At the start of my tea journey, many years ago, both Lu Ann (The Cup of Life) and Tegan (Amoda Tea) were instrumental to my tea growth. So, when Lu Ann became the curator for the Amoda Tea monthly boxes, I was happy, proud, and curious to see what Lu Ann had come up with!
Luck would have it that Tegan reached out to ask if I could showcase the first box that Lu Ann curated. So, I offered to share it on my Instagram Stories. At first glance, I was very excited about the range of tea brands, tea types, and the diversity of the blends themselves.
I had intended to just share on Instagram, however, after a friend told me she had become a subscriber because of my stories, I decided I wanted to share a more in-depth look at the box to paint a complete picture!
I received the Orginal Monthly Tea Box from Tegan. There were 4 new teas (3-5 cups of each) each month, along with biodegradable tea filters, tasting notes, and a postcard. The teas were all-natural flavored blends. To learn more about Lu Ann and Tegan, I have in past Tea Features for both of them!
I ordered the teas reviews based on how they were printed on the tasting note. While it was suggested through the tasting notes that these blends could be both brewed hot or iced, in this review, I only drank them hot. Now that that is all out of the way, let’s go!
Monarch Tea Co.: Anniversary Blend
Description: ” It’s a creamy earl grey with sweet and fruity notes that is delightful when made into an iced tea latte, too!” – via Amoda Monthly Box
Instructions: 1tps | 8 oz cup | freshly boiled | 5 minutes
Review: I have tried a handful of Monarch Tea Co. blend (via. Amoda Tea), and even met the owner, Katie, last year! As the name suggests, this is an anniversary blend to commensurate 5 years of business, so congratulations, Monarch Tea!
The blend had a strong bergamot smell, interlaced with some sweet floral notes. It was a pretty blend since it was intermixed with floral petals and fruit/berry pieces. The wet blend was reddish chocolate brown with the other ingredients becoming mushy. The wet blend carried an earthy floral smell which reminded me of chocolate strawberries. The bergamot smell was rather strong as well.
The liquor was a dark reddish-brown with a lovely sweet fruity, chocolate, and strawberry smell. It tasted of mixture earthy, fruity, strawberry, floral with a bit of cocoa and bergamot. When cooled, the liquor carried a bit of a bitter note, but it was quickly replaced with some sweet chocolate and strawberry notes. It left the mouth-watering slightly.
I enjoyed this one a lot! It was predominantly sweet, strawberry, cocoa, and floral. It would pair well during dessert time or with sweets. Based on the taste profile, I found it fell more in line with a dessert tea. The more I drank it, the more it grew on me (3.5/5 rating)!
- Type: Black tea
- Origin: Sri Lanka
- Caffeine: High caffeine
- Ingredients: Black tea, cornflower petals, apple, papaya, strawberry slices, cocoa beans, rosehip, hibsicus, natural flavours
- Company: Monarch Tea Co.
T By Daniel: What? A Melon!
Description: “Juicy and refreshing describe the aroma and taste of this blend perfectly.” – via Amoda Monthly Box
Instructions: 1tps | 8 oz cup | 90°C/195°F | 2-3 minutes
Review: When I saw this in the box I was pretty excited because I had been eyeing this blend for a while. As a child, I really enjoyed watermelon, as a fruit or candy. T By Daniel is a brand I have tried in the past, however, this is the first time this brand has been featured in this subscription box!
Opening the bag of the blend, there was a strong whiff of artificial watermelon. There was a nice colour contrast for the dry blend of the jade rolled oolong and red saffron flower petals. After steeping 2 minutes, the oolongs had fully unfurled and the leaves were fairly broken. The wet leaves had a similar smell to the dry leaves, but more subtle grassy with only a hint of melon.
