Art Of Tea Review: A Complete Buyer’s Guide To The Best Tea Service

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Featured Image: © 2013 Azzah B.A. Licensed under CC-BY.

Like most art forms, tea requires a tremendous amount of time and expertise. Cultivating, blending and brewing takes a skilled hand and some vital information. Art of Tea is an LA-based company that both imports and blends teas. If you are looking for a great selection of teas from around the world, it offers a huge amount of choices. Coupled with the option of monthly subscriptions, this unique company offers plenty of variety for most individuals. Anyone who enjoys teas and doesn’t have a local tea shop could benefit from this online service.

Subscription-based services are becoming very popular. You won’t have to worry about running out of premium tea, and you don’t need to spend the energy and time shopping for new teas each month. It’s a great way to expand your tastes if you don’t have a tea shop in your neighborhood. These services also make great gifts, so consider signing up a friend or colleague who is a heavy tea drinker.

What Is Art of Tea?

The company model is to provide expertly blended and premium-quality international teas for online ordering. While you can order individual tea bags and boxes, the company promotes a subscription program. You receive monthly tea shipments, which are based loosely around a keyword.

Art of Tea

These shipments give you a broad range of flavors, so they’re great if you are adventurous or if you aren’t sure which teas you like best. The company was founded by Steve Schwartz, who studied Ayurvedic medicine in New Mexico. Most tea blends or origins are promoted by their wellness attributes, which range from overall health to more specific problems, such as sleeplessness.

Types of Tea

Tea comes in a variety of different shapes, colors and flavor profiles. It is roughly divided into a few broad categories, but no two teas are completely alike. Teas can be white, green, oolong, black or Pu-erh. There are, of course, many others, including Rooibos tea. There are also herbal teas, which are not technically teas, but most people include them in their range of tea. Each variety has a range of caffeine and strength of flavor. Whether you want to specialize in one type of tea, or prefer a broad range, companies like Art of Tea provide plenty of options for you.

If you want something different, teas can also be blended. Two or more varieties, sometimes from different sides of the world, are mixed to provide a more complex flavor profile. This is especially done with more medicinal teas. It can be used to mask more pungent herbal ingredients, or it can be used to link multiple healthy varieties. Regardless of the reason, Art of Tea and other tea providers can give you both single origin and blended tea options.

Art of Tea Homepage Screenshot

In general, black teas offer more caffeine, while green teas offer very little. Herbal teas are generally caffeine free. Black teas are usually accompanied by bold flavors, and white teas have a pure, refined taste. Each individual tea offers differences within these broad categories, so don’t judge a tea by its color. One of the benefits of online tea subscriptions is an open mind to new varieties.

Do you think you are a strict black tea drinker? You might be surprised by a great oolong. Love the subtlety of green tea? Perhaps you’ll try your first white tea and fall in love again. There are so many options that it can feel overwhelming to sort through them on your own.

Company Specifications

Teas available: Loose leaf teas, black teas, blooming teas, caffeine-free teas, chai tea, dessert teas, botanicals, green teas, matcha, oolong teas, pu-erh teas, rooibos teas, spring teas, wellness teas, herbal teas, white teas, and yerba mate.

Subscription plan lengths: Order three-month, six-month or one-year plans. Subscription plan options: classic, single origin, wellness, explore, caffeine-free or pyramid tea bags. Size: 2-4 ounces per month.

Pricing

Because of the variety of purchasing options, Art of Tea ranges from being very inexpensive to premium priced. Some teas are more expensive than others, and most teas are sold in several sizes. For three-month subscriptions, the cost is $54. A six-month subscription is $107, and it costs $198 for a 12-month subscription. Most teas can be purchased between a sample size and 1-lb bags, ranging from $5 to $120 each. One pound of tea is quite large purchase, averaging around 240 cups.

Art of Tea 3 Months Subscription
Art of Tea 6 Months Subscription
Art of Tea 12 Months Subscription

The price for Art of Tea’s subscription plan is much lower than its competitors. However, this is mostly because of portion sizes. Art of Tea offers either 2- or 4-ounce monthly boxes, which is significantly less than the 5.3 ounces of Tea Box. Field to Cup offers a mid-range box, at 3.5 ounces. Depending on the amount of tea you drink and the variety you are looking for, it may or may not be priced reasonably for a month. Each of these companies are only available for online purchase, but you should check often for discounted boxes or holiday promotions.

How It Compares


Art of Tea

Pricing

$198 one-year subscription

Ease of Use

4 out of 5

Quality

5 out of 5

Selection

5 out of 5


Tea Box Logo

Pricing

$322.38 one-year subscription

Ease of Use

3 out of 5

Quality

4 out of 5

Selection

3 out of 5

Teabox is a fast and convenient alternative that offers prepared boxes every month. These boxes are all themed, so it’s useful if you like to try a lot of similar teas in order to distinguish the subtle differences between each blend or origin. However, the teas within each box don’t have a lot of variety, which could lead to an unhappy month if you don’t like a particular kind of tea.

