We know what you’re thinking, and before we even dive into this article, let’s make something clear: in the battle between tea and coffee, we here at Roasty tend to find ourselves on Team Joe more often than not. But that doesn’t mean we’re opposed to sipping tea every once in a while.
There are so many kinds of tea out there that you’re sure to find something perfect for your taste preferences. But, just as with coffee, such a wide variety of teas can make your search a bit overwhelming. Don’t get discouraged before you even start, though. We’ve got just the suggestion to help you out: a monthly tea subscription!
Much like the coffee subscriptions we’ve reviewed (which you can check out here), there are plenty of monthly subscription services that deliver all types of tea right to your doorstep. While some of these tea vendors zero in on actual tea leaves from, say, a tiny region at the foothills of the Himalayas, others take you on a full-on world tour of teas!
No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a tea subscription service that’s just right for every avid tea drinker. And you’re in luck, dear Roasty reader, because we’re going to introduce you to a few of our favorites!
Benefits of Tea
There’s nothing better than spending an afternoon curled up on the couch with something warm in your cup. And contrary to what you might think, that warm drink doesn’t have to be coffee. (It should, however, be coffee pretty often, the stuff is pretty great.) When you’re not sipping on joe, tea makes a solid substitute.
For starters, it has less caffeine than coffee, which means your chances of experiencing any caffeine-induced jitters, anxiety, or nervousness are much slimmer than if you were drinking a cup of java. An eight-ounce cup of black tea, for instance, has about half of the stimulant than the same amount of black coffee.
Certain kinds of tea also have high amounts of good-for-you nutrients linked to heart health, disease prevention, and weight management. Green tea has proven to be an effective tool for weight loss, and white tea has polyphenols linked to reducing the risk of heart disease.
No matter how much we love coffee, we’ve got to hand it to tea: it’s pretty impressive, too!
What’s Included in a Tea Subscription Box?
The content of the package you receive each month depends on which of the many tea subscription box options you choose.
Some tea companies give you only one kind of tea per month, while others include a few different blends per box from their current collection. Some subscription boxes even have a few extra bonuses, like disposable bags for brewing your loose leaf tea selection or postcards from the regions from which the tea was sourced.
Our Picks for Best Tea Subscriptions
And now, without further ado, we present our favorite tea subscription services!
Best Overall: Atlas Tea Club
Atlas Tea Club
Experience the world of tea as you explore a new country each month with a subscription tailored to your preferences and delivered to your door.
Looking at what’s available from most stores and even many tea clubs, you’d think tea only came from a handful of countries like India and China, or even worse; you might not know where your tea comes from at all. So, Atlas Tea Club set out to offer a curated experience, connecting you directly to the world’s best teas and sharing tea varieties from a new country each month.
Atlas Tea Club works with remote, specialty tea farmers around the globe, building a connection for tea lovers and tea newcomers to discover a variety of flavors that you can’t find anywhere else.
They exclusively offer loose-leaf, single-origin teas, ensuring that you are only getting high-quality products. It’s always a completely fresh batch of tea and never the same ol’ selection you picked from a quiz.
We like Atlas Tea Club best overall for three key reasons. First, they only offer loose tea leaves, a sure sign of a high-quality product (loose-leaf is the best way to taste the full flavor of your teas).
Second, and another sign of quality: all their teas are single origin, and they source teas from places you don’t see elsewhere. Think Kenya, Argentina, Indonesia, and beyond. They deliver a curated selection of specialty loose leaf tea blends ranging from black, green, and oolong to white and even herbal teas from international brands in countries worldwide.
Third, and most fun — each shipment offers a unique tea (or two teas, if you opt for the upgrade), and you get to try a high-quality tea brand from a new country every month. Each tea even comes with a picturesque postcard, steeping tips, and more.
Prices start at just $18 a month for ~40 cups of tea delivered to your door on your schedule. Atlas is one of the most affordable tea subscription services on the market.
Best for blends: Simple Loose Leaf
Simple Loose Leaf
Each month you’ll be sent an experience filled with teas ranging from classically savory to enjoyably trendy.
Simple Loose Leaf is a good option for those looking to ease into tea with blends made with ingredients other than tea – think flowers, herbs, and flavorings. They also offer a la carte blend options if you aren’t ready to commit.
With their basic subscription service, you receive five teas per box and can choose from black, green, herbal, or a variety pack of teas via monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly subscriptions. We like that you can choose a prepaid 12-month subscription to save a bit extra per shipment, starting at $20 per box (four 0.5oz samples) plus shipping, or $165 annually. One thing to watch out for; many of their teas labeled “black” and “green” are not pure tea and instead are flavored with ingredients other than *just* tea leaves. So if you’re looking for pure tea only, this might not be the subscription for you.
