The Republic of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

This really is like eating a piece of vanilla cake! The caramel comes in in the aftertaste like caramel frosting. The flavor here is pretty accurate, which I’m really enjoying! I will say that it’s a little artificial and definitely tastes more like an herbal than a black tea. I don’t mind these things in a tea, but I can see where all the negative reviews are coming from.

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68

Sipdown! (42 | 115)

I recently swapped with @thismorningstea on Instagram, and she sent me a few wrapped teabags of this tea. I used all three bags in my 16-ounce teapot.

This is… meh. It’s extremely grassy and I can barely tell there’s matcha added. It mostly just tastes like a cheap Chinese sencha.

Womp womp…

Flavors: Dry Grass, Grass, Smooth, Straw

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML
Tiffany :)

How do you tell cheap Chinese sencha from others? And how do you bold text on tasting notes? Thanks!

Cameron B.

Chinese sencha is one that’s often used in flavored teas – it mostly just has a dry grassy taste. Japanese sencha is more vegetal and umami with a more intense flavor generally. You can make text bold by surrounding it with * or in italics by surrounding with _. Although the bold seems to randomly stop displaying for me right now…

Tiffany :)

Thank you Cameron for the help/advice. :)

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65

I’m just going to put this out there: for someone who doesn’t like rooibos as much as I don’t like rooibos, I sure wind up drinking a lot of it in the form of dessert blends. What can I say? I’m not smart, but I’m also desperate to keep myself warm during the dregs of winter and decaf is the only way to accomplish that without giving myself a heart attack.

Where to start? This is an odd one. It smells dusty in the tin. Without any addition of cream or sugar, the brewed tea is mostly not-too-sweet strawberry with a dash of funk you can’t quite place. You neither like nor hate it, and yet you can’t stop drinking it. Why? You search yourself for answers at the same time you fire up your kettle for yet another cup. You don’t know. It makes your mouth dry. Why are you doing this?

Maybe you’re wondering where the 65 rating comes from, and I’ll tell you: the addition of cream and sugar changes /everything/. I resisted the obvious additions for so long because I don’t typically like adding anything to any tea, but this is one where I clearly recognize the superior choice. It’s like drinking an entirely different bag. The dust and must disappears, the taste of cocoa turns to a surprisingly smooth milk chocolate, and the tart of the berry levels out. It’s hard to oversteep this one at this point.

Overall, a niche sip that’s nice when I want something a little more indulgent, but not necessarily one I’ll be reaching for as a regular drink.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

I love RoT’s Earl Greyer Vanilla more than most, so I jumped on the Estate blend hoping for another earl grey creme that would knock it out of the park. It smells pleasantly like a creamsicle in the tin, but brews up smelling mostly just like heavy vanilla cream with a floral hit. If you’re not a fan of big bergamot flavors, this is right up your alley.

The verdict? It’s…fine. Yeah, it’s fine. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it’s a smooth sip for what’s shaping up to be a sunny day after a snowy hellscape. It’s inoffensive, takes well to cream and sugar (this one is especially poised for cream addition), and will be enjoyed, but inevitably not replaced once it’s gone.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

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Flavors: Ginger, Green, Peach

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85

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Flavors: Chocolate, Rooibos, Strawberry

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95

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Flavors: Bergamot, Earl Grey, Vanilla

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70

Smells good, tastes pleasant enough, although caramel teas always disappoint me.

Flavors: Caramel

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100

Hands-down the best tea I’ve ever had. I should probably stock up on this since it’s limited edition. It smells heavenly and tastes wonderful too. This makes me think I’m sipping tea in an English country garden (and not just because of the marketing appeal).

Flavors: Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry

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1

My husband said “it smells like stinky socks.” I tasted it; it tasted even worse. I threw out all of it. Never buying again. We regularly drink valerian, chamomile, and passion flower teas but this was AWFUL.

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83

Beauty Sleep is a chamomile-rose peaflower tea. The honey flavor in this completely overpowers the rose- it is but a faint aftertaste. If I hadn’t prepared it myself, I would have believed at least 4 tablespoons of honey went into my cup.

