The Republic of Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve almost finished my canister of this tea so I decided it might be a good idea to review it. I used two tea bags in a 12 oz mug, added a touch of sweetener and a splash of Half & Half. It smells . . . how would Homer Simpson say it – garrrr droooll!
Let me start by saying I consider myself a complete amateur at both tea reviewing and drinking. I know what I like and I like this. I found it to have a deep chocolate flavor with a hint of something else (not sure how I would describe it other than as “red”). I’m guessing that might be the beetroot or maybe it’s the flavor of the rooibos itself (I’ve never had it in anything else).
Never having had true Red Velvet Cake (only a Crumbs cupcake – not impressed) I can’t compare the flavors in this tea to the original cake. What I can say is that I really like this tea. I find it rich and sweet (but not tooth-achingly sweet like another version I’ve tasted) and very enjoyable. I will definitely be restocking on this.
The only disappointment I have in this tea is that it is not available loose. I wish it was not limited to tea bags. Unleash the tea!!! ;D
Flavors: Dark Chocolate
True to its name, this one isn’t so good hot but gets much better when it’s cold. The strawberry is really gentle in this, with more basil than I expected and a slight sweet aftertaste. It’s refreshing but not my favorite, mostly because of the strawberry. It could stand to be stronger, but unlike most other red fruit teas I’ve tried from this company they didn’t try to enhance it with hibiscus, which is a plus in my book.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Strawberry, Sweet
Okay I just finished enjoying a cup of this tasty blend so the details are fresh in my mind.
I used two tea bags because I have a large mug, boiling water and added some half & half and sweetener. The tea smelled delicious while it steeped. The banana scent just kept calling me over to take a sniff.
When I took a sip, the banana flavor is most prominent. It’s an artificial banana flavor but it’s still yummy. The chocolate is there but a bit subtle (especially compared to the banana). To be fair I’ve had these tea bags for some time now so the chocolate flavor might have diminished over time but it’s still good to me.
It reminds me of a banana flavored chocolate coated Moon Pie. I know some folks don’t really considered blends like this “real tea” (I was actually told that by a friend who sniffed that her husband was a tea aficionado and in her opinion this wasn’t tea) but I’m definitely ordering more.
Flavors: banana, Chocolate
I’ve tried this hot before (although I’m pretty sure I wrote a tasting note on another entry for this tea), but I have to say that it really only makes sense to me cold. It’s super weak when brewed hot, in my opinion. All I really taste is rooibos. But, cold? That’s when the prettier flavors come out (because…you know…flavors can be pretty, right?). It’s kind of funny, too, because I put way more water with this when I brewed it cold than I did when I brewed it hot, and yet I got way more flavor. Hmmm. Anyway, this makes for a nice all-day iced tea.
Flavors: Berry, Rooibos
The first green rooibos I’ve tried…didn’t actually know such a thing existed. The rooibos itself was very light. In fact, the first thing I both smelled and tasted was the plantain (which tasted like a more natural banana flavor). I personally couldn’t taste any coconut really, but my co-worker said she could. I will absolutely be trying more of their green rooibos flavors after this!
I was pleasantly surprised again by a chocolate blend. This smelled exactly like when you bite into a chocolate-covered strawberry and get the mix of those two scents. The chocolate flavor was a tad weaker than I would have liked, and I could see myself brewing this with two bags maybe. Also, as someone else suggested, I imagine this would have been even better with a black tea base. But, I’m always greatful for a tasty rooibos blend that I can drink at night, which is probably the time of day I’d want chocolate-covered strawberries anyway.
Flavors: Chocolate, Rooibos, Strawberry
I feel terrible for not recommending this tea – I really, really wanted to like it! The yerba mate flavors are great, it smells wonderful with a hint of almond and vanilla. But, the final taste to me just feels off – for me, it kind of tastes like milk that’s gone off. It’s not good. A shame, it has such potential.
I was expecting this to smell more like rose, but it smells much more like raspberry juice. I was also thinking that it would taste more tart because of the hibiscus, but it’s actually not as strong. The fact that the hibiscus is tolerable leaves more room for the sweet raspberry to shine.
For me, this tea reminds me most of a watered down fruit juice. It brings back memories of a raspberry juice I loved when I was younger. I think this would be awfully delicious iced as it’s naturally sweet and refreshing. I should have made some of this during the hotter weather! I don’t think that I would buy this again to have hot, but it would be a nice iced treat.
