“Cha” means tea in many Asian languages, therefore ChaTale is both a cute and appropriate name for an independent tea subscription box. Like most other tea subscription services, ChaTale aims to offer you a “completely new” and easy introductory experience to loose leaf tea. Although ChaTale is dedicated to delivering “the world’s tea to your door”, the predominant focus is on Chinese and Thai heritage. Many of the in-house blends bring tea together with culinary herbs and spices, making creative Asian style tea blends, a mix no doubt inspired by the co-founders backgrounds; Chantelle, growing up in a family of “tea artists” (blenders) and Ponk, owning restaurants in Thailand.
Ingrediants: Oolong and Pandan
I’ve never had Pandan in food let alone in tea, so I was excited to give this blend a go. Although the subscription doesn’t mention this, Pandan is a tropical plant widely used in south east Asia, known as the “Asian Vanilla” . Whilst I didn’t recognise the vanilla notes there is a slight sweetness in the cup, a hefty buttery and toasted note, that’s reminiscent of popcorn, and a grassy finish. Lovely.
” A daily dose of antioxidants, a great pain reliever in headaches, chest pain, arthritis and fever reducer” – ChaTale
Lots of Love
Ingredients: Organic Lemon Grass, Rosebuds and Roselle
Enjoyable hot and cold, with or without honey, according to the instructions. I’m not a massive fan of hot lemon, so bearing this in mind, I’ve tried to be as unbiased as possible. The lemongrass provides a subtle lemon note, that isn’t over powering, like many lemon based blends can be. The addition of rose provides a nice undertone of floral, but again, isn’t too overbearing. Despite having tried plenty of rose teas I have never tasted a blend with that contains roselle, a type of hibiscus. I was surprised that it didn’t leave any hibiscus trace at all, spiking curiosity and making me wonder what it’s flavour profile would be like on its own. This wasn’t the cup for me however; I can respect the unique twist to a common blend and understand how the gentle notes and mix of neutral and bold colours, of the dried tea, would be appealing to those exploring new flavours.
”Benefit of Vitamin C, helping to remove unhealthy food additives, chemicals and excess fats” – ChaTale
The website states that the subscription contains a leaflets telling you about the tea. Unfortunately I didn’t receive this in my pack. I’m not sure if this was a packing error or something the company has stopped doing. Either way I always feel that subscription packs aimed at helping people explore tea should contain as much information about the tea as possible. The addition of a leaflet in this pack would be a great insight to the teas contained within, especially for tea newbies.
Furthermore, despite the pack containing only two teas, I felt that both were great for introducing tea lovers to new flavours. Unfortunately, ChaTale focus’s predominantly on the subscription boxes and don’t sell individual tea’s or blends on their website, so if you discover something you love, you won’t be able to stock up. However, you are able to pop them an email and request to receive the tea you love, but this does reduce your tea discovery down to just one tea. Oh the perils…
An awesome thing about ChaTale is it’s not just one subscription and then a choice of tea types, there are specific boxes for specific needs as detailed below. All boxes contain two teas, are completely flexible, enabling you to request to keep receiving a tea you like or cancel your box at any time. All for just £6.49!!
1. Tea Tasting Box - Enabling you to explore a broad range of loose leaf teas.
2. Yummy Breakfast Box - Supplying you with your morning tea fix with various Breakfast and Earl Grey blends.
3. Detox - Providing teas that contribute to the cleansing of toxin’s whilst boosting energy.
4. Caffeine Cleanse - Zero to low level caffeine blends that are suggested as a healthier alternative to coffee.
5. Caffeine Free - Perfect box for those who have made the move to a caffeine free lifestyle but still enjoy herbal and floral tisanes.
The Nitty Gritty
So why ChaTale? Their website lists a number of reasons why you should choose ChaTale. I have detailed these below and expanded and added where I felt appropriate.
Every month you will receive two new packets of tea, approx. 25-30g each, chosen from a variety of single origin and in house blends. Variety. Tick.
Each tea arrives in a resealable pouch, shipping right to your door, in a compact but colourful box that slips right through the letter box. Convenient. Tick.
ChaTale claims that due to the quality of their tea most teas can be steeped three or four times before losing flavour and aroma, meaning theoretically, that you would gain more cups. However, this entirely depends on the type of tea you receive. I would say that the box contains on average between 12 and 24 cups, again depending on what tea you receive. Despite the amount of times the tea can be steep, the blend are still great. Quality. Tick.
Furthermore, ChaTale state that each cup of tea will be costing you just 20p. Which, is incredible value. However, this actually depends on the amount of cups you get out of the tea, so it may work out a little more like 30p+ for a per cup, but this is still great value, especially when you could be paying £3+ for a pack of 10 gourmet teabags in a supermarket or £2.50+ for a decent cuppa at a café. Still a low-cost and more exciting. Cheap. Tick.
Awesomely, postage is FREE to all those in the UK :D ChaTale also ship to Europe, US and Canada for a flat fee (which isn’t listed on the website, so best to get in touch with ChaTale before ordering), but will also ship worldwide and arrange delivery if you give them an email! Accessible. Tick.
Like most other tea subscription services, ChaTale focuses on helping you to move away from poor quality teabags to healthier, tastier loose leaf tea. Most subscription services don’t give non tea drinker or tea bag users a reason to try the subscription. What I love, and this is by far the best this about ChaTale, is that they offer a “no-quibble, money back guarantee”, meaning that trying loose leaf for the first time becomes a low risk opportunity. If you don’t like it, you haven’t lost anything, but it you do, you walk into a world of discovery and adventure and begin your very own cha tale. What have you got to lose?