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Recent Tasting Notes
This sample was a part of the Republic of Tea catalog that I received..
First of all, I hate coffee. I don’t like the smell or the taste of it.. When I brewed this tea, I kept thinking that there’s something oddly familiar about this.. Almost breakfast-like in smell. I’ve decided that it smells like a vanilla and maple syrup coffee (if there is such a thing). It’s basically breakfast in a cup for a lot of people.
I started drinking it and it was okay, but eventually the coffee taste caught up to me and I just can’t drink it anymore. There is a slight grassy taste to it, presumably from the dandelion, but I just can’t get past the coffee.
Flavors: Coffee, Grass, Maple Syrup, Vanilla
I’m too tired for this, but I think that Marzipan sent this to me. Thanks!
I tried this tea this morning, since I didn’t want to deal with steeping “real” tea.. I like blood orange and cranberry, so I thought this was a good way to start the day. I really didn’t get any “black tea” taste from this tea. The cranberry is more pronounced than the orange flavor, but both flavors are there. It’s a good combination. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy more, but it’s a pretty good teabag tea.
Flavors: Blood orange, Cranberry
Ahhh, free at last, free at last. Hubby and I got off the no-caffeine diet finally, but this is the first new tea I’ve tried since then. This may creep some of you out, but I got this tea at an estate sale nearby. Apparently, a fairly wealthy lady passed away, and the family hired a company to sell off basically her entire house worth of stuff… including whatever non-perishable food items she had. This tea was among them, and I just couldn’t pass it up. I think the woman tallying up my stuff just gave it to me for free, because it was in a bag with a whole bunch of other stuff, and she took one look in the bag and said, “Two dollars.” Score!
Anyway, the loose leaves smell wonderful, like strawberries and wildflowers. They unfurled nicely when steeped, pretty much all the way, although I still intend to try a resteep, because oolong. The brew is a lovely medium green color, but the strawberry smell is gone. It smells now of just flowers (the package suggests orchids, and I suppose I buy it, along with maybe daisies and honeysuckle, since there’s a little sweetness in there). There’s also a slight earthy/grassy smell, which I associate with oolong in general, like smelling a bouquet of flowers that someone just picked and that have a bit of soil left on them somewhere. Anyway, I don’t really get the milk or cream flavor that these oolongs are supposed to have, but it’s a perfectly enjoyable tea nonetheless. It tastes like summer, fresh and green and lush. I may not buy any more, but I will enjoy it to the last leaf. There’s quite a bit left in the tin, so I have much to look forward to. :)
Free sample from the most recent ROT catalog. So, so yum. It tastes of creamy vanilla-hazelnut goodness. The flavor is almost coffee-like. I think this would be a great herbal substitute on the rare occasion that I crave some ridiculous Starbucks-style coffee concoction. I’m not going to order this right now, but I would definitely impulse buy if I see it at the store.
Flavors: Coffee, Hazelnut, Vanilla
I adore this tea. I’ve only ever cold-brewed it, so that’s all my review can be taken into account for. Anyone who is wary of hibiscus, this is the hibiscus tea to try. The other flavored hibiscus teas from RoT were mostly too tart, but the coconut in this one so perfectly mellowed out the hibiscus, leaving it in the background as more of a refreshing quality than a takeover flavor. Now, granted, I generally get along with hibiscus as it is. But, I really think it learned how to play well with others in this tea. I only wish it was sold in Cost Plus World Market along with the regular Superflower Hibiscus flavor since that would be such a convenient way for me to get my fix. I found it at Whole Foods today, but I’m not even sure if they are going to carry it year-round or only around summertime.
Flavors: Coconut, Creamy
I was contemplating placing an order with RoT during their “free” shipping offer (which…let’s be honest…when the minimum order to get that free shipping is $50, the normal $3.95 shipping isn’t really making a huge difference). But, I was sad to see this particular tea listed as no longer available. I have been wanting to try it for such a long time! So, imagine my surprise when I found this tea today as I was perusing the tea aisle at Whole Foods after a St. Patrick’s Day 5k! And for the same price as on RoT’s website nonetheless! In my cart it went immediately.
