as a gift, having something included so that it can be used on day one isn’t a bad idea.
Managing the subscription
Companies can host their own services or use a third party provider like Cratejoy. The software for managing subscriptions and payments is pretty complex, which is why some companies opt to outsource this. We like to see a mechanism for being able to change billing methods, delivery address, pausing or cancel subscriptions. Some places let you do a pre-pay, which we only recommend if the company has a good reputation (see below). This avoids interruptions in shipments due to credit cards being expired or lost.
The company behind the box
Is it a subscription-only company? Or a tea company that happens to have subscriptions? Which is the better choice? Regardless of who hosts the box, it’s a good idea to look at the companies web page and learn more about the company itself. Does it inspire confidence about the products being offered? Is there customer service easily accessible? Is a phone number or address listed?
There is no one perfect club. Using the factors discussed above will help you find the ideal tea of the month subscription that best fits your needs.
Examples of some tea companies that offer subscriptions:
Art of Tea
Adagio Tea Club
The Tea Spot
The Tea Table
Republic of Tea
Two sites that are great tea clubs are: white2tea and Yunnan Sourcing. White2tea will send different tea’s every month, 50 grams or more in my experience, and provide a page of written information on that unique tea. Yunnan Sourcing has 5 or 6 different tea clubs you can do that are classified as: Raw Puerh Snob, Ripe and Raw Pureh Box, Dark Tea Box, Oolong Box, and Jade Box. Then on top of that there’s a premium box which get’s you a sample from all of these types of teas. You get 75 grams or more with each one, except with the Premium you get 150 grams. Both White2tea and Yunnan Sourcing are $30 a month with shipping including. The premium box for Yunnan Sourcing is $50 a month. I highly recommend both of these companies!