Product Review: Muse Monthly Subscription Box

MuseMonthlyTea Information:

Where to find the tea: Mt. Hood Vanilla from Townsend’s Tea

Where to Subscribe: Muse Monthly

Description:

As the only subscription box of its kind, Muse Monthly delivers a unique experience for lovers of literature and tea. Every month, you will get a new novel and a full box or tin of tea on your doorstep! So go ahead and curl up, let go of all your stresses, and enjoy. 

Taster’s Review:

When I heard of Muse Monthly’s Kickstarter from a thread on Steepster, I nearly fell over in my chair. Muse Monthly has somehow managed to combine my three loves – Books, Tea, and Kickstarters. I was so happy to see them succeed, even more happy to receive my first box. I couldn’t wait to dig in. The kickstarter tier I got included the stretch goal goodies, as well as a three month subscription. This month is a great beginning; the tea is Mt. Hood Vanilla from Townsend’s tea and the novel is Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller.

The tea that comes in the subscription is a full sized tin (2.25 oz!) of Townsends tea’s Mt. Hood Vanilla. Which sounds absolutely delicious. I love vanilla black teas and I am always searching for the right one. I have only had Townsend’s Kombuchas and diving into their loose leaf teas is pretty exciting. (My man’s all time favorite kombucha is their Spiced Apple Kava,)  Upon opening the tin, I get a heady whiff of vanilla beans and robust Indian tea. It reminded me of the vanilla bean scones offered at Starbucks that I used to be obsessed with. Brewing up the tea I discovered the creamy vanilla in the forefront, slightly sweet, pairing excellently with the bold and rich Ceylon tea. Although I would not recommend it iced, the vanilla turns a bit sour and candy sweet, harshly contrasting the bold black base. Mt. Hood Vanilla is an excellent tea to drink hot while reading about Peggy and her father in Our Endless Numbered Days, and a perfect breakfast cuppa.

The book is highly recommended from me as well. Our Endless Numbered days was the first book Ina long time that I have not been able to put down. As much as I wish I could tell you truthfully, I regret to say that I don’t read as much as I used to. I would devour a book a week if I could. Not so much anymore. I think before getting Muse Monthly’s box in the mail, I had 1 book on my kindle that I have been intermittently reading for about three months. I think that Claire Fuller’s story is a great jumping off point for me to get the ball rolling and begin reading in earnest. I easily finished the story in two days and began to wonder, ‘what else?’ I thought it was well written and an excellent choice for this ‘book club.’

In all, I would highly recommend checking out Muse, mostly if you are one of those ‘bookish types’. (As my father used to say to me) At first I balked at the size of the tea, I can really see it piling up after a while.  Although, the price is right for the amount of tear and the book bundled together. The feel of carefully hand selected combinations is invaluable touch. I loved doing this, and cannot wait for the next two moths. This is an easy, and great way to curl up with a good book and an even better cup of tea!

Bananas! from 52Teas

BananasTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

Lots of people have commented on our banana tea blends in the past. We’ve used banana in a few blends inspired by banana pudding, bananas foster and even banana bread, but I thought this week we would really go bananas and just go with an all out banana tea. We’ve blended our Pettaiagala Extra Long Leaf OP black tea from Sri Lanka with real freeze-dried bananas and organic banana flavors, and this, my friends, is bananatacular! It’s bananaramic! It’s enough to leave you humming the Batman theme–“Nana nana nana nana nana nana… Batman!”

Subscribe to 52Teas Tea of the Week Program here.

Taster’s Review:

Can say Banana Pudding? Wow.  This smells just like Banana Pudding.  Like the kind you would have during a family get together.  You can even see the banana chips in the blend.  This just smells so good!  I’m now officially singing the Batman theme.

Now it is time for the test.  Liberteas had already informed me to let this cool.  So I did.  And made an iced tea out of this.

This tea may be one of the best I’ve had from 52Teas/Zoomdweebies.  Creamy Banana Pudding. Wow.  I can find nothing negative to say about this and am creeping on the site now to see if there is any left. No artificial flavors here.  Just smooth rich sweet creamy banana flavors that really mingle well with the black tea base.

Might just need to place an order.  Insert me taking a sip here.  Need to place an order.  Insert me taking another sip.  Yeah. . .Have to place an order. Must try this a a latte.

If you are looking for a banana tea like I have been, this will take care of any craving you may have.  I am impressed.

Ana’s Green Tea from Nepali Tea Traders

Ana_s_greenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

Looking for a flavourful green tea? This signature green tea of Nepali Tea Traders starts from tea bushes high in chlorophyll content, making the tea steeping in your cup a pleasing vibrant green (and an extra healthy brew!). This is a great example of a premium tea grown at high altitude. It’s smooth to sip and tastes fresh, lightly vegetal and sweet to finish. 

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

25% of profits from our Nepal teas will be donated to the ‘Nepali Tea’ Restoration Fund for earthquake relief.  Learn more here.

Taster’s Review:

This tea – Ana’s Green Tea from Nepali Tea Traders – is the last tea left for me to try from Amoda Tea’s box for May.  And I must say I’m really pleased with this tea!  It’s quite lovely!

The flavor is light and refreshing.  There is a delicate vegetal/grassy note reminiscent of lightly buttered green beans.  It’s sweet but not overly so.  It has a smooth character with a slightly tangy astringency toward the tail.

It’s a very invigorating cup of tea – I feel like I can feel the tension of the day melt away each time I take a sip and I start to feel my energy renew and I have an overall sense of calm as I continue to drink this tea.