Now, I never really know if I can believe the health claims made about tea ingredients, but I can still be happy knowing that the plain tea itself is a healthy thing. So, that’s a good enough reason for me to drink it, even if sea buckthorn wasn’t considered a superfruit.
So, anyway, this didn’t taste at all like I was expecting. I guess I thought it would be more tart and berry-like. Not at all! I’m getting both the flavor and scent of vanilla along with some gentle sort of fruit like apricot. My boyfriend, on the other hand, said all he could taste was the green tea, which is a very mild Chinese green that was quite pleasant. But, seriously…what does he know? :) I cold-brewed it this time but will try it hot soon. So glad this tin has 50 bags, just in case I can’t ever find it again! They were also selling all of the flavored hibiscus blends, of which the coconut-flavored one is my all-time favorite for cold-brewed iced tea. It is hands down the most refreshing and relaxing tea I know of (can those 2 feelings even be had at the same time???) That too was selling for the same price as on the RoT website.
So, all in all, I can actually say that Whole Foods saved me money for once, since I otherwise would have ordered online and had to spend $30 more than I did today (although….“had to” might not be fair since it certainly would not have been a chore to choose 3 more teas to buy…).
Flavors: Apricot, Vanilla
Got this sample (along with soooo many others) from Ost back when we met up at Downtown Disney :) I was not looking forward to it once I brewed the cup, simply because I could smell the medicinal funk I have been noticing in hot rooibos lately…to my surprise, though, it didn’t come through in the flavor! The almond and coconut balanced each other quite nicely in this one. I’d say this is good if you want something desserty that isn’t exactly sweet tasting. Thanks for the chance to try it, Ost!
I received a sample of this tea with my most recent Republic of Tea catalog and chose it as my caffeine-free bedtime tea last night. Drinking this tea was an odd experience. It brewed up VERY dark…almost like coffee!…and had an extremely potent vanilla scent. However, the actual flavor was like a mild, grassy green tea with a wave of vanilla in the aftertaste. In the end, I found this a pleasant bedtime tea. I would drink it again if it was offered to me, but I won’t be seeking it out to purchase.
Flavors: Dandelion, Grass, Vanilla
This is a perfectly acceptable chocolate rooibos blend. Not spectacular in the slightest, but not horrible either. I stepped for 10 minutes, added a touch of honey, and vaguely enjoyed the light chocolate flavor as I did computer work this afternoon.
I would label this with the “meh” tag. I definitely would not purchase, but it is fine to hold me over till I can brew up a nice loose leaf when I get home.
Catalogue sample of unknown age. Tastes like it could be half decent if not for the artificial sweetener. I HATE stevia. That’s where the sweet comes from in the title. It sort of overshadows the vague green tea and vaguely tropical flavour. NOT recommended.
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This is my second foray back to the past today as I test another free sample from The Republic of Tea. Since I am in the office today, my tea choices are my Republic of Tea bag samples or mud-like selections from the company Flavia machine. Although I am grateful for the free fringe benefit, just about any alternative wins over the machine in my mind.
The unbrewed scent of the bag was kind of like peppermint and kind of like chocolate but there was something very chemical or artificial about the smell. I had a feeling that this was not a good sign.
I steeped the stringless round Republic of Tea bag/disk for five minutes in boiling water. The smell had a faint mint attribute. The color was dark amber.
When I put the cup to my lips, my mood was negatively affected when I peered into the cup and saw that there was mucky dark sediment at the bottom of the brew. I don’t even experience debris from my loose leaf tea maker, so another warning sign was chalked on my wall.
The first sip of this tea caused me to stand back and analyze what my taste buds were experiencing. Finally I determined that there was some mint to the flavor with a mouthwash like aftertaste. Another peculiarity was also present that I believe was disguised as chocolate. There was no astringency really but I didn’t find the aftertaste something that I wanted to hold on to.
