Looking for a gift for a tea lover or a tea adventure for yourself? Check out these tea of the month clubs and tea subscriptions from companies like Teance, Adagio and Teavana. There is a range of tea types, prices, sizes and time spans, so whether you want flavored teas for a tea newbie or premium teas for the connoisseur who has it all, there's a tea club here for you.
The writer of this article has worked with several of the companies on this list. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.
Teance offers four levels of premium loose-leaf tea subscriptions: three months, six months, three months (Connoisseur) and six months (Connoisseur). Each shipment is based on a given price, but it is typically several ounces of tea. Each subscription plan is less expensive than buying the teas individually, and many of the teas in the Connoisseur subscriptions are unavailable in the United States unless you are a subscriber. Connoisseur tea shipments are typically extremely rare and seasonal. In my personal opinion, Teance's Connoisseur Tea Subscription is the best tea club available for tea connoisseurs.
Imperial Tea Court offers tea clubs that ship monthly for 12 months, every other month for one year or quarterly for one year. Each tea club is offered at a discount to the usual price of the teas it includes. The tea selection is focused on quality, loose-leaf tea and the majority of the teas included are unflavored.
The basic idea is this: Each month, for a donation of $20 US or more, members get a gift of tea. Donations go to supporting a tea center in Taiwan, one which teaches about tea as a means for deep meditation and connection both in Taiwan and abroad. In exchange, members receive teas which have been stored at the center (a place with incredible 'vibes') for at least one month and get to experience meditating over the same batch of tea as other international members and the center's local members during the course of the month. The program launched in February of 2012 and already (it's May as I write this) members are responding with enormous positivity. If you're looking for more than just a drink in your teacup, then this is probably the best tea club for you.
The United Kingdom-based Jing Tea offers a three-month and six-month tea of the month club, each with a free tea press. Each shipment includes two 50-gram bags of premium loose-leaf tea. This tea club is ideal for those located in the U.K. or elsewhere in Europe.
Art of Tea offers three styles of tea of the month clubs: one year, six months and three months. Each shipment includes two to three ounces (or roughly 30 servings) of high quality loose-leaf or flowering tea. Teas vary seasonally. The three-month subscription is mailed every other month.
(Full disclosure: I work with Art of Tea on a freelance basis.)
Silver Tips Tea's "Masterful Tea of the Month Club" is available for three, six or 12 months. Each shipment includes one ounce of tea and each order includes a free gift of a teapot with an infuser and a four-ounce tea canister. The selection of teas is announced in advance. It typically focuses on high-end specialty teas like Peony Rosettes and Makaibari Silver Tips.
Adagio Tea offers a number of tea of the month clubs. Two four-ounce tins of tea are sent every other month for six months or 12 months. There are a number of tea clubs to choose from, including Decaf Tea, Flavored Tea and Black Tea. You can also tack an ingenuiTEA teapot onto your tea of the month club order for $19.
The Tea Table offers one-year subscriptions with monthly shipping, six-shipment subscriptions with teas arriving every other month and four-shipment subscriptions with teas arriving quarterly. They can be customized with the addition of a handmade card or a tea book, or with themes like "The Adventure Plan," "The Decaf Plan," "The Green Tea Plan" and "The Variety Plan." Most shipments include four ounces of tea.
For those who want more than a tea or two every month, 52 Teas' Tea of the Week Club is a great option. 52 Teas also offers a Tea of the Month Club. Both tea clubs include a number of highly unusual blends, and have previously featured Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish Black Tea, Mayan Chocolate Pu-erh and Bacon Tea. Each weekly shipment includes one to two ounces of tea, while each monthly shipment includes four to five teas, with one to two ounces of each. Shipping to the U.S. and Canada are included but overseas shipping is an extra two dollars per week or six dollars per month.