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Recent Tasting Notes
I admit it. I am a brazen, unappoligetic rooibos fiend! Rooibos, I think, is especially good in the fall. Impatient for autumn, my favorite season to begin, I purchased this autumnal tea. The State Fair of Virginia happens in late September where luscious apples from the Shennadoah Valley can be had covered with rich, gooey caramel. Oh what a treat on a crisp fall night on the midway! Ahhh, autumn dreaming.
I happened upon this tea today at a local natural foods market and thought I’d give it a go in an attempt to feed my fall fantasy and my rooibos cravings. And you know what? This rooibos actually tastes of sweet juicy apples with a pretty decent note of caramel across the palate on the end. It’s like a caramelly candy apple in a cup. The rich rooibos supports the apple and caramel flavors quite nicely. I think the secret to getting the most flavor out of this tea is limiting the water to six ounces and going a bit over the seven minute steeping time. Eight minutes worked great. For a twelve ounce mug I believe I’d use two bags – There’s a generous 36 sachets to a tin.
I can’t wait to drink this on a brisk autumn evening. Come on September!
Flavors: Apple, Candy, Caramel, Sweet
So I have been very busy and I have had a lot going on! I am sorry I haven’t been logging my tea! But I have, to be sure, been drinking it!
I babysat for my cousin and she gave me some tea along with my pay, because she’s awesome. (And because four days with two excitable boys is a little crazy.)
She gave me two—this stuff, and Stash Peppermint tea. I’ll get to that later.
This stuff though—I was SO EXCITED for. I LOVE berries, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE sage. I’ve had a really good High Mountain Atlas Sage at a little place in Charlottesville, and the Sage was SO LOVELY.
I thought this tea would be so great!
And, well, it was but… hmm.. I guess I feel like I was lacking on the flavours.
There is a light, smooth berry flavour, which I like a lot. It doesn’t need a lot of sugar, and I like that. But it wasn’t an immediate taste, either, and one thing that really (I mean really) disappointed me was that I could hardly taste any sage at all. Some sips it seemed like there was no sage. None. And to me, that’s false advertising, to label a tea as one flavour or combination, and then not deliver.
However, I do like this tea. It’s not bad, it’s smooth and has enough taste to be good, and it gives a nice boost in energy without giving the jitters.
And I love Republic of Teas round teabags!
Question though: what’s a really good sage tea, with a pretty obvious sage flavour? I need some!!
Drank some of this at work and smiled as it reminded me of Butiki’s organic Spring Twist.
Sweet, yet with the vegetable taste… such a wonderful cup for what $6/ounce… it’s a pretty good deal for the quality … which I did not expect from Republic of Tea (aka, one reason it’s in a baggie where I store my highlighters :p )
p.s. this is the loose leaf version I had/have
1TBSP + 1TSP of Tea, 32oz Water
Such an array of complex and musty flavors. I wasn’t sure if I liked this, but the more I drank it the more I enjoyed it. I did not wash the leaves first, just steeped them right away, which I think added to such complex flavor. I don’t know if I would say that there is a meatiness to this, but a definite robustness that tastes woodsy.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Decayed wood, Dust, Fur, Green Wood, Hay, Mineral, Mushrooms, Plant Stems, Wet Earth, Yeasty
I binged watched the entire 5 seasons of Downton Abbey in less than a month’s time.
I am not proud of that.
Anyways, now that I got that out of the way … this tea.
Ginger is not my favorite flavor, but I have grown towards the taste of it since I started drinking tea. I am finding it more tolerable. This tea has got the biggest bite of it, so if that’s your thing you will love this tea. THE GINGER JUST LINGERS.
I don’t find it smooth, but I do enjoy it now and again. It’s not one I reach for every day, but rather something I’ll have when I need a bite.
Flavors: Biting, Ginger
I cold brewed this one today. It was nice. Not fantastic, but nice. My brother is here to stay for the weekend and he liked it better than I did. He added sugar to his, but I am not a fan of sugar. He knew right away from the smell that it is watermelon. I’ll be happy to drink the rest of the tin, but I don’t think I’ll buy it again.
I have a love hate relationship with Yerbe Mate. I either think that it tastes literal butter mashed with land grass and perhaps some cannabis on the side (I hate the smell of it), or buttery greenness that can go with almost anything. They are good as chais. They are good with flavors and cream. They are also good with chocolate, which is what this is, and it is one of the closest teas that you can get to a mocha, yet not the first nor the best example to do so.
How they are near to accomplishing this task is by using a roasted mate and chicory for the base, which provides the coffee like aroma and taste. The cocoa umphs up the mocha parallel. So, what you get is a roasted, light herbal cocoa with an extra kick of caffeine.
