Amoda Tea’s 2017 December Tea Box (ft. Aromatic Fine Teas, St. Fiacre’s Farm & The Monarch Tea Co.)| Tea Feature & Review

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Amoda Tea Spoons

I have to say, as a Canadian, one thing I love is supporting Canadian brands whenever I can. However, I also love tasting new teas all the time, so sample sizes are the best way for me to go! Enter Amoda Tea. 

I came across this brand when I was looking for sample sizes and they had a monthly subscription box. Then, as luck would have it, another fellow tea blogger, Lu Ann Pannunzio, from The Cup of Life recommended it to me as well (pssst… she will be a future Tea Feature!). I was intrigued.

Amoda Tea described their box as:

“[…] a premium subscription box. We scour the shelves of independent tea companies across North America to find unique teas, delicious blends and fun flavours. We offer a way to discover the hidden gems of the tea world, support the up-and-coming tea companies and taste the very best they have to offer.”

Amoda Tea Box

I loved that the tea companies featured were independent, that the teas were sample sized (3 to 5 cups per bag), and lastly, that the subscription box fits inside a mailbox. That was actually what sealed the deal for me because it meant that it could be delivered right to my house and that I wouldn’t have to worry about missing the delivery person.

However, I had one concern: I have a cinnamon sensitivity and cinnamon is a very common ingredient in teas. So, I emailed Amoda Tea, and Tegan, the owner, sweetly replied and offered to replace any teas that contained cinnamon for me.

I was sold! My subscription with them started in early 2016! However, this will be my first time featuring the brand itself! Each box comes with 4 teas, a postcard, an info sheet and biodegradable filters.

I have been happy with my box so far! While not every tea has been my cup of tea, due to personal taste buds, I have had the opportunities to try so many brands and blends I would have never been able to otherwise! I always open the box the second I get it to see what I received.

Amoda Tea Items

The price of the box currently is $20 CDN. They also now offer The Low-Caff box which is teas that contain low or caffeine-free teas. The website also mentions that teas are blended in small batches and that the teas do not contain artificial flavours or sweeteners, that there are many organic selections, and lastly, that there are “no boring teas.”

Since it was the month of December, many of the teas contained cinnamon, so Tegan made a custom box for me! With that being said, I’m excited to try these teas, let’s go!

Aromatica Fine Teas: Winter Solstice

Amoda Tea Aromatica Fine Teas Winter Solstice Green Tea White Tea Dishes

Description: “A fresh mint blend with three different types of white and green tea. A fantastic winter refresher with floral sweet notes and fiery spice.” – via Amoda Monthly Box

Review: I really enjoy the elderflower drink you can get from IKEA, so I was excited when I saw this! The dry blend had a really lovely elderflower smell; it was floral with some hints of peppermint. The wet leaves had a more grassy and earthy smell which made sense since there are three green teas in the blend. The leaves also expanded quite a bit after steeping.

The liquor smelled very strongly floral with a nice lingering of elderflower. It had such a strong fragrance that my mother could smell it from downstairs and she asked me what I was steeping. The liquor was a clear pale yellow.

When I sipped the liquor, it tasted floral and of elderflowers, before it transformed into a more grassy and earthy flavour. The Pai mu tan had a very dominant flavour. There was a slow creep of cooling peppermint at the back of the throat with a very mild kick from the peppercorns. With some teas, the flavours shift slowly – this one was very quick. I liked how this blend tasted. It was very unique, fresh, and had a delicate flavouring (4/5 rating).

  • Type: White tea, green tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Low caffeine
  • Ingredients: Pai mu tan white tea, Chinese green tea, sencha, peppermint leaves, elderflowers, red peppercorns, rose petals
  • Company: Aromatica Fine Teas

 

St. Fiacer’s Farm: Peppermint Patty

Amoda Tea St. Fiacers Farm Peppermint Patty Herbal Tea Dishes

Description: “Bold, crisp peppermint followed by a [tiny] hint of chocolate.” – via Amoda Monthly Box

Review: I actually tried this blend a few months ago in my November box! I really enjoyed it. The dry leaves smelled mostly of peppermint and the wet leaves were earthy. However, the liquor smelled of mushrooms, which is not what the blend originally smelled like back in November. The murky liquor had an oily film and was a golden reddish colour.

In November, the blend had a lovely peppermint aroma, with a lingering chocolate aftertaste. This time around, I was unable to taste peppermint or chocolate. It tasted like mushrooms and was earthy. There was a mild cooling sensation. I tried steeping this a few times and even using the original tea I had. It still tasted like mushrooms.