The Great Canadian Teabox arrive at my doorstep so now I’m spoiled for choice when it comes to new teas to try. My strainer was in the dishwasher so I picked this one for convenience as it’s in bagged form.
As soon as I added the water the tea turned a tell-tale red – I suppose it was too much to hope that there wouldn’t be hibiscus in a relatively cheap blend like this. I will say that the hibiscus wasn’t overpowering and I could can taste a little bit of acai berry flavour underneath. But I’m so sick of companies using hibiscus as a cheap and easy facsimile for any tart-flavoured fruit in their teas. Big thumbs down.
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #3
Wow, this is a surprise from RoT. I like this one! Somehow this is an agreeable decaf. I couldn’t even tell – the black tea doesn’t have a lot of flavor but it also doesn’t have an odd flavor. I’m suspicious that it actually IS decaf… I wish whomever added it to the teabox could confirm! Maybe it was mislabeled? The blackberry flavor is full and ripe. If it’s artificial, I don’t care. It’s delicious. I sipped this with some strawberry &blueberry shortcake (that was my dinner). I REALLY like blackberry shortcake so the tea worked out well. Triple berry! I’m glad I gave this one a try.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 4-5 min
I love this tea so much more than I expected to. Turns out I like citrus (?) even though I’ve avoided it for a long time. I can’t say I taste it strongly, although I’ve heard from others that the citrus is nearly ALL they taste. I’m beginning to wonder if I simply don’t know what citrus tastes like when it comes to being in teas because I don’t think Earl Grey tastes citrusy in the least. Anyway, I love the mint and chamomile in this way. So relaxing.
Now, the real business….valerian. Holy Bananas, Batman….this stuff is weird. I swear it makes your body feel heavy….like dead-weight, uber-relaxed muscles heavy…..like you-just-ran-a-frickin-marathon-so-no-wonder-all-you-want-to-do-is-sleep kind of heavy…I actually slept on my back because my relaxed breathing was so shallow that when I was laying on my side, I was worried the weight of my arm laying on my side was going to make it hard to breathe. It was really trippy but super awesome at the same time and not as scary as I’m probably making it sound. I’ve had this tea 4 nights in a row just to see if maybe I WAS just that tired the first night, but no. It’s the tea. I also find that I sleep better because I don’t move around (I’m usually a world-class wiggler). So…yeah. Whoa.
I’m not just sure how I feel about this overall….
Not usually one for banana-flavored things (since they usually can’t help but taste artificial), I grabbed a sample of this when I ordered a sampler box just to see if it was possible to do banana tea. Upon drinking this hot, I was quite pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. I had no milk or sugar to speak of (apparently everybody at my workplace drinks black coffee?) and would probably like to try it with just a bit of milk and maybe even cold. I imagine that it would be reminiscent of a frozen chocolate-covered banana if served cold. I may not get a chance to try it that way though since I don’t know that I’d buy a whole tin of this and only had one sample pack to try.
After trying this, I am looking forward to trying a couple of the other Cuppa teas that I chose samples of.
I really like this tea! Very rich in chocolate flavor and super refreshing when it comes to mint flavor! yummy! I usually steep 2 bags for 8min. to get a very bold brew and I add a little milk and honey and it’s divine! Especially on a cold winter night. Total bliss!
Flavors: Chocolate, Peppermint
I actually tried this tea a few months ago at my cuz’s house, and quite liked it.
mj sent me a sample in our last swap. It’s very coconut-y,with hints of cocoa. Don’t have any complains about this tea-other than the fact that it has an odd pepper taste to it. It’s very odd. No idea what it could be. But it was there the first time I tried this tea and today. Very strange. Oh well. Thanks so much for a few tea bags of this, mj! :D
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Coconut, Pepper
single sachet sample that came with a very lovely Republic of Tea catalogue. they must have read my mind, because of all their iced teas i saw in-store, i most wanted to try this. glad to report back that it’s quite tasty!
dry as well as steeped, you really get a sense of the strawberry, and it is a yummy fresh strawberry, albeit one that has been baked in the oven and sweetened into natural candy.
i also get a sense of the basil but it feels more vaguely herbaceous since it is dried. i find basil flakes are never anything like the leaf fresh off the plant, which is a real treat!
i happen to love basil. it’s an amazing thing. paired with strawberry, i think it’s a brilliant idea. would like to try and make my own freshly-infused iced tea using real fruit and herbs. drown them in ice and let them cold steep for a day!
