Lifestyle Tea Reviews

Muse Monthly Tea Box Review and Giveaway

Happy Tuesday! I’d like to welcome you to the second day of the week by introducing you to a cool company I found for literature and tea lovers while scanning the Internet. I reached out to their CEO and Creative Director Christina who was obliging enough to send me a box to test and also offer a box for a reader giveaway.

Muse Monthly is a subscription service box that sends a hand-picked pairing of tea and book to your door every month.

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The February Box

This month’s box featured Yann Martel’s The High Mountains of Portugal and paired it with an organic banana coconut rooibos tisane from Amitea.

The light and fruity, caffeine-free drink reminds me of driving around Cuba in the heat and pulling up at a roadside shack for a piña colada. Except in reverse. Here it’s freezing outside and the beverage is hot. Still, it’s a nice reminder of the tropics during the winter months.

On the package Amitea recommends trying it brewed double strength with a shot of rum. That’s an idea I can get behind. And also reminds me of Cuba.

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I haven’t had a chance to read The High Mountains of Portugal just yet, but a few days ago the New York Times released their take on it. Martel is known for his 2001 book Life of Pi that won the Man Booker Prize.

Muse Monthly is based out of New York City, so I was excited that Martel, who is Canadian, featured in this month’s box. Inside the box Muse Monthly did a great job of presentation: the tea and book were each wrapped separately in black tissue paper and presentation did not not disappoint. This would make a great gift for someone (like me).

Pricing

So how much do these boxes cost? Well, from what I can tell they’re priced very reasonably. For example, a one-month subscription will cost you $21 USD. The list price for Martel’s book is $27 USD. Plus, you also get the tea. You can read in my interview with Blok below how they work with publishers.

To look at it from a Canadian perspective, right now The High Mountains of Portugal is listed at $32 CAD. You can find it discounted right now at Chapters for $20 CAD. Right now with the low Canadian dollar the $21 USD cost of the box equals about $29 CAD. So the pricing is still a pretty good deal considering you’re also getting the tea and the whole artisan experience.

You can buy a subscription in bulk (3,6 or 12 months) for a slight discount.

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Interview with CEO and Creative Director Christina Blok

What made you want to start Muse Monthly?

Muse Monthly really stemmed out of the idea of comfort and relaxation – after a long day at a stressful job, all I wanted was to curl up with my book and the most gigantic cup of tea possible. I knew I wasn’t the only one, so Muse Monthly was born!

When did you get started?

The Kickstarter ran in May, and the first box was delivered in June, with Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller & Mt Hood Vanilla tea from Townshend’s Tea.

You work with some big name publishers (Tin House Books, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Bloomsbury)! How did you establish those connections?

It was really much easier than expected. I started out researching books that were coming out for the rest of the year – book that were getting some buzz already, or just ones that looked really different from the usual thing you’d find at Barnes & Noble. And from there I just sent emails to publishing companies explaining the concept and asking if they’d be willing to work with me. I’ve been fortunate enough to form some really great relationships since then.

Christina Blok, CEO and Creative Director of Muse Monthly. Photo provided by Muse Monthly.

Christina Blok, CEO and Creative Director of Muse Monthly. Photo provided by Muse Monthly.

You support female, LGBTQA, trans and POC writers, as well as writers from around the world. What goes into choosing the book of the month?

The first thing I look for is strong writing. That is always the most important thing. I look for stories that are exciting and different, not what everyone else is going to be reading. I think it’s really important to offer books that are challenging and might open readers up to a different worldview. I try to support debut writers as well.

What about the tea?

The tea is paired with the book by what I call “atmosphere” – they’re meant to create an experience. For example, The December Collection included a story called The Blue Between Sky & Water by Susan Abulhawa, which is a story about a Palestinian family. We paired that with Green Tea and Mint from Teapigs, because mint tea is the traditional way to drink tea in Palestine. The hope is that the reader will be transported!

What comes first – book or tea?

Usually the book comes first, but not always!

What’s your favourite kind of tea?

Personally, I really loved the Earl Grey Lavender from Rishi tea that we included in the August box!

Why are books awesome?

Books are awesome because they expand your mind and expose you to new thoughts and feelings! Books make you smarter, and being smart is badass.

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Giveaway – One Free Month of Muse Monthly’s March Collection!

We’re so lucky! Christina has agreed to give one reader the March box for free! Just enter below by February 21 to be entered to win. For March they’re teaming up with author V.E. Schwab who’s upcoming novel A Gathering of Shadows will be released on February 23.

A Gathering of Shadows is the second book in her Shades of Magic series. The first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, has just been acquired by Gerard Butler’s production company, G-Base, for tv series production.

There are a few ways to enter. Each one you do puts your name in the draw! Do one or all four for your best chance of winning.

Enter to win the March Collection from Muse Monthly featuring author V.E. Schwab:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Karla
    February 16, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    You can’t go wrong with books & tea, it’s the perfect combination <3

  • Reply
    Sara
    February 16, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I think this is a wonderful idea! My two favourite things: books and tea <3

  • Reply
    Denise
    February 16, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    This is so beautiful — both in concept and execution!

  • Reply
    Maggie C
    February 16, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I love to read on my bed before I go to bed.

    Thank you for the chance!

  • Reply
    Bernice Tracey
    February 16, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    What a wonderful gift idea!

  • Reply
    Gee
    February 17, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    I like reading in bed, propped up on a couple of pillows, before falling asleep.

    • Reply
      Mel Hattie
      February 17, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      That is literally what I’m doing right now! Reading Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.

  • Reply
    Lu Ann @ The Cup of Life
    February 18, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I actually thought of you and your blog when I came across Muse Monthly on instagram before! I love the concept.

    • Reply
      Mel Hattie
      February 18, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Right? I was like: Tea? Check. Books? Check. Time to make friends.

  • Reply
    Jennifer V
    February 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I love reading outside!

  • Reply
    ladezudu
    February 18, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    What a great idea to use our other senses to get immersed!

  • Reply
    Luke
    February 18, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Beautiful pictures and a great idea, thanks for writing!

  • Reply
    Amber B
    February 18, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    What a great box/idea. I love reading in bed before I go to sleep 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura MacDonald
    February 19, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I like reading in the bath 🙂

  • Reply
    James Kane
    February 19, 2016 at 9:19 am

    The tea this month isn’t my favourite flavour but am really interested in the book.

  • Reply
    Sam Baltrus
    February 19, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Banana tea, that’s something I’ve never even thought of.

  • Reply
    ikkinlala
    February 21, 2016 at 9:57 am

    My favourite place to read is in a hammock in my parents’ yard (but my living room couch is the best one available at this time of year).

  • Reply
    Lee-Anne
    February 21, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Beautiful photos!

  • Reply
    Mel Hattie
    February 22, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Hi everyone!

    Thank you so much for entering. I had Rafflecopter using Random.org pick an entry this morning and the winner is Karla D! Karla, I’m emailing you right now. I hope I can hold more giveaways for you guys in the future! It’s always fun to send presents.

    Much love and reading,

    Mel

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