In short, I found the flavor of this brew to be less than desirable and way off the mark of what usually reminds me of chocolate and mint in a tea. Additionally, the rubble in my cup that apparently leaked from the tea bag was visually distasteful and a foreshadowing of this product’s other flaws.
I tend to drink this tea when I am feeling sore. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and I’d much prefer to have a nice cup of tea over taking a pill any day! :)
Any-who, I was worried initially that this tea may have a bit of a bite to it, but really I quite like it. The ginger partners with the turmeric and it seems they slightly mellow each other out. Perhaps it’s the green base that does the mellowing. I’m not sure but you do end up with a quite lovely, warming cup. The flavours definitely appear to compliment each other. I absolutely love ginger though, so I would not mind if it were a bit more intense. As for the healing effect, I’m not sure whether it is the placebo effect, or just the happiness that a warm cup of tea brings, but I certainly feel better after I’ve had some. :0)
This is a tea bag though, so if I could locate a loose leaf version of this tea I’d be very interested in comparing it with these tiny sachets. 0_o
Flavors: Ginger, Herbs
Overboard TTB #12
Ok so today, since all I’m doing is starting to pack and organize for my trip home and running the errands I need to do to by presents and pick up all the special requests my family wants me to bring back to Oz with me from the US (tide pens, bourbon, Lego, mac cosmetics… It’s a little eclectic) I’m promising myself that I’m going to finish with this box today.
I don’t know why I’m always surprised when I like ROT offerings but this, similar to others I’ve tasted, is full of flavor! I’m getting a nice balance of maple and pecan however there is a slightly chemical taste that unfortunately lingers on the back of my pallet after each sip which is ruining this tea for me a little. Not something I’d purchase but I could see it being enjoyable around thanksgiving.
So glad to finally get to try this! This is really the only Downton Abbey tea I would have considered purchasing without first tasting. These teas are more expensive than the other normal RoT tins, so it would have been a bigger risk. Thanks to Ost, I got to try it first and now probably will go buy it :) I could definitely drink this as a dessert tea, but it was mellow enough that I could drink this when I want a more breakfast-style tea, too. It has a caramel bread pudding sort of vibe.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel
This is my go-to tea in the evenings. Its really easy to drink, has a pleasing smell, and like other people have mentioned it is hard to really over-steep it. You can drink it alone or you can add milk if you like.
So, my mom picked this up for both of us and then read reviews and was worried that it might be awful, but it’s actually pretty good! I followed her recommendations, based on what she read: 2 teabags (I used a 12 oz. mug), add milk and sugar. It tasted like a strawberry milkshake. No real chocolate to be found, but hey, that’s still pretty good for a rooibos. Yes, there was some rooibos flavor, but it wasn’t too strong. Oh, and 5 minutes does the trick. Glad to have another caffeine-free option in my cupboard. Thanks to my mom!
This tea also came in TraceyC’s TTB. It didn’t brew as dark as I thought it would. I think I let it steep too long, and I added splenda. I think I’ll try it again later without sweetener, and I might try it iced, too. I don’t really taste the blackberry right now, but I think it’s mostly because I let it steep too long.
I’ve now had two cups of this as free samples, and I struggled with how to describe it. It’s not a straightforward flavor. After some thought, I think I’ve finally got it: oatmeal with cream and honey. And rooibos. That seems weird for a tea but it’s not actually bad. There may be something raisin-y in here, too. This actually does make me feel better when I’m really off, and considering I had the migraine to end all migraines (well, I wish) yesterday, I needed it this morning.
Overboard TTB #2
So apparently I was in a maple mood this week! This one wasn’t bad, but it didn’t hold a candle to the one from David’s Tea that I tried yesterday. It did have a pleasant maple flavor along with a hint of nuttiness, but I mostly tasted the strong black base. It was also a bit astringent. If I had this tea again, I would try it with milk…but I think for now I’ll just stick to Oh Canada! when I want a maple tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Maple Syrup, Nuts