Flavors: Herbs, Strawberry
i know it must seem as though i rate every tea i like with a 100, but really, this is so deserving! milky, buttery and creamy. probably more buttery than anything else. very forgiving of temperature, though i don’t go out of my way to scald the leaves ;)
i’ve had this for 2 weeks maybe? nearly halfway through the tin, but that’s because i like to double up on pouches/sachets/bags. that’s just me.
buttery mouthfeel, buttery flavor….i can’t believe it’s not butter!….maybe it’s ghee! very delicious.
i can’t tell if this is natural or flavored and i don’t care. assuming this is all-natural, the milk oolong is a creature to be revered!!
rich but delicate….i smell the orchid for sure! but this isn’t an in-your-face orchid (i’ve experienced that with some much greener Spring harvest oolongs that taste, quite frankly, of lilac!) this milk oolong has a very delicate orchid note, a delicate but discernable non-astringent tartness, and an abundance of cream. sometimes, i even pick up on the pineapple (or vague approximation thereof), which is mentioned in the description on the tin.
btw- i should note this review is for the tea pouches, not the loose leaf. i had seen the loose leaf in stores a few months ago!! but have had so many subpar experiences with Republic of tea that i was hesitant to purchase something from them to which i’d attached extremely high expectations. oh, how i’m hitting myself over the head now. it’s virtually nowhere to be found, so while i was hesitant to get the pouches, fearing they’d be a disappointment, they were anything but! yielding not 1 but 2 delightful cups! (you can even get 3, if you do short steeps..) the liquor is an awesomely bright yellow. (quite pigmented in contrast to what i’ve come to expect of most oolongs i’ve tried, which tend to be very light.)
has this tea been genetically engineered?
i’m so enthusiastic about this tea (and the whole milk oolong genre in general) since that is the reason i signed up for Steepster! i was perusing the site and i couldn’t ignore the milk oolong by Mandala which kept popping up at me, and it just looked so scrumptious! the dark green buttery leaves practically overflowing from a white porcelain gaiwan. my mouth was watering. since i wanted to add it to my wishlist, i had to sign up! (not that i minded in the least!) and it is the very first tea i added to my wishlist. a very fond recollection. happy to finally to meet the leaf face-to-face ;)
now of course, i’m off to purchase some more of this in loose leaf form from RoT’s website (just for comparison and because i’ll inevitably run out), and also many others from other companies. first stop, Mandala!
ETA— there is a peach note i get in the after sip, that lingers on the back of the soft palate. it’s happened many times now, so maybe it’s safe to assume i’m not imagining things..
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Orchids
After having a mug of Bailin Gongfu black tea early this morning, we did our usual Saturday breakfast out. I hated to leave the only steeped once leaf at home so I put it the infuser basket of this mug. When asked if I wanted my usual hot tea, I told them I just wanted hot water. They are so used to me they didn’t care. Poured the water into the mug and placed the lid on top the infuser. Worked pretty well. The lid then served as a tray to set the infuser on while I sipped. I do have a few complaints. The lid doesn’t fit securely, so don’t expect it to stay put in the car – it won’t. The handle is thin and oddly shaped. I think it was most noticeable next to the regular very heavy mug in the restaurant. Final complaint is it is normally $15. I only paid $10 so I guess I shouldn’t care. I was looking for a Finum basket and bought this instead for the same price. I’m content. The infuser mesh is fine enough to suit my needs.
After downing 3 mugs, I told our server to go ahead and bring my usual tea – Mother Parker’s Orange Pekoe in a bag. She actually brought me two. Score! Had one cup of it. Put the unused bag in my pocket. Then after a quick stop at Walmart, and another at Lowes, we went country cruising. By the time we got home I was very happy to see indoor plumbing!
I got a single bag of this as a free sample with the Republic of Tea catalog. I don’t generally make iced tea, but I figured I should brew this in the way that was intended. The instructions said to brew this in 6 ounces of water and then pour over ice, but I don’t like ice and I didn’t have any in the house, so I just brewed it in 8 ounces and then let it chill in the fridge. I did add some sugar to mine.
This is fairly tasty! It’s definitely light and refreshing, which is a very good thing for an iced tea blend. The strawberry flavor is nice, I wouldn’t call it totally authentic but I think it works well in this blend. The basil is barely discernible, and I’m not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing… Overall, this is a nice tasty iced tea and I would like to try some of the other flavors in this series. Thanks for the freebie, Republic of Tea! :D
Flavors: Herbs, Strawberry, Sweet