While I really enjoyed it originally, I was not too fond of it this time around. I’m not sure what happened and I wonder if the blend changed in the bag. If you are interested in my original thoughts, my review is here: TEA REVIEW: St. Fiacer’s Farm’s Peppermint Patty (1/5 rating).

ADDENDUM: Both Amoda Tea and St. Fiacre’s Farm reached out to me regarding my review. Currently, they are both unsure why this happened. This seems to be a one-off occurrence, therefore, I feel my original thoughts more fairly represent this tea.

  • Type: Herbal tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Caffeine-free
  • Ingredients: Peppermint, cocoa nibs, stevia
  • Other: Organic
  • Company: St. Fiacre’s Farm

 

The Monarch Tea Co.: Garden Party

Amoda Tea The Monarch Tea Co Garden Party Herbal Tea Dishes

Description: “A beautiful herbal tea blend of chamomile, rose and spearmint to calm and relax your mind and body.” – via Amoda Monthly Box

Review: I have also had this blend before! I am a fan of chamomile, so I was happy to see it again in my box. The dry blend, wet blend and liquor smelled strongly of chamomile. The liquor was a pale yellow.

It was no surprise that the liquor tasted mostly of chamomile and that there was a lingering cooling sensation from the peppermint. This is a very soothing blend to me because chamomile makes me sleepy! I also like the mild cooling from the peppermint. If you don’t enjoy chamomile, this may not be the one for you. My original thoughts are here: TEA REVIEW: The Monarch Tea Co.’s Garden Party (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Herbal tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Caffeine-free
  • Ingredients: Chamomile, rose petals, spearmint
  • Company: The Monarch Tea Co.

 

Aromatica Fine Teas: Lavender Cream Earl Grey

Amoda Tea Aromatica Fine Teas Lavender Cream Earl Grey Black Tea Dishes

Description: “This tea brings together the best of all the earl grey worlds – bergamot, vanilla, cream and lavender.” – via Amoda Monthly Box

Review: I am a fan of the classic Earl Grey, so I wanted to see how it would taste with lavender. I admit that it is a flavour that has started to really grow on me during the last few months! The dry blend had a very classic smell, whereas the wet infusion smelled mostly of bergamot. The liquor was a dark reddish colour with a green ting.

I understand why there is ‘cream’ in the name because there was a nice velvety texture. The flavour starts off as a very classic bergamot with strong bergamot and a hint of sweetness from the vanilla and gradually becomes a faint lavender flavour. The lavender lingers in the mouth.

One thing I noticed is that if you let the blend steep longer, the lavender flavour isn’t quite as strong and I tasted more of the bergamot. Overall, I really enjoyed this one! It had a nice floral twist to a classic blend which I feel really compliments it. I think that this would also make a great London Fog (4/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Sri Lanka
  • Caffeine: High caffeine
  • Ingredients: Ceylon black tea, bergamot, vanilla, hibiscus, lavender petals, and natural flavour
  • Company: Aromatica Fine Teas

 

TEA FEATURE: What does tea mean to Tegan (Amoda Tea)?

Like I mentioned, in each feature, I let the brand or person tell me a bit about tea and why it is important to them. Amoda Tea is owned by Tegan! I actually had the opportunity to meet her when I visited Vancouver, BC, Canada. Tegan was very sweet and nice.

I personally think Tegan is a great owner: she cares a lot about what she does, she is speedy with her customer service, and she tries her best to make her customers happy! I can’t think of anyone better to feature. With all the glowing words aside, let’s see how Tegan herself thinks about tea:

“Tea is my foundation, how I ground myself, settle, wind down, energize or change my mood. When I think about drinking tea, I think of positive emotions. There’s not one instance that I can recall where tea has not had a positive affect on my wellbeing and how I felt in the moment! That’s really cool actually… I’ve never considered that before now.

Tea has been an evolving part of my entire life. I have so many memories tied to tea that it’s hard to give it one meaning in my life. At some points in my life, tea meant cultural exploration, diversity and learning. I traveled for tea, I studied tea and I was immersed in its culture. Now with Amoda, tea also means confidence for me. It is something I can share with others without any insecurities surfacing.”

 

Final Thoughts

I have to say, overall, as a brand, I really enjoy my subscription boxes! There is a reason I have been getting it since early 2016! I love learning about new brands, trying different blends and all the teas come in a neat package to my house!

As for this box specifically, aside from the one strange occurrence with one of the blends, I enjoyed the teas I received. Thank you for curating it, Tegan!

If you would like to see what I got in my other Amoda Monthy Tea Boxes, all my posts are located here: Amoda Tea

 

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