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Reviewing the “Free Your Tea” Tea Subscription (May 2021)

Free Your Tea: Earl Grey Package

This post is not sponsored

Everybody loves gifts, especially receiving gifts (with giving gifts as a close second, I swear).

One team recently received a gift that was a 6-month tea subscription from the company “Free Your Tea.  In this subscription, we would receive an initial sampler of teas and could choose which of those teas we liked and would get in the subsequent 6 months during the subscription period.

Suffice to say, we were as giddy as school girls about this tea subscription and could not wait to start drinking and receiving some tea.

Below is our review of “Free Your Tea” and its tea subscription program from the perspective of the person receiving “Free Your Tea” as a gift.

The Company

Before we jump into the details of the actual subscription experience, it is important to understand who the company “Free Your Tea” is and what its values are.  After all, we always love getting to know other tea people.
 
“Free Your Tea” was founded to “bridge the gap” between the locations where high quality teas are produced and the cups of tea lovers i.e. introduce quality teas to more consumers.  This is evident in its mission statement: “to share the wealth, encouragement, and wonder of a cup of great tea by discovering and delivering the highest quality teas” (as read on its website).  We can get behind this – getting and sharing tea with others is one of main reasons we love what we do.
 
How do they do that?  “Free Your Tea” aims to to do this through three basic principles:
  1. Personalization: Provide consumers with teas based on their preference.
  2. Sustainability: Work with suppliers that take care of our environment and fellow humans.
  3. High Quality Products: Source the highest quality teas.  This also includes ensuring that their tea is never in tea bags (thus their name “Free Your Tea”).  “Free Your Tea” believes that tea leaves should be stored and brewed in its natural loose-leaf state to allow for better extraction of flavor and properties, producing a better and fresher taste.

Choosing Your Subscription & Gifting

To gift a “Free Your Tea” subscription, one can do this through the website.  On the website, one can select the following:

  1. The type of subscription product you want to gift: a Tea product or a gift card
  2. What type of tea: Tea vs Iced Tea
  3. The subscription duration: 3 months, 6 months, 12 months OR 4 quarters.  The subscription duration impacts the price as well as the tea delivery cadence.  For instance, the 6 month subscription was $109.  We received a 6 tea sampler in month 1 with a new tea packet every subsequent month (based on our preferences and feedback from the initial sampler).
  4. The caffeination level of the tea: caffeinated or decaffeinated.
  5. The specific date when the first month’s shipment of tea (i.e. the tea sampler) should ship.  This is useful as you can coordinate when a gift or subscription arrives.

As we were gifted a 6 month subscription, we received a welcome email from “Free Your Tea” and subsequently the first month’s team sampler shortly afterwards.

The “Sampler”

Free Your Tea Sampler

During the first month of the subscription, a sampler is provided to the subscription recipient.  In our sampler, we received the six teas including the following:

  1. Black Fruit
  2. Chun Mee #1
  3. Rosy Earl Grey
  4. Fujian Autumn Oolong

Along with these small little tea cannisters, “Free Your Tea” also provided a few small pamphlets which provided tips on how to brew tea as well as described the origins of each of the tea samples.

It was actually a nice exercise to be able to try 6 different teas at the get-go. “Free Your Tea” mentioned that each sample could make 3-4 cups of tea.  We found that to be accurate and useful when sharing among our team.

Once we tried each of the teas, we were able to go onto the “Free Your Tea” site to input our preferences and ratings to kickstart the “personalization” aspect of this subscription and effectively select which teas we would receive in the coming months.  This included filling out two forms: “Tea Preferences” and “Tea Ratings”.  This is where this subscription presented some challenges and frustration.  

The first step in the process is to fill out your “Tea Preferences” so that “Free Your Tea” can know about your general likes and dislikes on types of tea (e.g. Do you like Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong, etc).   We could imagine as a new user to tea subscriptions or even a casual tea drinker, this might be difficult as not everyone knows or can easily recall the nuances and flavor differences among tea types.  Additionally, there was no reference on this form to the teas we just sampled.  It was only by going back to the supplemental pamphlets provided that allowed us to map a tea sample we liked to the type of tea it was (e.g. “Chun Mee #1 is a Green Tea”).  So if we did not go back to and read the extra written material provided in the sampler, it would be even more difficult to enter our preferences.

We then filled out the “Tea Ratings” form, which asked us to rate the actual tea samples we got.  We presume this provides an additional data point (in addition to your tea preferences) based on the tea samples that “Free Your Leaf” uses to provide more teas you like.  In addition to the somewhat clunky form fields and user experience this page had, it was also a little unclear why this “Tea Ratings” form and the “Tea Preferences” form were different pages, unfortunately adding more confusion to this process.  

Even though we ran into some bumps “personalizing” our tea subscription, we looked forward to receiving our next month’s tea shipment.

The (Ongoing) Delivery

Free Your Tea: Tea Bags

We waited in anticipation for our next month’s shipment of tea, fully expecting to receive teas that followed our feedback given in “Tea Ratings” and “Tea Preferences” forms we filled out.

Yet, in subsequent months we received tea types we sampled but did not prefer as much or did not align with our tea preferences.  What was further unfortunate was that a month was actually missed in our subscription – we did not receive our tea shipment.  This made us question the usefulness and accuracy of the personalization forms we filled out.

We contacted customer service to try to understand why we did not receive teas that we liked as well as why we were missing a tea delivery.  Unfortunately, the answers were not clear, but we give kudos to the customer service team for their prompt responses and for making good by extending our subscription period.

The Bottom Line

We rate the “Free Your Tea” Tea Subscription 3 Stars (out of 5)!

We really wanted to like this subscription more, especially as this was a gift and we fully aligned with what “Free Your Tea” is all about.  Of the teas we received, the quality was there and the variety was nice.  The price was also comparable to other services that provide quality tea.  “Free Your Tea” Customer service was also prompt and willing to help.

Yet, the personalization aspect and execution was unclear for us.  The process of filling out our preferences was confusing and the unfortunate lack of clarity around our tea shipments and why we received (or did not receive) certain tea varieties left us sad and frustrated.  If “Free Your Tea” improved these aspects, we’d love to try this subscription again.

Don’t take our word for it though. Try the “Free Your Tea” subscription and let us know what you think.

3
3/5

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