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16 Tasting Notes

27

… Um. I really wanted to like this. I still hold out some hope that it will be better chilled, but I won’t try that until this summer. It’s the “lingering sweetness of Korean Hydrangea serrata leaf” that gets me. It tastes very artificial, although I know it’s “natural” (which I suppose a fair number of people feel is synonymous with “better”). It has a sweet bite, then the cloying, almost tangy aftertaste remains far too long.

It’s just… weird. If you get a chance to swap for a bag, it’s almost worth it for the novelty. Hey, I’ve got a whole tin over here waiting for your offers!!!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Babble

Out of curiosity, do you still have bags available of this? Your review makes me want to try it.. lol.

ColoradoKate

I still have the whole darn tin!!! I’m out of town right now, but I’d be happy to send you some when I get home next week. Bug me again then! ;)

Babble

Okay, thanks! You don’t happen to have any other of the RoT sweet teas, too, do you?

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67

Not technically a tea, but I’m totally sucked in by the cute tea tag (“Be proud of who you are.”). I can smell the cocoa shells more than taste them, although the scent is predominantly spice (I think it’s the cardamom). I think this would be great with hot cocoa mixed in. I like mine with some milk and sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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67

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69

I’m getting sick. Chest congestion and just a general malaise. So, I decided something full of stuff that’s supposed to be good for me is what I’m supposed to be doing.

Bluh. Now I remember why I have a vague distaste for rooibos. It’s the scent. Pretty awful. But, like may of the other rooibos teas I’ve recently had from The Republic of Tea, it grows on me as I finish the cup.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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92

I worried about the chicory that’s listed as an ingredient because my grandfather hates it… I figure I must therefore have a genetic predisposition toward hating it too, right? That’s how my mind works, anyway. Back during World War II, the coffee rations given to the U.S. soldiers were extended by adding lots and lots of chicory. That’s one of the very few war remembrances he’s ever shared. My grandfather doesn’t complain about much, but the man has a chicory vendetta.

Familial prejudices aside, this was such a pleasant surprise. It makes a great coffee substitute for me since I won’t touch the stuff. The aroma is dark, smoky chocolate. It’s not much on the sip, but the aftertaste that remains in the mouth is so satisfying. I have mine with a generous splash of milk and two level teaspoons of sugar. I think I’m going to brew another cup right now…

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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70

Just like the Cherry Chocolate I recently tried, I wasn’t so sure about my first sip. Maybe it’s just that I didn’t know what to expect? Rooibos is described with derision by so many; maybe I expected a mouth full of dirt?

I can definitely pick out the rooibos tone, but it’s not off-putting. I like it, but I don’t feel strongly about it, which makes me think it’ll likely expire before I get around to drinking all of it.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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24

I have no blessed idea what temperature I actually used to brew this tea. I am actively stalking the Breville Tea Maker to remedy this, but I think I’ll need to wait another month before I shell out the$250 bones. I used the setting just below green on my electric kettle.

Apricots, in my mind, are sweet, sensitive little creatures. In reality, they’re more acrid. The scent of this tea is accurate in that way – it disappoints my sentimental mind. The taste was similar. Nothing but astringency in my first unsweetened sips. A teaspoon of organic honey helped to bring out the vanilla a bit, and it toned down the bite.

I see that other folks are enjoying this tea quite a lot, so I’ll give it another shot – maybe iced next time.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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66

A pleasant enough alternative to the original Sleepytime of my childhood. Like many others have already mentioned, Sleepytime is like an old, well-loved security blanket. Sleepytime Vanilla makes me feel like somebody took my blanky, sloshed it around in some vanilla-flavored washing machine, and handed it back to me, swearing it was better now that it was all clean.

I didn’t find the vanilla scent off-putting, but it made me suspicious. Once I snuggled closer (and added a teaspoon of organic honey)… yeah, it’s my old blanky, but it doesn’t taste like it had been dragged through the spearmint field and left to bake in the sun in the same, familiar way. Is this a good thing? A bad thing?

Maybe I’ll just rub the satin edging between my fingers awhile longer and see if I can make friends with a new-ish blanky. Change isn’t always bad, but as soon as Mom isn’t looking, I’m gonna run off to the spearmint field.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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78

I’m not fond of the scent of this tea in the can, which I took as a bad omen. Sort of a strident, sickly-sweet cherry… and it takes a lot for me to describe something as “sickly-sweet”. It doesn’t smell much better when brewed either, and I only used one bag. A heaping teaspoon of sugar and a generous splash of milk later, I took a sip and immediately questioned that gratuitous use of sweetener; “If it smells sweet already, dummy!” My first impression was that a sugared cherry-bomb had gone off in my mouth.

Subsequent sips had me reevaluating though – once the initial shock had worn off, I found it to be very pleasant. As others have noted, it does taste a lot like a cherry cordial candy. I’m very glad this has a base of black tea and not rooibos (as many other Republic of Tea chocolate blends do), so that makes it stand out in my cupboard. Too bad the scent is so off-putting to me, otherwise I might’ve rated it higher.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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73

1.5 teaspoons to 12 ounces of water (boiled, then allowed to cool 3 minutes) was a perfect balance. I used a teaspoon of organic honey to sweeten it a bit. I don’t drink this tea often enough – I really enjoy the subtle floral notes. It ended a little bitter, so I think I’ll shorten the steep time when we meet again.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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Bio

I won’t lie – I like my tea sweet. I’m the girl dumping two packets of sugar into my jasmine tea at the sushi place, stirring it with my chopstick. Earl Grey, predictably, makes me cringe. Black teas get the milk and sugar treatment; my greens are sweetened with agave. I’ll drink loose tea, but I prefer bagged teas for convenience. I know I have a, shall we say, “unrefined” palette when it comes to these things, but I know enough to not boil the hell out of my green tea.

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6500 feet above sea level

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