I knew about Sips by for a while. However, I admit, I did find their price point a bit high since I am in Canada and international shipping would bump up the price of a box. However, they offered to send me a discount code for three months, so I decided to give it a whirl.
This is not my first monthly tea subscription box. Since 2016, I have been receiving the Amoda Monthly Tea box. I loved the subscription box so much, I want to try more! A great thing about subscription boxes is that they normally send you a handful of teas and each one has enough tea for a few cups.
In my September Sips by box, I got a white, two blacks, and a rooibos. The box also comes with an info card, a reusable cloth bag, and some disposable tea bags. I find the tea bags handy because I personally use disposable tea bags.
I’ve also created a Table of Content in case there were sections you wanted to jump too first!
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s go!
P.S. I have two bonuses at the bottom of the post!
Table of Contents
Wight Tea Co.: Sage Rose White Tea
Description: “A soothing, nourishing blend that is both savory and floral! Sage is antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory, and helps with digestion, memory and cognition.”
Review: One practice I like doing is looking over the dry blend before I steep it. While it doesn’t give a full picture of what to expect, it does give some indications. This pretty blend was made mostly of petals. It was clear from the dry blend smell and was similar after steeping. However, the liquor became a dark tan-green colour, whereas I was expecting something a bit pinker.
With all the various ingredients, I didn’t expect to be able to taste the pai mu dan, but the flavour was strong and tasted sweet and hay-like. The flavour transformed into something more floral and ended off reminding me a bit of spices.
This would be a great tea for people who like white teas (especially pai mu dan), floral notes or a milder tea. After finishing my tastings, I looked over the info card, and it mentioned that the tea could be re-steeped 3 times; I only steeped it once since it was not mentioned on the label of the tea (3/5 rating).
- Type: White tea
- Origin: Unknown
- Caffeine: Low caffeine
- Ingredients: Pai Mu Dan white tea, sage, pink rose petals, cornflowers, lemongrass
- Company: Wight Tea Co.
teabook: Sunset Red (Xi Yang Hong)
Description: “The name of this tea reflects both its magnificent reddish-amber color and warm flavor.”
Review: I personally quite enjoy black teas from China because some have rich malt aromas and flavours that I find very comforting. I checked the website because the label did not have steeping recommendations (it was also listed on the info card). It mentioned that it could be steeped 3 times.
When I opened the little packet, it smelled warm and a bit like baked bread. Each packet has enough tea for 8 oz cup of tea. The reddish-brown leaves were mildly twisted, with golden orange tips.
Once steeped, the leaves had a more earthy and floral smell and were dark and milk chocolate coloured. The leaves were more earthy and floral than when dry. The more earth-like aroma continued in the dark red-brown liquor which smelled mossy and like a forest. I did not give the tea a wash because it was not suggested.
Infusion 1: The liquor felt thin and tasted rich and malty with a fair bit of sweetness. I tried this one cool and it also tasted nice!
Infusion 2: There was a drying sensation in the mouth after drinking. The liquor was a milder version of Infusion 1; it was still malty but not as sweet.
Infusion 3: Taste-wise, the liquor was fairly mild at this point and there was a bit of astringency.
I originally steeped this at 2 minutes each. While it was on the lower end of the steeping recommendations, I found it did not bring out the rich malty flavours I tasted the second time around when I steeped at 3 minutes. I enjoyed this one but personally wouldn’t have steeped it past two times (3/5 rating).
- Type: Black tea
- Origin: China
- Caffeine: High caffeine
- Ingredients: Xi Yang Hong red (black) tea
- Company: teabook
Zhi Tea: Coconut Assam
Description: “A perfect balance of the bold richness of hearty Assam black tea and the subtle sweetness of coconut.”
Review: I’m a fan of coconuts, so I was happy to see this included in my box! When I opened the package, there was a very strong coconut smell which was promising. The blend was made of black tea leaves and coconut specks and flavouring.
The tea leaves unfurled and expanded quite a bit after steeping! I was happy that the coconut fragrance remained. However, the dark brown liquor had a mild oily film. I tried to re-steep it to see if it was the cup, but it remained.
When I took the first sip, I was expecting a strong coconut flavour. I was greeted by a very classic black tea taste; earthy and rich. I kept sipping hoping to get some coconut flavour, but it was very faint and at the tail end.
The info card recommended up to three steeps. In the past, I tend not to resteep teas that have flavouring, purely because I find it normally disappears during the first infusion. However, I’m glad I did because while there was some faint astringency, there was also a lingering coconut aftertaste and aroma.
The last infusion was fairly astringent. I personally liked the second infusion the best. I found that letting this cool slightly helped bring out the flavours. This would be a nice afternoon tea for someone who likes black teas and coconut (3/5 rating).
- Type: Black tea
- Origin: Unknown
- Caffeine: High caffeine
- Ingredients: Assam black tea leaves, coconut flakes
- Other: Organic
- Company: Zhi Tea
Tay Tea: A Day in Provence
Description: “A lovely herbal blend inspired by the sun-baked lavender fields of Provence. Soft, soothing and relaxing!”
Review: I want to be honest, I sometimes find the taste of roobois a bit off-putting. It tastes too dirt-like for me at times. I was pleasantly surprised when I smelled the dry blend and it was fruity, with a hint of floral. After steeping, it reminded me of strawberries, despite them not being on the ingredients list. The liquor was a dark reddish colour with a sweet fruity smell.
While the hot liquor was sweet and fruity, I found it hard to taste the flavours so I let it cool. That helped bring out its flavours, and it ended up tasting like a sweet berry tea that had strong staying power. I also was able to taste a bit of lavender and floral at the tail end.
I didn’t notice until after my session that this could be steeped twice since that was only listed on the info card and not the label of the packing. It had a nice balance of sweet and fruity. I enjoyed this one because it didn’t have the dirt flavour that some rooibos have (3/5 rating).
- Type: Rooibos tea
- Origin: Unknown
- Caffeine: Caffeine-free
- Ingredients: Rooibos, lavender, rose petals, red and black currants, rose hips
- Company: Tay Tea
Overall, I have to say that I am happy with the box. While some of the labels weren’t as clear, the info card was a good resource to have. I also enjoyed the different packaging of each tea. While I like how unified the packaging is with Amoda Tea, there is a fun charm when each company is represented in their own style.
Before you receive a box, you actually get to take a quiz which asks about caffeine levels, flavours, types of teas, and allergies, etc. While they do list most major allergies, I had to personally e-mail them in order to inform them of my cinnamon sensitivity, since that particular allergy wasn’t listed. It might be nice if they put a little text box to allow you to write allergies if they aren’t listed.
Another added feature is that you are able to keep track of the teas you’ve tried and rate them. This helps with future boxes. I find this useful because each box is customized, and it is a nice way to remember what you’ve received and what you liked.
Lastly, like I mentioned earlier, I generally like these monthly subscription boxes because you get a nice range of teas and you get a decent amount of tea to be able to test whether or not you like the tea. The best thing is, it comes right to your door and I find that that is always something to look forward to!
What do you think about the subscription boxes?
As I mentioned, I was given a discount code for my boxes. However, Sips by also provided me with a code to use for my readers. If you would like to try your own box, I have a 50% discount code for your first box.
To be clear: I do not get a commission or any monetary value from this code. I tried to see if I could find a generic code. However, all other codes I found only offered 10%.
If you’d like to use it, it is: TEAINSPOONS
I admit, this bonus assumes you like cats, but rarely do I post behind the scene photos. However, when you have cats, sometimes you get a helper who inspects everything for you (and occasionally pushes your tea on the floor).