Home & Garden Home The 7 Best Tea Subscription Boxes of 2021 By Pete Scherer Recipe developer University of Southern California Pete Scherer is a private chef, freelance writer and photographer, focusing on farm-to-table food, artisan baking, green living, and sustainability. our editorial process Pete Scherer Updated March 15, 2021 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Home Sustainable Eating Pest Control Natural Cleaning DIY Family Green Living Thrift & Minimalism Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. Getty Images/Maximilian Stock Ltd. The 7 Best Tea Subscription Services Best Overall: Arbor Teas Best Japanese Tea: The Tea Crane Best Green Tea Latte: Clevr Best Curation: Sips By Best Tea Based Drink: Sparkling Botanicals Best Blends: Art of Tea Best Tea Party: TeaTurtle Best Overall: Arbor Teas Arbor Tea Sign Up Now Arbor Teas is a family-owned tea company from Ann Arbor, MI, founded by Aubrey and Jeremy Lopatin in 2004. They have grown from a tiny website —funded by painting their web designer’s kitchen—to a full-service tea delivery system with a comprehensive knowledge of the history and makings of tea and the organic process. Their website is a masterclass in tea and sustainability. They genuinely love both tea and the environment. And they care about getting the best to your doorstep. Arbor Teas earns the Best Overall distinction for best tea delivery because they excel in every category we can imagine for an online tea experience, including selection, information, and price. They feature seemingly endless options within 10 categories of tea. Tea from over 10 countries is also available with Fair Trade options in every category. They’re USDA certified organic and fair trade certified, with backyard compostable packaging, and they offset carbon emissions with a carbon fund. Whatever tea you love: Black, Green, Pu-Erh, Rooibos, Oolong, White, Herbal, Decaf, and Iced; from whichever country or region you prefer: Africa, India, China, Korea, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, South America, USA, Vietnam, you’ll find what you’re looking for delivered to your house. Head to arborteas.com and steep right into their website. With their Tea of the Month Club (six months for about $96 or 1 year for roughly $186), you’ll receive one package of their featured tea at the beginning of every month, and it’s free shipping. Spend some more time on their website, and you’ll see they offer a full range of tea products and history lessons. Come for the tea, stay for the education. Best Japanese Tea: Tea Crane Tea Crane Sign Up Now Have you ever wanted a personal tea sommelier? Certified tea-master Tyas Sōsen of The Tea Crane is your guy. Originally a martial arts enthusiast, he relocated to Japan and fell in love with the Japanese rite-of-tea and dedicated his life to it. His particular ethos eschews larger industrial conglomerates for small organic local farmers, each featured with blurbs on his website. The Tea Crane is as close to farm-to-table tea as it gets, and he seeks to bridge the gap between global consumers and local makers. Sōsen curates a collection of naturally-grown, traditional teas made by artisans throughout Japan. His details on what he selects, and why, is unparalleled. Through his Tea Crane Tea Club, he sends at least one package of an otherwise unobtainable, authentic, naturally produced tea, a detailed letter on the experience of the tea, and exclusive online access to info about the farmer and the region. At $25 a month, this is truly a deep dive into the tea experience, with access to a travelogue clearly written from Japan. There are also individual teas available for as low as $14 for 40 grams. That’s a fair amount of tea, for a specific and magical experience, as the aromas drift you away to the farmlands of Japan. Best Green Tea Latte: Clevr Clevr Sign Up Now Clevr knows functional lattes so well—they call them SuperLattes. They started in a van traveling California and spreading the adaptogenic latte and mushroom coffee gospel. Then they turned around and asked themselves how they could make their products available in people’s homes. And that’s when their SuperLatte blend was born. Their Matcha SuperLatte is chock full of adaptogens like reishi, ashwagandha, and lion’s mane. It’s entirely plant-based, getting that creamy latte feel from their combination of oat milk mixed with coconut cream, and sweetened with monk fruit. Their zippy Matcha is sourced from Japan and is sure to give you that calming sense of energy with long-lasting focus. They only source Organic or Non-GMO ingredients and prioritize working with smaller ingredient suppliers. Their shipping materials are also 100% post-consumer recycled and recyclable. For about $24 at 14 servings per container, if you subscribe, you’re looking at less than $2 per flavor/health-packed cup. That’s barista level quality in 10 seconds flat—plus they have Chai SuperLatte and Golden SuperLatte as well. Head to clevrblends.com and get SuperSipping. Best Curation: Sips By Sips By Sign Up Now Sips By is in a unique position—they spend time searching for tea from different companies and make it available all on one website. They begin the process with a tea quiz, which is quite fun, and a tea expert matches your taste to the brands