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Recent Tasting Notes
Today August 26, 2016 was the 96th anniversary of the day American women got the vote. I chose to celebrate by making my first pot of this RoT Downton Abbey tea, which features a picture of Penelope Wilton as Isobel Crawley and Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Violet, the Dowager Countess. Their two characters were both such strong women that it seemed fitting to me to make this today’s pot of tea. None of my other teas even have that remote a connection, so why not? At least these two characters date from around the time of the suffragettes, and Mrs. Crawley was a big advocate of rights for others, decades before such things were popular.
The label says these two characters “…do not agree on much when they have their afternoon tea—but they would agree on this delightful caffeine-free blend. Fragrant garden herbs such as ginger, orange bergamot mint and lemon thyme add depth and sweetness to a pleasant conversation.” Oddly, although the strongest flavor of this blend is anise, due to two ingredients (anise hyssop and anise seeds)—neither of those are mentioned! This is a disservice, both to those who love anise and to those who feel the opposite.
Truly, anise is the predominating flavor in this tea, and one should know in advance whether to stock up on this tea, or avoid it. I fall into the latter camp, but even so can value the occasional anise tea for soothing a sore throat.
I will have to try this one again, as this pot is cold now, and am nowhere near the kitchen to try to describe it hot.
My other quibble is that three ingredients are not available for inclusion here at Steepster (orange bergamot mint, lemon thyme, and anise hyssop), nor was there a box to click for it being Certified Gluten-Free.
Backlog from this morning.
I do not watch Downton Abbey at all, but this tea was gifted to me by my grandfather, who very much enjoys gifting me tea. :)
This was one of those Mondays I woke up moody for no reason, so it was a good one to do this tea, which is actually pretty light-hearted and sweet. It reminds me a bit of some of Harney’s blends, like Paris? It’s very vanilla and fruity, but there’s also a cherry note to it that’s a little on the strong side… slightly like cherry cough syrup, but not nearly as obnoxious. I was drinking it on the way out the door this morning, so I didn’t get the most nuanced picture.
All in all, not bad! I have a feeling it’ll grow on me as I drink it some more. I think it would be a good work staple. Lord knows I need to bring some of my tea to work…
The first time I had this (about a year ago), I hadn’t particularly liked it, but I think that was because I sweetened it then, and found it a little bit too much like drinking a pastry. I found I enjoyed this this time, when unsweetened (though I suspect the opposite may hold true for a number of tea drinkers).
Got 2 bags of this, so brewed them together. For those who may not know, when Brits use the word “pudding” it can also be used to mean “dessert”, not just the soft, custard-like stuff served in bowls. I believe that’s how the word is meant here: as a “dessert” tea.
It certainly has a near-sweetness to it, even without sugar or other sweeteners. I felt like I was tasting pastry, even with none present. It seems to have a nuttiness, as well. I liked it—maybe as a fall tea, to enjoy watching the pretty leaves outside the window, or at campside.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cookie, Dried Fruit, Graham Cracker, Nuts, Nutty, Pastries, Round
Firstly, I must mention that I have the loose leaf version of this tea, not the bag.
The smell of the dry leaf and liquid smells extremely strongly of blackberry. There’s something sort of dry-smelling at the end of the scent that suggests artificiality. I couldn’t detect any sage in the scent.
Starting with the base, there’s some astringency and bitterness, but they take a back seat to the flavoring. As with the scent, I can detect no sage in the flavor. The blackberry flavor is strong. It’s a tiny bit artificial, but it’s still a nice flavor.
Since Stephen likes this tea, we’ll be keeping it around.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Blackberry
I’m a huge fan of the DA show so it was bound to happen that I pick up at least one of their marketed teas. A lot of rose in the ingredients, but I mostly pick up a raspberry flavor. Tastes very sweet to me unless you steep it too long and then you get more of the tart flavors, which is way too much for me. This is definitely a stand-alone dessert kind of tea perfect for after dinner.
Flavors: Hibiscus, Raspberry, Rose
There aren’t a lot of caffeine free teas I can turn to before bed. This is one of them. Unfortunately, it smells a lot better than it tastes.
I was able to get the color of the water to change at least…5 minutes after boiling water. The smell of the tea is a pleasant hot apple cider smell, sugary sweet and tangy with a touch of cinnamon and clove. It’s like hot apple pie.
But then when I take a sip, I get an immediate hit of apple and cinnamon, then a fading to something a little on the sour and unpleasant side. It’s lacking depth, or body, or something. I know! Tea! It’s lacking tea!
But in all seriousness, it would be rated much higher if that sour note could be eliminated. I don’t think the artificial flavoring would lend well to something like honey, either. Maybe I’ll try sugar next time.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Clove, Sour
Decent tea. Not a big fan of teas that already include sweetener, because I prefer my teas (especially herbal) unsweetened. It makes a fine iced tea though.
I usually don’t like rooibos, but I find blends that include some sort of mint to make it more palatable in my opinion. But I’ve never found a mint tea I didn’t like!
Flavors: Mint, Smooth, Sweet
Loose leaf version and a gift.
