Rare Tea Republic

Recent Tasting Notes

92

I ordered a smaller size bag of this about a month ago but am just getting around to trying it now.

I have loved all my white teas from RtR so I had really high hopes for this one. The leaves smell so sweet and fresh in the bag and are long, fluffy and slightly fuzzy.

This is a lovely white tea, it’s slighly vegetal with flavors of freshly shucked corn and cream. There’s a slight fruity sweetness in the finish reminiscent of nectarines. I’m not surprised this tea was a North American champion, it’s really nice!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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77

This came as a free sample from RtR & I’ve had it for a while but just got around to trying it today.

I like this okay, it’s very vegetal and slightly pungent, it reminds me a bit of a gunpowder tea. Yes, I am picking up on a bit of smoke but also a trace of bitterness which is not exactly to my liking this morning. I will finish the sample off but probably won’t need to buy anymore. If you like very assertive green teas, this could be for you.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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68

This one was alright – sorry for short note – just want to be sure to note it so I know for my own reference that I tried it.
I have had my RTR samples around since I began drinking loose leaf and most have been tasted while a few had not even been opened yet. I got SO SO MANY of them back then!
This one is good but I would not miss it when gone – oh wait it IS gone now.
It had a nice bite to it but nothing remarkable. Slightly bitter but I kind of enjoy that now and again.
Sorry this is not very constructive. One of those days – mind fray.

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87

The steeped leaf is so colorful – so pretty – so strange. I like looking at it. I could get lost in this lush forest of tea!
Browns, golds, yellows, greens, am I losing my mind or is it all really that colorful?
Anyway the initial flavor I get on first sip is ripe juicy sweet plum! No sour plum skin mind you just the good inner stuff!
Its a light tea – I would say very light – meaning thin mouthfeel, watery even.
I usually like a bit heavier of a tea but the sweet juicy goodness is a saving grace here.
Slightly woodsy, lets call it mulch not wood.
Mineral flavor is there for sure.
This is a good one.
Surprising tea. Too bad it was only a sample.

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92

I have had this almost as long as I have been drinking loose leaf. Rare Tea Republic was the first tea place I ordered from other than The London Tea Room when I first started my loose leaf experience.
I don’t know why I never put down any tasting notes before – maybe I never actually tasted it. The little sample bag was open and there was not a lot of leaf left so I must have. Maybe I just didn’t know what to think of it back then five whole months ago lol.
My how we can learn so much in a short period of time.
I love this tea.
I have no idea if it is still available or not but in my list for shopping it goes and when the time is right I may have to seek it out and make an order!
Indeed there is a smoky bacon flavor to it – not the bacon itself but the smoky flavor that some bacon has – when it is smoked LOL.
Yes a bit BBQ ish but not BBQ Sauce.
A woodsy taste … hickory perhaps….very good.
This is absolutely an Autumn tea!
The aftertaste is just the tea base 100% Assam good and strong.
The smokey flavor rolls around on the tongue then dissipates magically leaving only the assam base behind. MMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
More please.

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92

I’m just finishing off this sample today, I’ve definitely enjoyed this green darjeeling (see previous notes for more details).

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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92

This sample came in my latest RtR order along with a bunch of other samples.

I haven’t had fantastic experiences with any green darjeelings so far, but the description of this just sounded so nice, I thought I would give it a try, AND I need to feel perky because I am going out for dinner and to hear some music later.

So this was steeped for 3 minutes at 180 F and at first I did not taste much, but now that my cup is cooling down a bit I am getting some very unique flavors here. It’s vegetal but definitely a PUMPKIN note, wow! This is pretty neat. I also get some nuttiness here and a touch of sweet honey notes. For a green tea this is pretty far out, I almost wish I had gotten more but it isn’t cheap.

Glad I got to try this one, it’s enjoyable!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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84

Another sample gone…

I won’t miss this too much. It’s pretty good for a second flush darjeeling which do not tend to be my favorites. This does have a very nice grape flavor and aroma and a very “soft” flavor. See previous notes for more details.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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84

Oh – ScottB you are a terrible influence on me for pointing out the Rare Tea Republic free shipping. :-P

Anyway I did get a few samples to try but nothing major. I have to say the dry leaf smells INCREDIBLE in the bag like luscious grapes! I decided to go with RtR’s steeping parameters which said 5 minutes at 205 degrees. I am definitely getting the cocoa notes here with a bit of malt. Definitely a grape element hanging out in my cup, as well as a woodsy one. There’s a hint of bitterness in the finish so I might try steeping at a lower temp next time around. I am more a fan of FF darjeelings, but this was very rich and tasty. I liked this!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Scott B

Amy-I’ve been called worse ;) Glad you enjoyed.
Looks like I am going to miss out on the free shipping unless they get those new 2nd Flush Assams on their web site some time tomorrow.

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96

Special Thanks To Liberteas for this!!!

This smells like spinach and asparagus. I agree with the product description and with my Sororitea Sister Liberteas that this tastes like lemon infused asparagus! It’s very nice! It reminds me of the Wildtree Products I sell! (Shameless Self Promotional Plug HERE…if anyone would like to do a book party or virtual party let me know! There are some great host incentives!) Anyhow…the reason this reminds me of our Wildtree products is because we carry a Lemon Flavored Grapeseed Oil. I have roasted Asparagus with it and it tastes just like this!

