As far as what I’ve tried, I seem to enjoy Republic of Tea’s black teas much better than their greens. My wife and I had this today, and we both loved it! I was a little worried, because I was keeping the leaves in an old tin that used to house Australian Outback tea (I made some, but the pieces were so small that many passed through the strainer, and the smell of the brewed liquid was terrible—enough to convince me not to even sip it. ). Fortunately, it appears that I had washed it thoroughly enough to remove all traces of the previous tea.
Anyway, on to the tea. The leaves looked wonderful, all golden and tippy. They produced a nice dark liquid. Although the Republic of Tea recommends drinking it with a bit of milk and sugar, I tried it plain first. It was nice and smooth—more like a Ceylon than an Assam (I’ve never had a black Yunnan before, so I didn’t know what it would be like). Slightly malty and astringent, but not overpoweringly so, with mild citrus hints. After the first few sips, I added milk and sugar. I can see why they recommend it—it really brings out new flavors! The citrus notes became more noticeable; it felt almost like I was drinking a subtle Earl Grey. This makes sense, as Earl Grey was supposedly first produced in an attempt to imitate the taste of more expensive Chinese teas (making it, I suppose, the genmaicha of England). I was very pleased, and will probably buy a tin of this, if Rishi’s 2nd Flush Darjeeling doesn’t impress me more.