Not bad. Not bad at all. Creamy texture, spinach vegetal quality, and honeydew after taste. The honeydew after taste is awesome. Glad to sample. I wonder if this is flavored or unflavored.
Either way, pretty nice-but I’ve had better. If I weren’t obsessing over high mountain oolongs right now, I think that I’d enjoy this tea more. There’s on Shan Lin Xi that I really want, but I have. So. Much. Darn. TEA! I’m so doing a sale soon.
Picked this one up on vacation, since there are NO Harry and Davids around where I live (boooooo). It has a wonderful cherry aroma when steeped, like good cherry cobbler. I sweetened it, because it seemed like the right thing to do. It turns out, it definitely was the right thing to do. The black tea lends just enough flavor so as to be identifiable, but otherwise it stays out of the way and lets the cherry shine. This tea is almost juicy. I will enjoy this canister to the last bag!
I thought I’d reviewed this tea ages ago. Ah well better late than never.
When I make iced tea I tend to do it as a hot brew and then add a bunch of ice and a bit of agave nectar. This method seems to really bring out the basil flavour. It’s more of a tulsi basil than a sweet basil (the kind you use to make pesto) flavour but it definitely dominates each mouthful. Following on the heels of the basil is a mildly sweet strawberry flavour and the grassy green tea base finishes it off. It’s not a bad tea but I wished the strawberry flavour was a bit stronger (Roswell had the opposite problem when it was cold brewed).
Unfortunately the boyfriend turns his nose up at most green teas this tea being no exception – so this isn’t really very good for filling the communal iced tea jug that I have going in the fridge all summer long.
Once again, thanks Jillian for including this one! It sounds really incredible apart from the fact it has a green base…
Obviously I’ve cold brewed this: it’s pretty tasty but also a little underwhelming. I really get a clear taste of the strawberry and it’s sweet and juicy but has a bit of a “frozen” strawberry flavour in so far as it’s not the most ‘fresh’ tasting strawberry despite tasting pretty natural. As far as the basil and green tea go, I can’t say I really taste much of either? Probably more basil than green tea – but even still it’s just like a sort of mild, herbaceous undertone/aftertaste and it actually feels a little bit like adding it to the tea was an afterthought.
I’ll enjoy finishing off the pitcher because of the nice strawberry flavour, but this is another tea from RoT’s collection that I’m perfectly content with not buying or drinking again.
Love to stick this in my water bottle and let it steep slowly through out the day. I prefer it room temperature. It is the only tea I really enjoy without sweetener. It has a bright coppery aftertaste that I think is very refreshing.
When my best friend was in the hospital a while ago, she couldn’t drink caffeine, so I picked this up for her. I gave her half and kept the other half. She was very excited about it.
This is a perfect late-evening decaf tea.
It’s really sweet, but in a deep and earthy way. I’d consider it an alto singer as opposed to a soprano. A gutsy, deep-throated jazz singer — but not the kind that smokes.
The perfect thing to recover to.
PS – my best friend is fine now.
Flavors: Cake, Chocolate, Earth
This is pretty good. Light and pleasantly sweet/tart. The black tea is well balanced with the fruity flavors. This tastes like it would be good iced. It has a bit of bitterness, and the fruit flavor isn’t especially clearly defined, but it’s quite pleasant. One of the better teas I’ve had by Republic of Tea.
Thank you Jillian for throwing in a few pouches of this as per my request; I have to admit that mostly I just wanted to be able to taste a few of the flavours of this Iced Tea line up before committing to buying a full tin since this is a tea I can get a hold of here in town.
Ginger Peach isn’t really my thing typically; I’m not big on ginger and I’m pretty fickle towards peach so that tends to make for a dicey pairing. That said, I brewed up a big cold brewed pitcher of this and it really isn’t bad. The peach is the strongest flavour for sure; it’s sweet in a “juice”/made from juice crystals sort of way in so far as it’s not all that natural tasting. But that said, it isn’t ‘juice like’ in a “tastes very sugary/cloying” way. Does that make sense?
Even though that’s the strongest flavour, there is lots of ginger too. If peach is the top note, then ginger is the tier right below it – the flavour immediately follows the peachy juice notes. I’m not big on ginger, so I have a hard time appreciating the flavour here but I can comfortable say that I don’t dislike it. I had no problem making it through my first cup of this pitcher, and I don’t think I’ll have a hard time finishing it either.
Asking Jillian to include this was a good idea though: I’m enjoying the pitcher worth but I definitely know that I don’t want to invest in a whole tin worth of it – there’s no way I’d ever get through it. Sampling is more than good enough for me!
This is a very frustrating tea. I think if it didn’t have Stevia in it, it might be a tea I would regularly stock. It has a really nice Pineapple flavor. But I find Stevia absolutely undrinkable most of the time. I hate the taste and it bothers my stomach. Grrr. Does anyone know of a Pineapple Hibiscus tea without Stevia? I’d be interested in trying one.
I made this as a latte, since that’s how I always drink Earl Grey. It tastes like the balance of flavors is wrong. I can’t really taste the black tea at all, and the bergamot is overwhelming and tastes a bit odd. Too perfumey maybe? I do like my earl grey on the floral end, so maybe that’s not the best description, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.