Super Starling’s Festive Favorites!

Hello, TEA-ple! Hanukkah is here, and I’m ready to make demands!
You might be thinking “but Super Starling… the holidays are underway.” Don’t fret. I accept holiday gifts all year round.
Here are some tea-related festive favorites:
Watercolor Art Print. I love the style on this: part papercut and part watercolor. Plus, plenty of pink and purple. I’m not usually girly, but tea brings it out in me.
A Cup With Feet. Admit it. You’re wondering if this is dishwasher-safe. Strap in, folks: it is. The artist makes all kinds of mugs with — and a few without — feet. I can’t get enough of this.
Vintage Fortune Telling Set. I’m not sure if this would make tea-leaf-reading easier or harder, but I’m ready to try.
Tea & Tarot Bangle. I have a huge collection of those trendy bangle bracelets. You know the ones I mean. But none of them QUITE nail down my tea-witch nature like this.
Fabric Teapot. I just like the vibe of this. I could put it on a little shelf and incorporate it into one of the gallery walls of my house. Maybe put some emergency candy in there. NOT THAT I HAVE STASHES OF CANDY HIDDEN AROUND MY HOME.
Which reminds me: I’m also, obviously, accepting both candy and tea.

A Tea Drinker’s Letter to Santa!

Oh, hey, Santa!

It’s Mary! It’s been a while, I get it. If it helps, let me jog your memory: big curly hair, nerdy glasses, asked for a pet hamster every single Christmas from ages 4-7? Yup. I’m back!

This year, though, there aren’t any furry creatures on my wish list. (Okay, maybe a puppy. Always a puppy.) I’ve got a big ole’ tea cabinet full of goodies, Santa, and I need some things to compliment my cuppa!

First things first: I’m a girl on the go, Mr. Claus. And I’m sick of finding myself without easy access to tea whenever and wherever I need it. The perfect remedy? This adorable, snappy travel bag to toss some spare bags in for sipping anywhere!


Next, let’s talk practicality. Have you ever tried to hold a cup that you’ve just poured boiling hot water into? Exactly. Ouch. This adorable cozy knit mug sleeve wouldn’t just look cute on my cup, it’d be functional to boot.


Did I say I already had a packed tea cabinet, Santa? I mean, I could probably make some room for this Harry Potter-themed tea sampler in there. Especially with the recent release of Fantastic Beasts. Have you seen it? SO GOOD. Take Mrs. Claus on a date night! You know, after the 25th.


Lastly, Old St. Nick, what would my list be without an adorable new mug to sip my drinks from? I don’t know about you, but I like my mugs BIG. For lots of tea and maximum cozy-factor. This adorable ceramic hand-thrown mug checks all my mug-requirement boxes.


What’s that, Santa? I’ve got room for one more thing on my list? Twist my arm, why don’tcha. This gorgeous set of cream and sugar bowls would look perfect on the counter next to our teapot. And you know me– with how I take my tea, these bowls would never be full for long!


And BONUS, Santa– everything on my list is from independently owned Etsy shops! Support small businesses AND fill my Christmas stocking? It’s a win-win. And when you pop down the chimney on 12/24, I’ll be the girl with the big curly hair and giant nerd glasses in the corner sipping a cuppa. You’ll recognize me. 😉 Merry happy!

Love, Mary

Who doesn’t love TeaMail? A List of My Tea Subscriptions

Monthly subscription boxes are so popular anymore. It seems like you can get just about anything in some form of a monthly box delivered to your house. From dog treats and toys, to clothes, to jewelry, to vegan boxes, you name it, you can find a subscription for it most likely. This is especially true with tea. Tea sub boxes seem to be growing in popular and I have to say, I’m ok with that. There is something so alluring about getting a box in the mail with surprise flavors or blends that you might not necessarily pick out yourself. I personally subscribe to 5 tea boxes a monthly. Sounds like a lot, but I also only drink tea so it works for me.

So with the holiday shopping season just around the corner and people starting to think about gift giving, I’d thought I’d run down a few of my favorite tea subscription plans to maybe give you ideas on what to give the tea enthusiasts on your list.



(1) Plum Deluxe

Plum Deluxe is the one that started it all.  When I first started looking at subscription plans, I wanted something that was affordable and was hand blended.   I instantly fell in love with Plum Deluxe. From the bright purple envelopes you receive in the mail, to their unique and soul soothing tea blends, to the amazing community that surrounds Plum Deluxe.  This company is all about taking a moment and enjoying life.  Their motto is Making Moments Matter and the exude this in every uplifting post, tea blend, and note they include in their shipments.

A quick side note:  When you sign up with Plum Deluxe, you are invited to join the Plum Deluxe Facebook community-which is incredibly active and even has fun holiday swaps.  On a daily basis you see the members of this community encouraging each other through their love of tea.

Cost:  2 options starting at $10 a month (includes shipping)



(2) 52Teas

Probably no surprise this lovely tea company is on my list. I have been a customer of 52Teas for years but only recently pulled the trigger on signing up for a monthly subscription plan.  I actually figured up how much I was spending on stand alone orders with 52Teas and realized I would save money just by signing up. I have to say I’m very glad I did.


Each month, I receive all of the different uniquely hand blended teas that will be offered for the month. The fact that I get a chance to try the blends out before they are released has some great advantages. When the teas are official released on the site, I have a head start on whether or not I want to order more of a tea or not.

Besides that, who wouldn’t want a monthly tea box sent to them full of delicious teas like Blueberry Honeybush Muffin or Bananas Foster Black Tea or Earl Grey Cider Black Tea?

Cost:   Options start at $18  (includes shipping)


(3) BlendBee

BlendBee is one I can’t recommend enough. I love the customer service and delicious fresh teas that are delivered to my door each month.

