We've long been fans of Eteaket and their brilliant range of teas - and their Edinburgh tearoom - but now they've come up with a subscription-based Tea Club, and I love them even more. Surprise tea in the post every month? Even this hardened coffee drinker can get excited about that.
For just £40 a year, you'll receive two tea samples each month (enough to brew two full pots of tea), along with tasting notes for both. That works out at just shy of £3.40 a month - not bad, right? Shall we have a look at some of the delectable concoctions you might get? All right then, come on...
This Chilli Rooibos (top left) is making my mouth water just looking at it. The spice is offset with wild cherries, safflower and peony petals, rosebuds and carrot flakes, all nestled in a bed of classic rooibos. Gimme. If you prefer a milder tea, Chillaxin' Chamomile (top right) uses whole chamomile flowers for maximum stress-busting effect. Relaxation in a mug, that's what it is.
I'll admit I was wary of chocolate tea in any form, but I'm a convert thanks to Eteaket's Chocolate Abyss tea (bottom left). They put real pieces of chocolate, coconut flakes, and cocoa into black tea, and the result is HEAVENLY. Want something a bit more fruity? Missing Wimbledon already? Then Strawberries & Cream (bottom right) is the blend for you. It's jam-packed with strawberry, apple and pineapple pieces, with rosehip peel, elderberries and hibiscus blossoms. Oh my word.
Green tea lovers will, um, love Blooming Marvellous (top left), which tempers that classic green tea taste with rosebuds, sunflower and mallow petals, vanilla, and zesty fruit flavours. And as for Crème Caramel Rooibos (top right) - well, it's making my heart beat so fast, I'll need a mug of hot, sweet tea just to calm down. It's got caramel pieces and calendula petals in it for a gloriously toffeeish taste sensation.
If fruity teas sometimes leave you free-pouring honey into your mug to stop your face doing that weird, twisted up, sharp intake of breath thing and your lips flailing around making that bwmap bwmap bwmap noise, then Zen Zephyr (bottom left) will make you, your face, your lips AND your tastebuds very happy. It's a sweet blend of lemongrass, lemon balm and lemon myrtle, combined with orange peel, carrot, apple and blackberry leaves.
The last of my favourite picks is Royal Earl Grey (bottom right). I love a cup of Earl Grey at the best of times, so how can I resist one that's a) prefixed with the word 'royal', and b) looks so pretty, studded with cornflowers? Answer: I CAN'T.
There are many more teas in Eteaket's range, so you'll get a great variety throughout the year. You don't know what you'll get, but I think we can tell from the selection above, it'll definitely be delicious!
Not only do you get ALL THIS TEA, but every Tea Club subscriber also receives an Eteaket teapot (worth £17.95!) with their first delivery. You can choose from five colours - I like this sunshine yellow one the best, obvs - so remember to specify your favourite in the 'notes' section on the order page. And that's not all - you'll get a mystery, tea-related Eteaket gift after six months of your subscription, plus 10% off all online orders for the whole year. Impressive.
I think an Eteaket Tea Club subscription would make an ace gift for the tea lover in your life - it's one of the best-value subscriptions I've seen around. Or, y'know - just get one for yourself. Or for me.
Pop the kettle on, will you?
Sadly, as discovered by Rosie in the comments below, Eteaket has raised the price of its Tea Club subscription since I wrote this post. It's gone up from £40 to £69.65 (that's quite a jump, right?), and the subscription has changed slightly. You'll still get the teapot, and now you also receive a 50g caddy of tea with your first delivery. Thereafter, it's the original two tea samples each month. And instead of a mystery gift after six months' loyal tea drinking, you'll get an exclusive subscribers-only tea blend. Oh, and the online discount is now 20%. Worth an extra thirty quid? I'll leave that up to you...
There's still a lot of great value to be had elsewhere in the Eteaket shop, though - the starter pack is just £5.95 and includes samples of 8 popular teas, some tea filters, and a cute caddy. And while the price of the subscription has increased dramatically, the quality of the tea certainly hasn't decreased - it's delicious, so do give some of the blends I've mentioned above a try if you're a tea-hound, too!