The is also a pleasant sweetness (with lemony twist) at the end of the sip – which – just might be my favorite part of this particular tea experience!

YUM! This is FAB! VERY FAB! WOW!

Azzrian

Yay its always wonderful to find a new favorite! :)

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78

Thanks for this one LiberTEAs!

It smelled like a savory-woodsy-malty-combo of sorts.

The flavor is mellower with a hint of campfire-woodsy type taste ending with a semi-sweet woodsy flavor that had specs of maltiness popping in and out

This is different but tasty

Bonnie

Sounds yum!

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92

This is FABULOUS! I actually do taste the minty connection with this tea. It’s not a strong, in-your-face minty kind of presence, but it is a crisp, cooling sensation that you might experience when sipping on a mint tea. It also has those lovely dried apricot notes as mentioned in the description, along with a smooth, almost creamy note that melds beautifully with the apricot tones.

A really lovely Darjeeling. Not nearly as astringent as some Darjeelings out there, the finish is sweet and dry, allowing for the enjoyment of the crisp aftertaste.

Very nice.

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93

Similar to my experience with the Wah First Flush from RTR, when I first opened the package and looked at the tea, I thought this might be a green tea. The coloration is more like a green tea than a black. When it brews, the color is quite light for a black tea. But, the flavor is definitely that of a black Darjeeling – light, yes, but still quite black tea like.

The aroma is very floral and a unique floral note … I have to agree that I smell lily of the valley here. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed such a distinct Lily of the Valley note. The flavor is nice – extraordinarily smooth, smoother than I’d expect from a Darjeeling, with a nice muscatel finish. There are other fruit notes as well, including a clear lemon-y like flavor, that really brightens the cup.

Really a lovely tea experience. A really nice Darjeeling, if this is indicative of what we might expect from the 2012 harvest, I’d say this is going to be a very nice year, indeed.

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91

I totally agree with LiberTEAs on this one! It’s delightful! The best part…it’s a cross between a Formosa and a darjeeling type flavor with lovely peachy notes! Amazing!

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83

Quite herbally tasting but on the sweeter side, too! Very pleasant. In a word…NICE…it’s a Very NICE tea! Very comforting and relaxing. Near Savory, even :)

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83

This has a nice creamier type of flush happening but the strength is fairly strong too. Isn’t not astringent. I don’t think it’s a minty-type flavor on the tongue but maybe more of a tulsi type minty-sweet basil type taste instead. Regardless it’s pretty darned tasty!

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91

SIPDOWN….bring on more TEA…I must keep this freak-out session going…MUST meet deadlines…

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91

This smells crisp and floral…much like Lily of the Valley (I agree with the description) BUT my favorite part is the obvious Lemony-Notes they also touched on in there description! These notes totally make this tea for me! I LOVE that!

At first glance I thought it was a green tea but it is not. It’s a Black Tea. It infuses to a yellow-orange-light brown color and also has woodsy flavors in the background as well.

Very nice!

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80

I received this as a free sample with my last RtR order. I was excited to get a tea from Sikkim as I am new to teas from that area. However, I was a little concerned when I realized how close it was to Darjeeling considering I haven’t enjoyed Darjeelings as much as I thought I would.

The dry leaves smell fragrant and fruity. I wonder if they are picking up a little of the aroma of the orange trees grown on the estate? They are short-medium in length and tightly rolled. About half are chocolate brown and the other half a medium brown like chestnut.

The brewed leaves have a bit of that muscatel type odor that is associated with 2nd flush Darjeelings. There is no baked bread aroma like RtR promises. (I may not be the greatest at determining all the complex flavors in a tea, but I know what fresh baked bread smells like, and this does not smell like fresh bread). The liquor is reddish copper.

1st steep-The flavor is very fruity and sweet and I don’t really notice the muscatel in the flavor-which is very good, in my opinion. I enjoyed this cup.

2nd steep-I don’t taste much fruit anymore-just some of the muscatel flavor that I don’t care for. It’s not as strong as in a 2nd flush darjeeling, but it’s there and it’s the only discernible flavor here. Not my thing.

3rd steep-liquor is a pale amber now. Muscatel flavor is mostly gone, but I am not tasting a lot of anything else.

Verdict-If you like 2nd flush Darjeeling, you might enjoy this. I probably wouldn’t buy this, as for me, it’s only tasty for one steep. My rating number is based on just that 1st steep.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I have a hard time picking out flavors in tea that vendors describe too, half the time I think they’re just making it up. ;-)

Scott B

You seem to do a better job than me as I see you noticed cherry and plum whereas I didn’t notice a specific fruit in the flavor.

Personally, I vacillate between thinking the vendors are crazy/making stuff up and wondering what in the heck is wrong with my nose and taste buds.

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71

Potent stuff. Need to spend more time with this.