Every month I receive an email from the amazing Jamah asking me what blends I would like.  You have the option to choose from any blend that are currently being offered in the store or choose from one of the new teas she may be releasing that month.   I’ve even asked for her to tweak a blend here or there and she has happily obliged.  This plan is one of the more custom friendly plans perfect for anybody’s tastes.


Have to love a company that offers amazing customer service and fabulous fresh teas!

Cost:  Options starting at $15  (includes shipping)


(4) Tea Box Express

Maybe one of the more expensive boxes out there, Tea Box Express is a box that I can always bank on getting some really unique and quality tea and/or tea related goodies.  And completely worth every penny!


I have only received two boxes so far from Tea Box Express but i have to say these boxes are worth it. Each month you are sent quality fresh teas from companies that you may not have necessarily tried yet or even heard of. Last month’s box had JusTea’s Mount Kenya Black Tea and that tea has memorized. Also included was an adorable wooden tea spoon (also from JusTea), a herbal tea that you can either drink or use as a facial, and a box of sea salt caramels that were sinful.  Here is my post about my unboxing of the October Tea Box Express.

Cost:  Options start at $25.50  (plus shipping)

logo-4(5) A Quarter To Tea

My newest subscription plan is to A Quarter To Tea. I have always adored their blends and drink them down quite quickly.  So when I saw they offered a monthly subscription plan, I quickly emailed Lauren, asked her a few questions, and promptly signed up.

This particular plan is similar to 52Teas were you are sent 4 different teas each month. I’ve had experienced so many amazing rich and decadent blends from A Quarter to Tea recently that I had to sign up.  To be completely transparent, I am drinking their Eggnog Pound Cake while I write this post up.


What I’m really excited about is this box is A Quarter to Tea’s limited edition teas, the ones that aren’t available in their sampler packs.  Such delicious flavors and so incredibly unique, I had to jump on the chance to get a monthly box!

Cost:  Options start at $16– you can sign up on their Etsy site or their site. (Just a note, if you order through the Etsy site, you will need to sign up every month. If you sign up through their site, there is the option to have recurring billing.)

There are many many other wonderful tea subscription plans out there and I”m sure I’ll sign up for a few more here and there.  Handmade Tea for instance is one that I subscribed to for some time and I know there are several tea subscriptions that deliver more straight teas. So many wonderful tea plans and so little time!

Let us know which subscription plans you currently subscribe to tea related or not and we will randomly draw a winner who will receive a lovely tea care package from The SororiTea Sisters!


Jin Xuan Oolong Tea in Goldfish Teabag From Charmvilla

 Our Sister’s Thoughts:

Not only am I reviewing a tea but a tea product and concept with this Jin Xuan Oolong Tea in Goldfish Teabag From Charmvilla .  First I will cover the actual tea INSIDE the bag.  The Jin Xuan Oolong Tea inside this cute Goldfish Teabag is a pretty straight forward Oolong.  It’s a no-muss, no-fuss type.  It infuses to a light golden yellow.  The aroma is a weaker milky type smelling oolong.  The taste is a little creamy, a bit green, and a tad roasted.  It’s a fair tasting oolong.


Personally I think the draw of this product is all presentation!  I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m constantly looking for something different when it comes to ANYTHING Tea.  That is what I found with this product.  This isn’t a product that the average person would buy in bulk.  Each bag goes for about $20.  It would certainly be reserved for the most special of occasions.  I could definitely see these at wedding receptions.  I read somewhere that a lady bought one of these for her elderly great grandmother as a gift, too, and I could see where that would be something to treasure and talk about.

After I learned that each bag goes thru a 16-step process I could see why the cost was higher.  It was more justifiable to me in my head.  This is a gem of a NovelTEA product that is for sure.  Jin Xuan Oolong Tea in Goldfish Teabag From Charmvilla  is something to be treasured and talked about and not simply thrown away once finished with a simple cuppa.  The way it plumps up in the bag and seems to naturally swim around in your cup is totally a sight to see!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong Tea

Where to Buy: Charmvilla


The concept of Charmvilla is to add elements of charm and passion to products. Goldfish Tea Bags are made via a 16-step process. Nine of these steps require exquisite handcrafted skills by Taiwanese artists in order to display the ultimate craftsmanship of the Goldfish Tea Bag. The complex process is to highlights the majestic artistry of the Goldfish Tea Bag.

When the tea bag is brewed in hot water and begins to swell, the shape of a goldfish begins to form. The mouth of the tea bag is designed with a special cotton thread, Pulling the thread enables the tea bag to move in water. Creating a natural rhythm of moment from the fluctuations of the water. A life-like goldfish appears to be swimming in your tea cup. The concept of the Goldfish Tea Bag echoes its manufacturer’s cultural appeal – Creating charming products, enjoying a charm filled life. When the beauty of tea culture is delivered through the elegant shape of a goldfish, Tea drinkers can not only enjoy the taste, but also enjoy the fun and beauty of brewing tea with this highly loved, award-winning tea bag.

Jin Xuan Oolong: Jin Xuan translates to “Golden Daylily” and is also referred to as “Milk Oolong” (Nai Xiang) due to its buttery smoothness. This high-mountain grown tea produces a unique soft, creamy, rich, subtly sweet flavor once it is lightly roasted and rolled into semi-balls. Absolutely no milk is involved in the production of real Taiwan ‘milk’ tea. It resembles milk, but doesn’t taste exactly like milk. Once brewed, the tea produces a dark yellow, goldfish color (the color of Golden Daylily) and yields a fresh aroma, fresh flavor, and a smooth aftertaste with sweet undertones.

Learn more about this tea here.