Hard to say what the ideal temp is; I use the hot water machine at work, which is less than boiling but hot enough to burn.
“Another freebie, hard to complain. But reviewing is another story. This smells so nice as it's brewing but after one sip, you'll think, "where did you go so wrong?!" There is a definite dirt taste...” Read full tasting note
“last one *sniff*” Read full tasting note
“Oh, Republic of Tea. Where do I start with you? As I fished out the [admittedly free] packet enclosed with your catalog, I began to think about your company as a whole. You boast a rather catchy...” Read full tasting note
“Received a free sample of this in my RoT catalog. I LOVE how this tea smells. It smells like my mom's Christmas cider. Apple, clove and cinnamon always smell comforting to me, so I guess this...” Read full tasting note
The Warmth of the Season.
Cinnamon and cloves are the shining stars of this blend. Wrap your hands around a cup that will surely put you in the mood for celebration. Fine black tea leaves create a substantial base for this spicy infusion, while apples and just a hint of licorice sweeten each sip.
A spicy holiday blend available in natural, round, unbleached tea bags.
The Republic of Tea is a progressive and socially conscious business recognized for being the leading purveyor of more than 200 premium teas and herbs, ready-to-drink iced teas and more. Founded in 1992, The Republic of Tea sparked a tea revolution in America with the purpose of enriching people’s lives through the experience of premium teas and a Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp lifestyle.
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This is backlogged from a couple days ago. It was a free sample I got with the catalogue so I am definitely glad I didn’t spend money on this one. This one is ok. I have to say it smells better dry then it does brewed. It is sadly really bland brewed. If it tasted the way it smelled out of the package it would’ve been delicious. Oh well it was free so I can’t really complain too much…
I am really surprised at all the other reviewers who didn’t like this too much. I wonder if those who tried the “free samples” somehow got stock that wasn’t very good? I suppose a promotion could do that whereby RoT put out a poor batch…
Anyhow, RoT isn’t really the kind of company I usually go to for tea: they’re just too industrial, run-of-the-mill–ish, pedestrian for my usual taste.
However, I love this tea. I’ve been drinking it for a couple of years now in loose leaf. I do make it pretty strong (an overstuffed ball infuser for 10+ minutes)
I find the flavor rich and complex with a satisfying spice. It has a natural sweetness and doesn’t overpower with cinnamon. Instead, it has cardamom, clove, and bergamot flavors that enhance the straight forward black tea.
I got this as part of a stackable set of three tea canisters as a gift. The canisters are lovely. Rich colors, foil-like shine… beautiful. Comfort and Joy was the first tea I tried in the trio.
When I opened the container, the first thing I got was a very strong aroma of a spice I couldn’t recognize. Licorice root is listed as an ingredient, but I’ve had licorice root before and this was not it. Maybe it was one of the other “natural flavors” the RoT uses. Just because I didn’t recognize it didn’t make it off-putting, however, and so I brewed it up following the instructions on the container. As it brews, it smells marvelous. I could hardly wait for it to be done, it smelled so good and produced such an attractive clear amber liquor. When it was time, I sipped. But wait, had I missed the cup? ? I sipped again. Oh, oh… wait a minute, no, there was definitely something like a hot tea in my mouth, but it had no flavor. I held it in my mouth for a minute, and began to taste a… little… bit… of… apple—not much, but a little bit, then I got a little bite from one of the spices in there, but not much else. It was very weak, very watery, and as it sat, increasingly bitter even though the bag had been removed long before. RoT says on the canister for this product that “black tea leaves create a substantial base for this holiday infusion,” but I don’t see it that way. If there is black tea in there, it’s such inferior tea that it can’t stand up to brewing. The other ingredients, actual as well as “natural” don’t seem to survive brewing either. It’s not bad, it’s just blehhh. Yeah, okay, that’s bad. Anyway. Each of the canisters in this holiday sampler boasts, “Steeping is easy,” and it is. Getting a good infusion out of it with this product, however, seems to be difficult.
FINALLY got my catalog so I’m drinking and logging this as I page thru it. Based on the reviews I’m not expecting much, but a free sample that’s easy for me to make when I’m sick is always good. And I’m hoping at least the name of it will give me some comfort and joy.
Observations: FREE +, convenience for 1st infusion +, convenience for multiple infusions -, bagged (not my personal preference -, environmentally friendly bag +, bag that’s difficult to fish out w/o an aid -, comes w/ a catalog +, tempts me to buy things I shouldn’t -, weight – (way too light for a 6oz cup especially considering spices take up some of the weight), contains licorice -.
Serving: in 6oz water. Hot and clean.
I’m absolutely SHOCKED at how dark the liquor is based on the weight. It looks just like black coffee. Maybe this won’t be bad after all- considering I’ve already had 1 tisane today that had licorice in it and wasn’t bad.
As for the aroma, I smell the black tea, the spices, and the apple. This smells more like an apple chai than Adagio’s apple chai does.
Hmmm… interesting… It’s not nearly as weak as I expected it to be based on the weight and the flavor is definitely in good proportion to the liquor. I taste all 3 components: the black tea, the spice (but no licorice thank GOD!), and the fruityness you’d expect from a chai w/ apple in it… if someone had given this to me w/o telling me what it was I’d swear it was MarketSpice chai because the fruityness is citrus- orange. Not what I expected, but good!
Conclusions: Good free tea. Nice to have around for when you aren’t up to making loose tea. Full of surprises in strength of flavor and in what flavors you get. If you don’t mind that it’s an orangy and not an appley chai, you’ll really like this one. Not sure how it’ll taste w/ milk because MarketSpice chai tastes like a hot dreamscicle when I add milk.
This isn’t a bad tea, but I can’t say that it’s great either. It’s a tea that doesn’t live up to it’s scent. The smell of it is warm and comforting and really entrancing, but the taste ends up a little bit musty on the tongue. By the end of the tin I’m just wanting to simmer it on the stove and use it for pot-pourri.
Weird. I remember this tea being better in the past; must be the rosy glasses of nostalgia, or else I just wasn’t spoiled enough by a huge tea selection back then. My days of drinking mostly Republic of Tea blends are long over. Comfort and Joy used to be one of my favorites, but now it tastes so… lifeless, perhaps. This can’t be the same company that produced the Tea of Good Tidings.
So today I enjoyed my last taste of this flavor until the holiday season comes around again later this year. I admit, I like to steep my tea for a looong time to get the strongest flavor, so I get a lot out of a single tea bag. Add some sugar, a little milk and it’s just a treat, one of my absolute favorite flavors. If RoT ever stops making this, I may go into mourning. (it wouldn’t be the first time)
Probably like you, I got this as a free sample with my catalog. Among the ingredients are licorice root, which I happen to hate, but I gave it a try…even after the super strong cinnamon slapped my nostrils from one side of my face to the other. Bracing myself for what I thought was going to be a super strong brew, I was surprised how mellow this tea is. I could taste cinnamon and it had a little bite, but that’s about it. The overwhelming flavor, despite the lustrous reddish brown color, was hot boiled water.