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This week I had the greatest pleasure of unboxing the Starter Kit from Ten Teas. Thank you so much to Yerusalem for gifting me this to review. Ten Teas appear to be a relative newcomer to the world of tea subscription boxes. They don’t have a huge following on social media but I hope after this review they will garner a lot of new fans! Spoiler alert ahead!
I LOVED THIS BOX!!!
Now I do confess to being a tea jenny. I love a cuppa char. However, apart from a short-lived phase around seven years ago, I’ve never really ventured into the world of tea. Breakfast tea is my tea of choice. The box I received from Ten Teas was the Starter Kit which costs £35. Ten Teas have various offerings and for those new to loose leaf tea I would wholeheartedly recommend making the initial splurge on the Starter Kit. This then leaves you free to join their monthly subscription, choosing either the Ten Teas Explorer Box consisting of 10 various teas for a bargain £10 per month (reduced from £15 so get in there quick to take advantage!) The other sub option is the Ten Teas Connoisseur Box, where you select the type of tea of you want and Ten Teas surprise you with the tea. This is currently £15 per month, but is usually £20. Ten Teas also offer a huge selection of one-off boxes for specific teas, each box containing 10 varieties of that tea. I will definitely be purchasing a few of these!
My unboxing can be seen below…
I would hail the Starter Kit as amazingly good value. Not only do you get 200g of tea (20g of 10 different varieties), you also get all the handy accoutrements you need for a good brew of loose leaf tea! I was most enamoured with the cute spoon which has the words “1 cup of perfect tea” engraved along the handle. The collapsible steel infuser fits a multitude of different shaped mugs and cups. There was also a handy little timer because brewing time is crucial when making proper tea! The bits and bobs Ten Teas provide are perfectly adequate but have a somewhat utilitarian feel about them. I think sourcing more unusual accoutrements could really make Ten Teas stand out from the other tea boxes on the market.
It was really hard to decide what to try first. I did feel a sense of trepidation about some of the more exotic teas. I couldn’t help but think of the time a few years back when I went to a proper Chinese acupuncturist and herbalist to treat migraine. He made me up a concoction of herbs that looked like they’d kill you as quick as cure you. My poor mammy had the unenvious task of brewing, straining, brewing, straining until the potion was complete. Dear readers, it was rank. It looked like a swamp. It smelled like a swamp with dead bodies in. It tasted like the dead body. It made me physically sick. I resorted to having a bucket sitting close to hand as I tried to chug it down as quickly as I could.
I thought it would be sensible to ease myself in gently so I plumped for the Assam Breakfast first. This tea is the Ed Sheeran of the box, inoffensive, ubiquitous and always enjoyable. I loved the luxury of taking the time to brew from loose leaf as opposed to firing a tea bag into a mug and sloshing water over.
I was now feeling a bit more adventurous and tried the Izmir Spice Chai next. This was so pleasant to drink. I had now decided I was a proper tea jenny and so I decided to try the Cream and Caramel Rooibos next. I wasn’t sure I would like this but the minute I opened the tub the smell of caramel lunged out and punched me in my nose. Wow. The tea floated over my tongue like liquid gold. It tasted as good as it smelled. This will remain a firm favourite of mine.
The Creamy Earl Grey was my utmost favourite and is absolutely divine with a splash of lemon juice and a wee half spoon of sugar. When the tea itself tastes that good it doesn’t need anything extra (and I do apologise for any offense caused during my unboxing when I said you can add whatever you want to your tea, You can’t. Follow the rules okay).
As I had loved every single tea I had tried so far I decided to be really brave and try the Relaxation Tea. This was the tea which most reminded me of my Migraine Swamp Tea and this was the one I was most nervous about. I opened the container and took a reluctant sniff. Hmm. That doesn’t smell too bad, I thought. I presumed this was a Functional Tea and so brewed accordingly. I sat down at the kitchen table and raised the mug to my mouth. Doon the hatch, I thought and took a sip. Wow. I realised how much of a travesty it was to compare this to the Swamp Tea. It was absolutely delicious. The main ingredients in this glorious concoction are lemon verbena and raspberry and it ‘brightens the mind, lifts the body and inspires the spirit’. I swallied my tea and went to bed and had a most peaceful night’s sleep. Even Scott sleeptalking about a hippopotamus wearing makeup to look pretty (and then proceeding to kiss said makeup-wearing hippo) didn’t disturb me as I floated off to the Land of Nod. The Blood Orange fruit tea was also sublime!
Do you know the parable of the tortoise and the hare? I think the Blue Spring Oolong is the tortoise of the Starter Box. The description made it sound dead exciting, with the words ‘exceptional’, ‘orchid’ and “dry white wine” bandied about freely. I brewed as per the guide and took a sip. I was slightly underwhelmed. It was very delicate and I wasn’t really able to pick out the flavours. It was pleasant but it wasn’t a stand out tea to me. The handy wee guide also tells you that you can set the leaves aside for a second brew, which I had been doing with my other teas, so I thought I should maintain consistency and follow the same procedure for this tea. I set aside the infuser still full of the expanded tea leaves (an unexpected bonus of loose leaf tea – seeing how the leaves change after infusion!). Imagine my surprise to find that on the second brew I enjoyed it so much more than I had the first time. I’m definitely going to keep drinking this.
The only tea that didn’t float my boat was the Pear and Ginger. It tasted like nail polish. But 9 out of 10 amazing products, not to mention the cute wee accoutrements, in a box of this price is amazing. I’m not a proper tea connoisseur quite yet so I can’t really compare the quality of the Ten Teas tea to other teas on the market, be they sub box or supermarket shelf. What I can say is that every single tea was delicious, enjoyable and fun. Ten Teas popped my loose leaf tea cherry, in the best of ways, so they will always be my go-to tea box. I would wholeheartedly endorse this box. I’m so grateful to Ten Teas for introducing me to the joys of loose leaf tea. People of the world, join the Ten Teas Jennies today!