Fortunately, the tea itself is palatable. It’s ‘sweet’ enough to drink without sugar, but adding a bit of sweetener helps bring out the rose a bit more. A bit of milk might make for a satisfying latte.

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70

Mild berry flavor on an okay black tea. Not that special, but it tastes okay. A little fake, but also interesting. I only had the single bag that RoT must have sent with an order or magazine at some point.

gmathis

We need to let RoT know that John Bates would never have selected anything that fussy. He would start the morning with strong builders’ tea, no sugar, no milk. Anna was a pretty tough cookie herself… ;)

Lexie Aleah

I like their Downton Abbey Pudding Tea

AJRimmer

It did seem like an interesting choice! Yeah, the pudding one is a favorite of mine!

gmathis

Agreed. Pudding Tea with a little milk. The English Rose is OK; I was gifted some of that; wouldn’t go out and buy it again.

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75

I don’t know whether this blend is actually good or that I’m just so happy to be done with RoT’s 12 Days of Sipping thing that’s making me feel generous, but I dunno, this is pretty good. A note for the herbal ignoramuses among us: lemon balm is not the same thing as lemon. I was very surprised by both the fragrance and my first sip. =) Surprised in a good way, though, ‘cos I didn’t want anything tart.

As you may know by now, I like teas that say, Hi, I’m here! Prepared plain, this blend has a nice, bold—and yes, very "herbal"—flavour. I’ve tried loads of herbal blends and this flavour feels unique. It’s a standout, and worth trying for that reason alone. Grateful to have ended this adventure on a positive note.

Flavors: Herbs

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

It has been a long time since I ventured into the Republic. This sounds like a nice one.

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70
drank Republic Chai by The Republic of Tea
159 tasting notes

This is not chai. We don’t put orange peel and star anise in our tea—or cinnamon, but that might just be my family/region)—nor is simmering tea with water, milk, and honey a traditional preparation.

With that out of the way, this blend isn’t half bad. Like every tea so far in RoT’s 12 Days of Sipping box, it’s weak, but less so than the others. I’m on Day 11 and this is only the second or third blend I’d recommend. If you’re going to go with some form of cream and sweetener, I’d recommend two tea bags; the creamer mutes the flavour too much. I was pleasantly surprised that it tastes good plain and it tastes good cold—that’s definitely uncommon for a “chai” blend.

There is one thing I will say about RoT’s blends. I find cinnamon to be a rude spotlight hog in most cases, but in the RoT blends I’ve tried so far, it’s played surprisingly well with others.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70
drank Republic Chai by The Republic of Tea
159 tasting notes

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60

Confession: I can’t tell the difference between British Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, and Scottish Breakfast. I mean, I looked it up, but I can’t taste the difference. Black tea is black tea. I mean, I can taste the difference between PG Tips and Barry’s. And I know Earl Grey is different because the bergamot (mmmm bergamot) sets it apart. But that’s about it.

So yeah, as black tea blends go, this is fine. As has been my experience of late with RoT tea bags, it’s just fine. I’ll take PG Tips any day.

Oh, and it’s better with milk ‘n’ sugar (or oat creamer and stevia, in my case).

Flavors: Tea

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
White Antlers

LOL! Nik I have been drinking tea of all sorts for close to 70 years and to me, it ALL still tastes like ‘tea.’

gmathis

Heavy duty unleaded breakfast teas are my happy thing and have been for yours, but I’m not sure I could correctly classify them in a blindfold taste test. Everybody’s blend is a little different. Irish Breakfast blends tend to run heavier on the Assam (done properly, there’s a good burnt toast vibe), and although I always expected those Scots to drink tea the consistency of road tar, Scottish Breakfast blends I’ve tried are surprisingly light. I’m with you—if I need to wake up, just hand me my PG Tips and a carton of milk.

derk

In regards to black tea, how do you both, Nik and White Antlers, differentiate what’s good to your palate?

White Antlers

Well…if it tastes like what I have come to expect tea to taste like, it’s good. that would be a bit malty, a bit tannic, even slightly metallic if it;s that kind of tea. I also like my black teas brewed strong. If it tastes like fake fruit, fake cake or cookies or any kind of pastry or food item, it’s not good. I dislike Earl Greys because the bergamot always tastes overdone. I can pick out some things that I find pleasant in tea, though. For example, Mokalbari estate assam has a very soft plum note that I love but I can’t always taste it when I drink it.