Best for Flavored Teas: The Whistling Kettle
The Whistling Kettle
This tea of the month club subscription sampler has it all and includes everything you need to get started. It’s a great way to experience our customer favorites and best selling teas.
Speaking of flavored teas — this is our favorite source for flavored tea lovers and folks who like their tea to taste a bit like dessert. The Whistling Kettle’s sweet spot for tea is all in the flavors, and that’s what they do best for tea lovers shopping for tea based on what they know they like.
The Whistling Kettle also offers a health-focused tea subscription, so if you’re getting into tea for your health and wellness, this could be a great starting point. Their tea of the month club options come with five different teas per month, ranging from $16 to $28 per box.
Best for tea bags: Mighty Leaf by Peet’s
Mighty Leaf By Peet's
From our signature silken stitched tea bags to exclusive loose leaf tea, each cup is a one-of-a-kind experience. Crafted from the highest quality tea leaves, fruits, herbs, and spices for incomparable flavor of unparalleled quality.
Yes, if you care how your tea tastes, we’d still recommend loose leaf tea over tea bags. But if you simply must have tea bags, Mighty Leaf is a good choice. Made with their “signature silken stitched tea bags,” their tea looks to be the best compromise between convenience and quality.
While you can’t opt for a variety of tea types or a sampler pack of some sort, you can subscribe to any given tea for up to 10% off the regular price. They offer black, green, oolong, white, and herbal teas, and each box comes with 15 tea bags. At $8.95 per box, that’s a bit pricier than some other brands, which we would expect for individually packaged tea bags.
Best for Indian Teas: Teabox
Being just an hour and a half away from the iconic tea gardens of the world, we have devised a unique tea sourcing process. We procure teas within 24-48 hrs of sampling and keep them under 3-4% moisture levels.
Down the line, you may have an acquired taste for teas and possibly narrow it down to a particular type, which varies from country, region, or even a specific grower you enjoy best. Teabox’s primary focus is providing “the World’s Freshest Tea” from a few tea-growing regions in India. Teabox’s guarantee promises to ship tea from their tea gardens to the consumer in one week by cutting out distributors and resellers. They also fight the “enemies” of tea in transit with their temperature-controlled warehouses and commitment to rapid service to ensure their teas are as fresh as possible. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
You can buy Teabox’s tea as a one-time purchase (from around 40 loose leaf cups up to 200 cups) or subscribe to a single tea for about $8. It’s a great deal for folks who know exactly what they want, know exactly what to expect each month, and don’t mind paying above-average shipping prices for that speedy 1-week delivery.
Best for Ceylon teas: teakruthi
We source our teas from speciality tea gardens committed to natural and sustainable farming practices. All our growers produce non-GMO teas, and some certified through the Ethical Tea Partnership, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and USDA as Organic.
If you’ve ever tried teas from Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon, until independence in 1948), you know that they’re known for their leaves that are dried long and thin. Plus, Ceylon tea, in general, is known to have wellness benefits for those who drink it. Sound like your cup of tea? Then teakruthi might be the subscription for your tastes.
Teakruthi offers a ReFresh subscription program with choices from 48 grams (or ~20 cups) at $14.95 per shipment up to 240 grams (or 96 cups) at $42.95. Plus, there’s free shipping on all ReFresh monthly subscriptions, with the ability to cancel anytime.
Spilling the Tea: Is a tea subscription worth it?
Advantages and Disadvantages
Whether you opt for a month-to-month or 3-month subscription package, you’ll find there are plenty of perks to opting into a tea service.
Some tea subscription services give you customization options, so you won’t ever end up with anything you won’t like. Choose between black, white, green, or herbal varieties, bagged or loose-leaf, whatever you prefer. Not every company gives you this kind of freedom, though, so be sure to research carefully before settling on something.
A tea subscription plan also gives you access to products you might never have tried otherwise. Plus, the leaves delivered to your doorstep are going to be of much higher quality than anything you’ll pull off the shelf at a retail shop.
Unfortunately, as with most things, with the good comes not-so-good.
Many tea of the month clubs don’t give you the luxury of purchasing hand-selected teas, so you’re stuck with whatever they give you. If you don’t like it, your only option is to wait until the next delivery and hope whatever is in the following box tastes better.
Some of these services also end up on the more expensive side of the price spectrum, so if you’re looking to stretch your dollar further, this might not be the best way to do it.
The Final Verdict
Now, to answer the million-dollar question: is a tea service worth the subscription costs?
We think so, especially if you’re a frequent tea drinker! The monthly samples sent to your door save you the trouble of having to hunt down good leaves in-store while giving you access to products you may not have been able to try before.
A three-month subscription would also make a delicious gift for tea lovers at Christmas.
Just be sure to do your research before you sign up for one to be sure it meets all of your needs.