Cream, sugar, and honey can work with this, but more so with the sugar. I personally think that it doesn’t need anything. Honestly, this is best as an alternative to coffee for those who want something different, want a light hot cocoa, or trying to give up their coffee. This is one of the tea drinker’s mochas, but one of many others nonetheless.
Flavors: Cocoa, Coffee, Dirt, Roast nuts, Roasted
This is a cool idea for bagging a matcha. Sencha is the leaf base of this tea, with the powder diffusing in the smaller pores of the biodegradable bag. I really don’t need to describe this tea in detail if you know what a Sencha and a Matcha taste like. If you don’t, it’s clean, green, grassy, and sea mist goodness. Matcha is probably one of the healthiest drinks out there without sugar and cream added, and you can definitely drink this one without those additives. It comes very close to Aiya’s ceremonial matcha in terms of taste, but only lighter and not quite as fresh though still good quality matcha.
I’d highly recommend this tea if you want to try Matcha, Sencha, or are looking to budget for a matcha if you can’t find a close, cheaper Asian market. Though 13 bucks may seem hefty, you are getting 50 tea bags out of it-A LOT OF TEA.
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Seaweed, Sweet, Vegetal
I have to say, I didn’t think that I would like Rooibos plain, but I did. I especially wonder what it tastes like as a pure matcha now. This is the closest that I can get to it then, I really like it. If you know what a rooibos tastes like, then there’s really nothing further to add then citrusy, sweet yet partially creamy candy. With the added powder, the enhanced profile almost reminds me of the smell and taste of dates. I may buy it again, but otherwise I’ll be saving my money for other teas.
Flavors: Citrus, Dates, Nutty, Sweet
I actually got this as a loose leaf at Schuler’s Books in a french press. I really enjoyed it (and need to find better verbs than “enjoyed”). The day was frigid in East Lansing, and I was hanging out with one of my friends in desperate need of warmth and conversation. I got both while drinking this tea.
Rooibos is an interesting one, being an herbal, but also being naturally sweet and almost citrusy, yet oddly smooth and maybe creamy like a candy. The vanilla adds more cream to it, and while Vanilla is either overused as a flavor or just the right accent, it was a good pick for the rooibos. It’s vanilla profile was also enhanced by having actual vanilla beans with the flavor.
I would be willing to buy this if I was looking for a good Rooibos that I could afford, but I wouldn’t immediately go to this one. I linger back and forth from this to an Early Grey version if I could find it. There might be other vanilla rooibos that are better, but this one is still pretty good.
Flavors: Candy, Citrus, Vanilla
I got this one at a Schuler Books and Music store in the form of an iced tea, and it was exactly what I needed at that moment. This tea is naturally sweet, and tart making sugar unnecessary. I primarily tasted the black tea body which was smooth and slightly astringent, but complimented nicely with the black berry and accented by the sage. Very refreshing. Also, I got both the loose leaf version and this one, which are pretty similar…they must have pre-brewed it and then put it in the fridge.
I wonder how it would have tasted hot, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy my own tin of it. Still, I was amazed that a chain bookstore coffee shop offered this quality of tea, and I would definitely buy it again as an individual option.
Flavors: Astringent, Blackberry, Sage, Sweet, Tart
Tasting #1 – Steep Time 2 Minutes
Strong floral aroma, very light flavor.
Tasting #2 – Steep Time 4 Minutes
Strong floral aroma, and the taste of the jasmine is coming through quite strong.
Tasting #3 – Steep Time 6 Minutes
Strong floral aroma, the tea is finally starting to balance the flavor of the jasmine so it isn’t so overpowering.
Overall, I do prefer jasmine pearls rather than this because I get more tea flavor over the jasmine. But, if green tea is something that intimidates you because of the grassy flavor or bitterness, this would be a good way to get into green tea since the jasmine will mask those flavors.
Cold Brew (PREFERRED)
1TBSP + 1TSP Tea, 32oz Water
I am changing my recommendation from “no” to “YES” after tasting this cold brew. I’m not a fan of the floral or any other additional flavors in tea. I much prefer my tea to be grassy and earthy. But when cold brewed, I think this tea in particular has the perfect balance. I can still taste the green tea underneath the brightness of jasmine, which adds some complexity to this tea for me. Absolutely delicious and refreshing!
Got this as a free sample with my latest RoT catalog and tried it iced yesterday. I was surprised by how delicious this was! Spot-on pineapple and guava scent and flavor against a smooth, refreshing green base. I’m not really picking up on the orange, but I also don’t miss it. If I didn’t already have WAY too much tea in my cupboard right now, I would definitely consider purchasing a whole tin of this for the summer.
Flavors: Guava, Pineapple, Smooth