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93

I felt like a Sikkim this morning. Heck, I always feel like a Sikkim. Sure, it’d been awhile since I had it, but it felt like a Temi sorta day. Just like the last two times I dipped into this, it brewed amber, had a Darjeeling-ish spicy note to it, but also possessed a fruity underpinning. Great way to start the morn.

My only regret is I never got to try a Temi 2nd Flush in 2011.

Original Review: http://www.teaviews.com/2012/01/28/review-rare-tea-republic-temi-sftgfop1-first-flush/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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88

I believe this is the last of my samples from RTR this time around.

I was fairly excited to try this as I really liked their phoobsering oolong. Instructions said to use 2 tsp. for a cup so I ended up dumping the whole sample into my 18 oz. teapot and following their recommendations which said to steep for 5 minutes at 200 F.

My tea liquor is a light orange and I’m drinking it out of a glass mug. You can’t help but notice the intense flowery aroma coming out of the tea. I am definitely getting lots of roses!

The flavor of this is nice, it’s a super rose-y type with lots of juicy fruit. As the tea liquor builds up in your mouth you get a sensation of a sweet candy like coating on your palette. Fruit notes are definitely that of nectarine or peach. There is a slight spice note here too that can be prevalent in dareelings. There’s a tiny bit of astringency but nothing too worrisome. As the cup cools down I am getting a slick, slightly buttery sensation from the cup. If I had to do this over again I would probably use a little less steeping time because the tea got quite intense. If you’re a fan of darjeelings this is one really worth checking out, although I rather preferred the more delicate nature of their phoobsering.

I also came across these photos of the sungma estate and the people on it, which are quite wonderful:

http://www.gavingough.com/2011/03/sungma-tea-estate-darjeeling/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Nectarine or peach sweetness sounds good. I often find that astringency (if it is there) is more noticeable as the cup cools.

Good link= another bookmark!

ScottTeaMan

Duh!…….I just noticed this was an oolong. :))

TeaBrat

yep – I definitely made it way too strong & would have tried for a resteep but I had to go to work. :-/

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90

If I could describe this tea in one word, it would be creamy. And not just for the first infusion, but at least the first three. It continues to have a thick mouthfeel in every infusion.

It is a very pleasing tea, that feels like a mix between a white, oolong, and even green. The taste is subtle, but combined with the creaminess, it is very enjoyable. The first infusion has the best/longest-lasting aftertaste, but with long enough steeps, the tea holds up very well. I think while I wouldn’t go back to buy 50g of this, I’m glad to have sampled. This was the last of the samples from RTR. I definitely have enjoyed their teas and when I’d like Darjeeling again, they’ll be at the top of my list.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

I used to get a Phoobsering from… TeaG or Upton… I can’t remember which, now. Really good leaf.

Shinobi_cha

This was the first time I’ve had one… I’m intrigued to try more.

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76

I have to admit I’ve been curious about this tea, well at first on Twitter they said the tea would taste like bacon which kind of turned me off for a while. Then I decided to go ahead and try it, perhaps it would be like a lapsang. So – I just got a sample.

Also I wasn’t sure how to prepare this, but the instructions said 4 minutes at 200 F so I thought I’d at least try it they way they suggested. I did use a lot of leaf though, the whole sample which was about 1 tsb. went into my cup, although they suggest 2 tsp. for this tea so I am not that far off the mark.

Wow, this such a very interesting tea, I’m so glad I tried it! My wet leaves definitely smell like wood smoke but it also has a sort of tart & tangy aroma like salt and vinegar potato chips!!!

The aroma of this tea is very barbeque-y. I have to say this does seem reminiscent of a lapsang but it also has some very interesting malt, cocoa and woody notes and there is a slight vinegary tartness in the finish. It definitely seems kinda bacon-y, the flavor reminds me of applewood smoked salt. It doesn’t seem like any other oolong I’ve had before.

The first steep at 4 minutes was a bit too strong for me; I probably should have gong-fu’d this from the very start. I did a second steep at 2 minutes and this is a much better cup for my palette. The slightly sour finish is a bit weird for me but this is one of the most unique teas I’ve had in a while. This is one tea that seemed to benefit from me adding a little agave nectar to it.

I don’t think I want to steep this again now because I might be up all night, but I imagine you could get 3-4 steeps at the shorter steeping time.

If you like the rugged complexity of pu-erh teas or lapsang you should definitely try it! I do not love it, but it was fun. I’d imagine this would be way too intense for some people’s palettes though.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Sounds interesting…….going on my list of teas to order from RTR.

TeaBrat

They do sell out of stuff, I’ve noticed. They had a phoobsering oolong which is already gone, I liked that better. :)

Bonnie

How the…do you pronounce that?

TeaBrat

I don’t have a clue!

ScottTeaMan

I think the b is silent. ScottTeaMan’s Scool of Phonetics: FOO-SIR-ING. :))

ashmanra

Phoobsering would be hard to say with a straight face.

Missy

Yes it would ashmanra! I’m totally of the opinion that I should say it with the b now…

ScottTeaMan

Notice how I misspelled school. LOL!! I just noticed that. :)) Hey, it is my scool-emphasis on cool!

Angrboda

Wow, that sounds awesome! O.o Even if it is Assam… I’ve never seen a smoked Indian before.

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