I have a long history practicing and using TCM, so if I drink an herbal, I don’t expect it to satisfy what ‘tea’ tastes like to me. I never drink herbals for pleasure; they are always used medicinally. That includes chamomile before bed, spearmint or peppermint after a heavy meal and so on. Unlike you, derk and a lot of folks here, I don’t a highly sensitive palate nor do I have the gift to ascertain hard to tease out notes in tea. That’s probably not a very erudite answer, but it’s the best I can do. Keep in mind that I am very old and had a TBI in my teen years so my senses are not as keen as those of someone who is 30 years old and in sound mind and body.

Nik

> LOL! Nik I have been drinking tea of all sorts for close to 70 years and to me, it ALL still tastes like ‘tea.’

I think we’re doing it right, then, friend. =)

> In regards to black tea, how do you both, Nik and White Antlers, differentiate what’s good to your palate?

I like the flavour to be bold but not bitter (and I know much of this is preparation-dependent), the brew to be smooth going down my gullet, and not having a dry-mouth after-effect. Associating goodness more with how it feels is probably why I can tell the difference between PG Tips and Barry’s but not Darjeeling and Kenya.

White Antlers

Nik-you summed it better and up more concisely than I could-‘associating goodness more with how it feels…’ YES!

derk

Thank you both for you insight!

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50

RoT’s 12 Days of Sipping, day 9. The first whiff of this dry blend was awful. It smelled spoiled. It quickly passed and then it smelled like it’s supposed to smell, but that first impression, wow, I have no idea what happened there.

All three flavours are present in equal measure: rooibos, peppermint (more candy cane than actual mint), and chocolate—and all three are equally muted. The end result is just okay. I imagine using two tea bags would’ve been better, but that doubles the price of the tea, and it’s just not worth it. I’m not adding a separate note for the sweetened, creamer version, because it wasn’t significantly different: as expected, the sweetener was kind of nice; the creamer (coconut milk) would’ve probably been wonderful if the flavours were bolder, but as it is it just obscured what little flavour was there.

Flavors: Chocolate, Peppermint, Rooibos

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Honey Ginseng by The Republic of Tea
159 tasting notes

Oh, honey! Got two sachets of this in RoT’s 12 Days of Sipping. Prepped plain, this brew is smooth, fragrant, and all honey. If that’s your thing, and you can have a bit of caffeine, you’ll love it. It needs nothing to enhance or “fix” its flavour, either; just steep and enjoy.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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35
drank Cinnamon Vanilla by Republic of Tea
159 tasting notes

Second of two sachets included in RoT’s 12 Days of Sipping. Prepared this time with creamer and sweetener, which didn’t do anything to improve the tea’s flavour or presentation. Rooibos is still the only discernible flavour I taste.

Flavors: Rooibos

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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35
drank Cinnamon Vanilla by Republic of Tea
159 tasting notes

RoT’s 12 Days of Sipping (2020), day 7. First of two sachets, prepared plain. I like neither cinnamon nor vanilla, so I adjusted my expectations accordingly. The brew smells like Big Red (the chewing gum)—all cinnamon, with perhaps a bit of vanilla smoothness. (I can’t really explain what I mean by a fragrance being “smooth,” so make of that what you will.)

It tastes like rooibos. Maybe a hint of cinnamon, but that’s it. Great for me because I love the taste of rooibos, not so great for anyone expecting cinnamon and vanilla. And if I wanted plain rooibos, I would just drink plain rooibos.

Flavors: Rooibos

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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40

RoT’s 12 Days of Sipping, day 6.5. Quickly prepared the second cup, this time with oat creamer and stevia. It’s still pink, but not as pretty with the creamer. The creamer and the sweetener do a great job of cutting the tartness, of course, and the result is somewhat reminiscent of Fruity Pebbles.

I’m still not sure about oat creamer: no matter how little I use, I taste it too much. That said, it worked well here.

Still not for me.

Flavors: Fruity

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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