The subscription runs monthly, every three months or every six months. It offers more tea, with 5.3 ounces in each box. However, it’s significantly more expensive than Art of Tea subscriptions. If you want high-quality tea and don’t have any tea preferences, it’s a great way to be exposed not only to a wide variety of teas, but also to the distinctive qualities of each one. However, if you have any strong preferences toward particular types of tea, you may be disappointed some months.


Field to Cup

Pricing

$299.64 one-year subscription

Ease of Use

5 out of 5

Quality

4 out of 5

Selection

4 out of 5

Field to Cup is a great way to be sure you enjoy every ounce of tea. This company will send you extra tea next month if you find any teas you don’t like in a box. Some boxes are based on a type of tea, like an herbal tea box, but most are based on a keyword, like the adventure box. The boxes come with around 3.5 ounces, but they can include up to eight different varieties of tea.

These boxes come with instructions to properly steep each tea and discounts and coupons. You can buy the same teas from the box at 50 percent off, or you can buy any tea or item for 15 percent off. If you want to sample a few teas before buying in bulk, this company provides some great deals. It may not have the large selection of other companies, but there are more than enough teas to keep you satisfied.


Dollar Tea Club Logo

Pricing

$4 - $36 monthly subscription

Ease of Use

3 out of 5

Quality

4 out of 5

Selection

3 out of 5

It’s either aptly or inappropriately named, depending on your tea preferences. This highly customizable service offers either three small samples or four larger pouches with lots of add-ons and custom features. The company offers HoneyStix to pair with your coffee, and you can include tea bags with the loose-leaf samplers. If you know the kinds of tea you like, you also have the option of building your own box.

While the cheapest sample pack only costs $1 for three samples, it’s deceptively priced because this is the only company on the list that doesn’t include free shipping. With $3 flat-rate shipping, it’s technically $4 for a monthly sample. The company has a reasonable selection, but over 30 teas is still fewer than other providers. Still, for the smallest sample kit on the market, it’s a convenient way to test some teas without committing to a year’s supply or a huge bag.


The Good And The Bad

As a subscription plan, Art of Tea offers one of the most inexpensive yearly plans. It comes with a wide variety of teas, and boxes can be tailored to your individual tea preferences. Art of Tea also has broad, keyword-focused boxes if you like trying a variety of new teas. The company offers some very premium teas, like ceremonial-grade matcha. If you are looking for specific teas from around the world, it has an incredibly comprehensive list.

The founder of Art of Tea has not only traveled extensively to learn about each type of tea, but also has studied Ayurvedic medicine and wellness principles. Art of Tea provides excellently blended herbal remedies and wellness teas. It’s a great subscription plan for anyone interested in wellness tea or single origin tea.

You can get a box focused on one of these two areas, which is highly specialized compared to other boxes. Art of Tea also includes instructions for each tea, as well as a guide to the ritual of each. The 12-month subscription box also includes a Klean Kanteen mug from Art of Tea for free. It’s delivered the first month of your subscription.

While inexpensive, the subscription plan lacks the quantity of its competitors. Field to Cup and Tea Box offer as much as double the amount of tea in each box. Art of Tea doesn’t have as much selection in each box as Field to Cup, and there isn’t a feature to see what previous months have offered. If you are looking for a convenient way to purchase bulk teas, some of its choices are very expensive.

The company doesn’t offer substitutions, and you won’t receive a discount for further purchases. While there are different options for each month’s subscription, there aren’t any options for smaller or larger samples. If you wanted to try just a few varieties, you would have to individually pick them out. Some customers felt the teas varied too much in quality. Teas can range from premium to average quality.

Pros of Art of Tea

  • Wide Variety of Tea selections catered for everyone
  • Inexpensive
  • High Quality

Cons of Art of Tea

  • Limited quantity maximum per box
  • No substitutions
  • No custom boxes

Conclusion

Art of Tea doesn’t offer any purchasing discounts for customers who have subscriptions. This company is a great way to be exposed to high-quality teas, and it makes a great gift for friends. If you know someone who loves teas, but you aren’t sure what kind, it’s a convenient gift. If you love a good cup of tea, but feel stuck in a rut, try one of these subscription services and find your next favorite tea.

Online subscriptions are excellent ways to try new tastes, be more efficient in shopping or give an innovative gift.

Each company has pros and cons, so carefully consider which one matches your unique situation. Art of Tea is a great choice if you want an inexpensive plan that offers a broad range within a basic category. It’s also a good online store for ordering specific and unique single origin teas and blends. Dollar Tea Club is good if you don’t want the commitment of an expensive bag, and if 5 ounces seems like a lot of tea.

For bulk online orders, Field to Cup provides a huge discount and is a convenient way to sample, then purchase a large amount. Whatever option you choose, now you have an in-depth understanding of the products and services offered by Art of Tea, its pros and cons, and how it relates to its competitors.

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