The liquor was a dark amber colour. I have to admit, I half expected it to have a pink colour like Forever Nuts from DAVIDsTEA. It had a sweet melon-y smell and it was no surprise, that it also tasted like watermelon. It was sweet and like watermelon candy. Additionally, it also had a slightly grassy undertone at the tail end of the sip and made the mouth water slightly. Once cooled, the liquor was a lot less sweet. The flavour started off slow but the melon flavour does develop. I can see it would make a great iced tea (3/5 rating)!
- Type: Oolong tea
- Origin: Unknown
- Caffeine: Medium caffeine
- Ingredients: Oolong tea, safflower petals, plum and papaya pieces, natural watermelon flavours
- Company: T by Daniel
T By Daniel: Cutecumber
Description: “We like to think of this blend as cucumber water but 1000X more flavourful and dare we say…better?!” – via Amoda Monthly Box
Instructions: 1tps | 8 oz cup | 80°C/176°F | 3 minutes
Review: This is also another blend from T by Daniel that I have wanted to try as well. I personally enjoy cucumber, so I wanted to see what would add to the blend. It was nice to be able to see full cucumber slices since I did not expect that. The dry blend smelled more fruity than of cucumber. It reminded me of What? A Melon! (from above). The wet leave was comprised of small broken green leaves and rehydrated cucumber pieces. It had a much stronger cucumber and grassy smell but it was rather sweet and reminded me of candy.
The liquor was light yellow with a green ting with a sweet and fruity smell. However, it did have a strong refreshing cucumber taste and was also sweet candy-like and floral. After the liquor cooled, it was still very cucumber-like. I found when cooled it was more melon-like and the sweetness was cut down. I have to try this iced in the future since it would be much more refreshing (3.5/5 rating)!
- Type: Green tea
- Origin: Unknown
- Caffeine: Low caffeine
- Ingredients: Green tea, cucumber slices, natural flavours
- Company: T by Daniel
Happi Tea (blended by Happi Dani): Melody
Description: “You shouldn’t go this summer without enjoying some lemonade and this tulsi blend will replicate a tall, cold glass of it.” – via Amoda Monthly Box
Instructions: 1tps | 8 oz cup | freshly boiled | 3-6 minutes
Review: Dani from Happi Tea is a person I know through Instagram. I have really enjoyed getting to know her, so I was happy to see her in this box for the first time! She deserves the spotlight.
The dry blend had a sweet, earthy, hay, with a fruity smell. The wet leaves also had a similar profile and were sweet, hay, and herbal. The liquor was an amber yellow colour and smelled very much like the wet leaves. The liquor was sweet, earthy, followed by the lemongrass with a mild kick in the back of the throat with a faint taste of peppercorn. I let the liquor cool and I enjoyed it since it was rather refreshing. It was sweet and hay-like but left the mouth feeling a bit dried.
This is another blend I think would have done really well iced as well! While this isn’t something I normally would have gone for, I’m glad I received it since it was very relaxing. The blend also comes with an accompanying mantra which is: “The sunshine is a reminder of my own sunlight.” I thought that was a lovely touch (4/5 rating).
- Type: Herbal tea, rooibos tea
- Origin: India
- Caffeine: Caffeine-free
- Other: Organic
- Ingredients: Vana tulsi, lemon peel, lemongrass, green rooibos, black peppercorns
- Company: Happi Tea (blended by Happy Dani)
Overall, I have to say, I am very happy with this box. There isn’t a tea I received I didn’t enjoy! Congratulations to Lu Ann for curating an amazing first box! I can’t wait to see what the other months have in store. I have always been a supporter of the Amoda Monthly boxes, and I feel with Lu Ann at the helm of the curating, it will only become even better!
I would happily recommend this subscription to others because I feel there is always a nice a variety of teas along with taste profile and this box is no exception. For 20 CDN, including shipping, for 4 teas, I personally I think it is a good deal. I was subscribed for many years and have only stopped because I had to drink some of the teas I already own. Can’t wait to subscribe again in the future.
The question of the post: Which blend would you want to try?