And it’s good for a couple of infusions too!  I steeped this tea three times and enjoyed each infusion to the last drop!  I found that the later infusions were stronger in flavor than the first and there was a bit more astringency to the second cup compared to the first – but it was still quite enjoyable.

This is the kind of tea that you want to drink when you just want to sit back and forget about the stresses of the day and enjoy a delightfully good tea.

Mango Kiwi Green Tea from 52Teas

52teas-Mango-KiwiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Here’s a lovely organic Ceylon (Sri Lankan) green tea blended with freeze dried mango and kiwi and organic mango and kiwi flavors. It’s a little tart, a little sweet and all refreshing.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

My review of this Mango Kiwi Green Tea may just be my last “SororiTea Sisters” review of a tea from 52Teas.  In just a few days, my daughter takes over the business side of things with 52Teas and I become the mad tea artist!  And since I’ll be crafting all the teas for 52Teas as of June 1st, I wouldn’t feel right about writing a critical review about the teas that I create.  It just wouldn’t be ethical, you know?  I’m excited and nervous, it’s a huge step for us but I believe it’s a step in the right direction.

So this review is a little bittersweet with an emphasis on the sweet, but I will miss writing reviews!

To brew this tea, I used my Breville One-Touch.  I measured 2 bamboo scoops into the basket and poured 500ml of freshly filtered water into the kettle.  Then I set the temperature for 180°F and the timer for 2 minutes.  And a few minutes later, I have TEA!

Yummy tea!  Just like the description above says, this is a little sweet and a little tart.  I like that it’s neither too sweet nor too tart, though.  The sip starts out sweet with notes of mango.  The mango seems to be the strongest flavor in the cup, with the kiwi playing in the background.  At the finish of the sip, I start to notice the tart notes and those tarty flavors tickle on my tongue in the aftertaste.

The green tea is light and fresh tasting.  It has hints of grass and a delicate buttery taste.  It’s not bitter or astringent.  The vegetal notes of this tea aren’t particularly strong.  It’s a very soft, pleasant green tea.  This is the kind of green tea I’d recommend to someone who thinks they don’t like green tea because it tastes like vegetables.  This … doesn’t taste like vegetables!  It’s just delicate and lovely.

A really nice tea!  A good tea to have in the cupboard now as the weather is getting warmer because it tastes GREAT iced!

Everest Earl Grey from Nepali Tea Traders

Everest_Earl_GreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

This is perfect Spring afternoon Earl Grey. The black tea is light and works to create an elegant blend. With the added sweet orange peel, fragrant bergamot and a touch of Bourbon vanilla bean from Madagascar, this is delicious with or without milk or sugar.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

25% of profits from our Nepal teas will be donated to the ‘Nepali Tea’ Restoration Fund for earthquake relief.  Learn more here.

Taster’s Review:

Yay!  Earl Grey!  I was so happy to find this Everest Earl Grey from Nepali Tea Traders in this month’s box from Amoda Tea because it’s a tea that I’ve wanted to try for a while now.  I mean, hey, if it’s Earl Grey – you know I want to try it!

To steep this tea, I used my Kati Tumbler.  At first, I was going to use my Breville One-Touch and use the entire contents of the sampler package that Amoda Tea sends in their monthly box, but, I decided that I wanted to have two separate occasions where I could enjoy this tea so I used my Kati Tumbler, measured a bamboo scoop of tea into the basket and poured 12 ounces of boiling water into the tumbler.  Then I let it steep for 3 minutes.

One tip about this tea:  let it cool a bit.  I find that the flavors emerge when the tea has cooled a little – the tea isn’t cold, not even what I’d call lukewarm, but it’s not piping hot.  It’s somewhere between the lukewarm and piping hot.  Not quite “hot” … it’s a pleasantly drinkable temperature.

The first sip or two was a little less than what I wanted in terms of flavor, to be honest.  Then I let it cool a bit.  (Check out the previous paragraph!)  Once the temperature dropped to the “pleasantly drinkable temperature” the flavors came forward.

The black tea is the strongest flavor I taste here – but it’s not a really powerful or aggressive tasting black tea.  It’s on the mellow side.  Smooth, rich but not overly robust.  As the description above suggests, it makes a nice afternoon cuppa.

Then I taste orange and vanilla notes.  Not bergamot orange, but orange.  It’s bright and a really refreshing orange taste.  The vanilla is soft and not quite as creamy as I expected it to be.  It’s more like a sweet accent rather than the creamy accent that I usually experience from an “Earl Grey Creme” type of tea.

I pick up on the bergamot by mid-sip.  It’s not quite as tangy as I normally experience from a bergamot flavored tea.  At least, not until the aftertaste.  In the aftertaste, I get that bergamot tangy note.  During the sip, I notice a sweet, flavorful citrus-y note with a distinct “bergamot-y” type of flavor.

While the bergamot is ‘distinct’ – it’s not as profound a bergamot flavor as I have experienced with other Earl Grey teas.  This is the Earl Grey tea for someone who typically finds a strong bergamot presence to be a bit too much for them, because this bergamot is rather subdued.   Distinct but subtle in it’s approach.

Overall, this is a really tasty tea.  Is it my favorite Earl Grey tea?  No, not by a long shot and if I were rating it according to my Earl Grey standards, it would probably end up with one or two stars on a five star rating scale.  But, I think that the tea itself is worthy of at least a couple stars on it’s own.  This isn’t a tea that would be part of my Earl Grey collection – but I would definitely enjoy having it as part of my overall tea collection.