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Friday Local Spotlight: Tea Sparrow

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Tea is part of my every day life. I have a whole cupboard full of tea of every kind for every occasion. Oolong for a pre-workout boost, black for my morning cuppa or for afternoon tea time, rooibos for health and thirst quenching, pu erh to help digestion, white and herbals for evening and bedtime, green just because… The list goes on and on (to much chagrin of my sister/roommate that complains about the obscene amount of tea that I bring in). Every time I visit a tea shop I come away with a bag of tea to try, I can’t help it! So much tea to taste and fall in love with! I honestly don’t have any more room to store my tea collection, so when I heard about Tea Sparrow’s tea club I was excited at the chance to try it out.

As a tea addict I think that this tea of the month club is an awesome idea! A chance to try four different types of tea from four different specialty tea companies every month. No need to decide on what you may want to try because Tea Sparrow does it for you. They choose their favourite teas and mail 1oz (28.35 grams) of four of them to your door each month. The bags are resealable to keep your tea fresh and are easy to store without taking too much room in your cupboard (cue a sigh of relief from my sister), and the variety is excellent; a little something for all of your tea-drinking needs. Throw in the fact that they are a local company and I was sold.

As tea-of-the-month clubs go. Tea Sparrow falls right in the middle price range. Their $20 a month cancel anytime subscription is the perfect price for the amount of tea that you get and the convenience of having it delivered to your door. I have tried other tea clubs at a smaller price but did get a smaller amount of tea, so choosing a tea club really depends on how much tea you want to try. I also really like the option to cancel the subscription at any time, again, I have checked out other tea clubs that are more expensive and need for you to have a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription that has to be paid right away, not my cuppa tea at all.

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The teas that were sent to us this month were a treat for my palate, here’s a short review of all four of them:

Organic Masala Chai by Samovar
This was an honest to goodness Indian chai. I have tried other chai teas that just didn’t quite taste like the real thing. Very close, but not quite. The Organic Masala Chai had the exact amount of spice, sweetness and creaminess that I expect from a traditional chai. I added milk and a little sugar and I was transported to what I imagine the courtyard of the Taj Mahal would be like.

Cacao Tea by Tisano Cacao, Tea & Chocolate
I am very picky about chocolate. I read the ingredients of any chocolate that I’m going to consume to make sure that there are no additives or high fructose corn syrup and to make sure that the first ingredient (or at least the second) is cacao. With such high standards on chocolate you can imagine that when I indulge it’s because it’s real chocolate that I am indulging in (unless it’s chocolate cake, but that’s a whole other story). I brewed this tea as instructed and I instantly loved it. It is 100% cacao bean shell. Nothing else. It smells delicious! I tried it on its own (ok taste), with milk and honey (Hello, hot chocolate!) and also made it my vanilla protein smoothie base (yumm!). I will need to order some more.

White Tea Champagne by Tea Desire
The delicate taste of this tea was just what I needed on a Friday afternoon. I made it as strong iced tea and added sparkling water to make it even more refreshing. It even smells sparkling! did not need to add any sweetener, the natural sweetness of the red currants was enough, but you can get away with adding a little honey, agave or rock sugar if you prefer.

Rooibos Du Hammam by Les Palais des Thés
This tea is inspired by a traditional Turkish recipe. It has a fruity and flowery flavour that is hard to describe but very easy to love. I’ve been to a Hammam spa and at the end of the relaxing experience they serve natural refreshments filled with electrolytes to help you rehydrate. I can totally see myself enjoying a cup of this rooibos as part of the Hammam experience, and I think that that was the idea when Les Palais des Thés blended this red tea.

As you can tell, I was pretty happy with this month’s tea experience and can’t wait to see what new adventures next month’s tea selection will bring my taste buds.

The folks at Tea Sparrow are always there to answer any questions you may have about the teas or about your subscription, so don’t hesitate to contact them. Seriously, don’t. You can check them out at www.teasparrow.com. Also, they have kindly offered Vancouver Bits and Bites readers a 60% discount (whoah! Generous!) off the first Tea Box in an ongoing subscription. Plus, you can share this code with friends! (Cuz you just gotta share the tea love!). Click here and use promo code: teas

Happy sipping!

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