The Republic of Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
Cooking TTB #5
Republic of Tea sure nails the scents on their dessert teas! I could have sworn someone was baking chocolate chip banana bread in my kitchen while this one was steeping. Unfortunately, the flavor just can’t live up. I used 2 tea bags and steeped for almost 10 minutes, but I’m still finding this rather bland and watery. What I do taste is artificial banana flavor with just a bit of chocolate. On the plus side, there is no unpleasant rooibos aftertaste with this one!
Flavors: Artificial, banana, Chocolate
Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2
Ooh, roasted mate! I’ve been really interested in trying more mate blends, specifically roasted, since Roswell sent me a sample of Chocolate Rocket from David’s. So I was very happy to see this one in the box! It looks to be roasted mate with pieces of cacao and yellow flower petals. For some reason it smells like cinnamon? Probably scent contamination from other teas in the box.
Mm, the steeped cup smells deeply roasted with some sweet chocolate notes. Tastes pretty good, too! I really like the darkly roasted flavor of roasted mate. There’s also a nice creamy note and some milk chocolate flavor. I can taste a lovely underlying toasted nut flavor, and it almost in a way reminds me of banana? Overall, yummy. :) I think I’ll keep this one!
Flavors: banana, Chocolate, Creamy, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Sweet
I’m not a huge fan of peach, but I’ve always had a soft spot for ginger, so I decided to give this unique combination a try. The sweet, smooth peach balances the sharp, hot ginger quite well! My father is a lover of peach, but didn’t like this. So maybe a ginger fascination must preclude a ginger peach iced tea fascination. Anyway, there’s more for me!
I’m surprised by how much I liked this tea! Rooibos tends to be very hit and miss for me, but this one turned out to be a hit. While steeping it, my kitchen smelled like I was baking blueberry muffins. The first few sips had a lot of woody rooibos and I was ready to write it off as no good. But as it cooled, the blueberry flavor started to pop and the base retreated to the background and suddenly it was tasting almost as good as it smelled: a great combination juicy blueberry and sweet pastry flavors. Thank you to The Cookie Lady for the sample!
Flavors: Blueberry, Pastries
Finishing off this sample from Cameron B.! Like she suggested, I doubled up on the teabags in the hope of getting a less watery flavour. Definitely worked!
- Mild but present black base; very very slightly floral
- Blueberry has a “preserve” or “waffle topping” sweetness to it
- Vanilla notes
- Doesn’t go overboard with sugary sweetness though
- Much more enjoyable this way!
Thanks Cameron B. for the sample!
It appears I’m on a blueberry kick right now – and not just blueberry tea. In addition to the blueberry teas I’ve enjoyed as of late I’ve also “splurged” on super fancy Blueberry/Vanilla Goat Feta, and a bulk amount of Blueberry waffles, and yesterday I bought the stuff for Blueberry muffins. And, it’s just the weirdest thing because I don’t even really like blueberries. So that’s the long summary of why I requested this one in exchange for the DT samples I sent Cam’s way.
I have to say though, I was pretty disappoint with this one – and not because I’m “secretly” not even a blueberry fan. The reality is, it wasn’t heavy enough on the blueberry, or anything for that matter, to interest me. Just kinda bland and watery, with the faintest berry flavour that I know I wouldn’t have been able to blindly identify. Cam sent a few bags though, so I think next cup I’ll just try doubling up on the teabags and see if that fixes the problem.
Had this for the second time today and really enjoyed it! Last time I made it with sugar only, and it was okay, but nothing I’d rave about. This time I added milk and sugar, and while I don’t really taste the chocolate it does have a bit of a cakey flavor, and I really liked it with the milk!
Another tea I picked up in the Overboard TTB. I will miss it. It was delicious, especially after I figured out how to brew it properly. Sweet, light, refreshing melon flavor. I tried it cold brewed with the White Guava I also got, but that turned out kind of bitter. I think it would make a terrific iced tea if I could get it right, though. I’ll definitely be getting more of this eventually.
