Sunday, May 4, 2014

Simple Loose Leaf, A Tea Subscription Showcase

Well I have finally done it, I have all my origami paper organized. For now. I have two more packs of Chiyogami coming from ebay (they have been on my wishlist for ever but were too pricey, I got them both for $1, win!) and Michael's is having a 5 for $1 paper sale this week which Ben said I might be able to partake in. Luckily I have my paper sorted in a way that as soon as the new additions arrive I can cut them to the size I want and put them in their correct place. Organized craft supplies makes for a happy me. 
Hey, free tissue paper! I always need more of that, plus it makes for a pretty presentation
Today's blog post is a showcase of a tea subscription, in my great adventure to try them all (like Pokemon but with tea). The real problem with this desire to try all the different tea subscriptions is they cost money, usually more than my allotted gifted tea budget (thank you, Ben!) can cover, so I must be on the lookout for free trials and discounted first boxes, and this is how I was led to Simple Loose Leaf
In one word: Substantial 
This company has a really neat outlook on the tea subscription plan. Once a month you get a fancy tea menu emailed to you and you get to either pick two packages (1-2oz) of tea from the selection of five, or samples of each of the teas. You also get to pick a 6g sample from the upcoming month's teas. Yes this does take the surprise out of the tea box heading your way, but it also gives you more control, which I kinda like. Usually I would always choose the sample collection, but just in case one of the teas I would rather chew my own leg off than drink I can opt for two that I know I would like. 
Ok, not related to Simple Loose Leaf, but I wanted to leaf you some eye candy :P
The month of May brought us Formosa Oolong, Sweet Peach White, Darjeeling Second Flush Black, Citrus Hibiscus Herbal, and Japanese Sage Sencha Green. As you can see you get a nice selection of different types of tea, both flavored and straight leaves, and some herbal tea. For the price of $24.95 a month (it is a bit less if you choose to subscribe for multiple months at a time, as per usual with this kind of thing) you get quite a nice pile of tea, I certainly approve of that! 
Nature is lovely, especially when sipping tea
But you probably want to know about the quality of tea you would be dishing $25 out for, am I right? Well so far I have tasted them all and logged detailed tasting notes in my notebook (lengthy reviews of the teas themselves will come shortly) and I can say, even though I was not really wild about a few of them because they were flavors I was not a fan of, the quality of the teas themselves were certainly great. My only complaint would be that the steeping instructions for the Darjeeling and Sencha were (in my experience) a bit off. For years I thought I hated both Darjeeling and Sencha because I followed steeping instructions like these (212 for Darjeeling and 180 for Sencha) and ended up with nasty, bitter tea. I would advice 195 for the Darjeeling and 160 for the Sencha, but hey, experiment for yourself, maybe you would like it as is. 

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