they offer. Do you like smoky tea? They’ve got a blend and the best brand for that. Do you like your tea sweet? They’re on the case. An expert sends you four types to try, from more than 100 global brands, according to your tastes. Every month four different offerings are delivered to your door. No other company provides cross-brand choosing. Many of the brands also source organic tea and use biodegradable materials for packaging. And some are family companies that grow, blend, and package their own tea—there's no better way to ensure laborers are treated fairly and paid well. Each package is $16 a month, delivered straight to your doorstep. Plus, they support women-owned and black-owned companies, so you can make sure your tea provider is coming from a diverse group of makers. Head to Sips By and start the quiz. Best Tea-Based Drink: Sparkling Botanicals Sparkling Botanicals Sign Up Now We all love bubbles, and now we have tea plus bubbles with Sparkling Botanicals tea-based beverage. They partner with Rishi, a tea company whose commitment to sustainable tea could be a selection on its own on this list with over two decades of providing fantastic online tea direct from farmers. Together, they have created a new and amazing crossover product. Sparkling Botanicals is tea for people on the go who don’t necessarily have time to brew. They grow organic teas and herbs, without the use of agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. They are also a direct trade importer of organic teas and botanicals based on long-standing, personal relationships with growers of sustainable gardens in remote locations around the world. This combination of tea and vision creates an incredible product for $40 a 12 pack. Certainly pricey, but indeed good. And flavors like Dandelion Ginger, Grapefruit Quince, Patagonia Maqui, and Schisandra Berry (also known as the Sandra Bullock) are combinations not to be found elsewhere or pronounced correctly. Best Blends: Art of Tea Art of Tea Sign Up Now Steve Schwartz started his journey to tea through a study of preventative medicine at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. He rose to prominence through his ability to select and blend teas and now gives workshops all over the world on his blending techniques. His taste has brought unique flavor combinations to tea drinkers across the globe and has made Art of Tea, the leading online provider of blends all over the world. His years of traveling to Asia, India, Africa, and the Middle East, have brought him into contact with farmers and distributors who treat their teas and employees with the highest respect. They also have a passion for the craft of creating tea, and it’s easy to find organic options on the site. Since Steve is so flavor-forward, you can choose tea categories on his website based on flavor—grassy, sweet, citrusy, or fruity—rather than tea type. Alternatively, he also categorizes by origin, so you know where your tea originates. Sift through the many offerings, as well as the wealth of education on tea and Ayurvedic medicine. You can also subscribe to his tea club where you have the option to receive two to four ounces of a new tea every month from one of the following five cateogries: Classic, Single Origin, Caffeine-Free, Pyramid Teabags, and Explore. Prices vary depending on what subscription tier you choose (3-, 6-, or 12-month), but this option is a bit pricier coming in at $70 a month for a 3-month subscription. Best Tea Party: TeaTurtle TeaTurtle Sign Up Now Tea can be a very zen, contemplative, and thoughtful experience. But other times, you just want a straight up tea party. And the folks at TeaTurtle are the people you want at the Mad Hatter’s table. They started TeaTurtle over their shared love for England's football clubs. Each owner comes from a different walk of life—food, higher education, and sales—and has joined to help create tea subscription of which the dormouse would be proud. They’ve done their job at finding fair trade suppliers, their packaging is entirely recyclable and compostable, and have sourced plant-based bags for delivery. And it’s a sizable amount of tea for around $14 for a monthly subscription (plus shipping if you don't live in the U.K.). But what they don’t do is tell you where they specifically source their teas from or get into the specifics of their types of tea beyond Breakfast, Green, Wild, or Mixed. So who knows what we’re getting—and that makes it all the zanier. Or, as the March Hare says, “You might just as well say, that “I like what I get” is the same thing as “I get what I like!" How We Chose the Best Tea Subscription Services Tea is an endless labyrinth of knowledge, and the offerings online are as wide as the study itself. There are very few other comparable practices with such a long and storied history as tea, so we had a lot online to choose from. We tried to balance our list with tastings from the spectrum of commercial to boutique, always with an eye for the sustainable and organic. We wanted to make sure we included offerings beyond standard hot tea, like Sparkling Botanicals and Clevr, so we could inspire and educate on where tea is headed. We chose Arbor Teas because it balanced the boutique experience and the commercial experience with depth and love of tea in the perfect way.