One of the best ways to explore the world of tea is through a tea subscription. A tea subscription is simply, an amount of tea sent directly to your home each month for a fee. Almost every tea company has some sort of tea subscription. What you get in each subscription can vary so widely, I thought I would review each subscription I currently have in detail, rather than try to do a general overview of subscriptions. This month, we are going to look into my Harney and Sons Tea of the Month subscription. I have been a subscriber for 6 months.
When you subscribe you get the choice between receiving tea sachets or loose-leaf tea. If you choose the sachet subscription you get a tin of 30 sachets. The teas you get will be flavored and unflavored. The teas will be a mixture of black, herbal, white, green and oolong teas. If you choose the loose-leaf option, you will get up to 4 ounces of tea. If you choose tea sachets for your subscription your first month will include a teacup or mug. The teas will be flavored and unflavored. The teas will be a mixture of black, white, green and oolong teas. If you choose loose-leaf tea for your subscription, you will get a small 2-3 cup tea pot with an infuser. There are no substitutions or returns on teas in the subscription. I prefer loose-leaf tea so that is what I subscribed to and what this review is based.
I decided to subscribe to Harney and Sons’ tea of the month after seeing some You-Tube videos and reading the reviews on the Harney and Sons website. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive but there was a couple of comments I would like to address further because they really apply to all tea subscriptions, not just Harney and Sons.
One commenter wasn’t pleased that he could have purchased the teas that came in his subscription box cheaper if he had bought them directly from the website. I understand the frustration, but the monetary value of a tea subscription isn’t based on a single month’s tea. The monetary value of the tea subscription is based on the value of the tea over a period of time, usually a year. I would argue, the value of a tea subscription isn’t the amount the tea costs but in how much you enjoyed drinking the teas over time. Generally, Harney and Sons subscription gives two teas a month if they are cheaper teas and then the next month they will give a one tea that is more expensive.
Another commenter stated there weren’t enough classics in the subscription. In the last year and a half, I have subscribed to several different tea subscriptions and none of them have included the classics like Earl Grey or English Breakfast. The idea behind tea subscriptions is to get you to try teas you may not pick for yourself so they may not include the everyday classics, no matter how good they may be.
After 6 months of being a Harney and Sons tea subscriber here is what I like:
- Harney and Sons subscriptions are very generous with the amount of tea of tea they provide. These are no 5-6 cup samples. These are full sized tins with enough tea for 20 to 40 cups of tea.
- The variety of teas they provide is amazing at getting me out of my comfort zone with teas I would have never picked for myself. I wouldn’t have picked these teas because they are outside my limited tea drinking experience or outside my price range for tea. I have recently put one of the teas I have received on my list of all time favorite teas.
- I love the fact this subscription comes in tins. There is just something classy about tea in tins. Also, empty tins are expensive, so I love the fact I can reuse the tins for other teas once they are empty.
- Every month, the order comes with free samples. Free samples always make me happy.
- Shipping is always free on any tea order, no matter how big or small, not just tea subscriptions.
What I don’t like:
Haney and Sons is easily one of my most favorite tea subscriptions I have ever tried. The things I don’t like about it are more personal preferences then reflections on the subscription itself.
- I would like to see herbal tisanes and Pu’erhs included in the subscription because they are my favorite kinds of teas.
- I would like to Harney and Sons to seal the tins with something other than stickers. I hate sticker residue with a mad passion. No matter how careful I am when I try to open the tins, I always end up with sticker residue that has to scrubbed off. I get why they do it but it still drives me crazy
Like I said these things are personal preferences not a reflection on the subscription itself.
Is it worth it? If you are looking for the classic flavored teas than this subscription isn’t for you. However, if you are willing to be open minded and try teas that may be outside of what you are used to this subscription is definitely worth the 19.50 a month you pay for it. While not all the teas I have received over the last 6 months have been my favorites, all of the teas have been enjoyable and furthered my tea education in some way. To me, that makes this subscription worth what I pay for it.
This product was paid for by me. I don’t take any form of monetary compensation, free product or free subscriptions from the companies whose products I review. All opinions are my own.