Flavors: Honeydew, Sweet
This is lovely. Light with a refreshing and very natural tasting melon flavor. It was a bit bitter, but I think that was because I used water that was too hot. I’ll have to experiment a bit, I haven’t had many white teas. It tastes like it would make a wonderful iced tea as well. I think I may decide to keep this one.
The mint and cocoa in this tea definitely take the foreground along with the sweetness from the stevia leaf. The green rooibos seems to take a background note, but it is there. I would actually like to see this without stevia already added. I think it might take on a slightly darker, earthier tone which might be nice. Overall a great tea!
Some friends of mine said this tea (after steeping) smells like cereal. I was surprised, and later on I tried to figure out why they said that. I realized that this has a very heavy vanilla aroma and I am guessing the sweet smell reminds them of sugary cereal. The vanilla does overwhelm the tea; I would say the black tea is average quality. If you over-steep it, even a little, it will have a bitter (old, stale) tea flavor.
Very apparent in this tea is the taste and scent of green beans. It has other subtle nutty qualities as well and seems to stray from the leafier end of the green spectrum to the dense vegetable side. There’s almost no bitterness. It’s pleasant, but really this is on the lower end of green tea quality, from my experience. That’s not to say people won’t like it, but this is one I wouldn’t buy more of. It has some taste similarities to Temple of Heaven gunpowder tea. It isn’t really the kind of flavor I look for in a green tea.
Flavors: Green Beans, Nutty
This tea has an almost roasted flavor with some nice playful green notes, robust and zingy. There are hints of roasted corn and zucchini and maybe some toasted pecan, really small hints of green bean. There’s a little sweetness to the tea as well. The flavor is long-lasting and really lingers on the tongue with a bit of hui gan. Honestly, this is the first Dragon Well tea I can recall really enjoying. The last one I had was really intense and tasted like fried chicken. I still long for the day when I can try the fabled Xi Hu Long Jing. If I were a lion in China, Lion Mountain is where I’d probably hang out and drink tea, anyway. ;3
The repeat infusions on this tea had very nice flavor as well, more robust than I usually get with green teas.
Flavors: Corn Husk, Roasted nuts, Zucchini
This green tea looks rather thin and delicate like mei hua or a bi luo chun but less fuzzy. The scent is sweet and has a note of tropical fruit, maybe passion fruit, as well as a lightly floral quality and a vegetal kind of green bean scent.
The taste is gentle. The most obvious to me is a lotus flavor, which is sort of a creamy and delicate floral and anise-like flavor if you’ve never had it. As the tea cools it tastes rather umami, a bit like gyokuro, and there’s a hint of pleasant bitterness in the finish.
On the second infusion, the flavor is similar but a bit sweeter and milder. Same with the third, but yeilding a little more bitterness.
I brewed it at 2.5g/100ml. When I brewed it again with only 2g of leaf per 100ml the flavor was much more delicate and the “pleasant bitterness” wasn’t even present at all, so it’s a much smoother cup. I’ve been experimenting with leaf amounts for green tea in a pseudo-gongfu style lately to try to find what works best for me. It’s been a lot tougher for green teas than most other types. I keep fluctuating between 2.5g and 2g per 100ml, and much like with this review, the higher amount gives stronger tasting results with more distinguishable flavors, while the lower amount tends to produce a more agreeable and delicate flavor, but bordering on so subtle as to be bland, not in the sense that it doesn’t taste good, but in the sense that it doesn’t taste significantly different from other green teas. Particularly, the repeated infusions seem really dull with this amount of leaf.
As for Sky Between the Branches, I think it’s one of the better green teas you’ll find from Republic of Tea. It’s worth a try if you have it in bulk nearby. They stock it at Whole Foods near me. I wouldn’t buy a whole can of it without trying first though.
Flavors: Floral, Sweet, Vegetal