The Republic of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

75

Prep: 1 teabag in a large mug. Kettle cooled for 1 min after boiling. Steeped for 1 minute 15 seconds. Cooled for an additional 3 minutes before drinking.

The flavor was light and refreshing. Brownish color with a hint of green to it. Reminds me every so slightly of hanging in the barn by the sheep (most green tea tastes this way to me). Very little in the way of smell, but if I inhale deeply it smells more like a black tea to me.

Flavors: Hay

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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9

Received this as a free sample with their catalog. Made without milk and added honey. Was ok- I’m not a chamommile fan, so not my favorite.

Preparation
9 OZ / 266 ML

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Free sachet with catalog. 5 min, 200F
Pretty good. Creaminess and peppermint, but not overpowering. I might get some for the holiday season. It has stevia, but thankfully it’s not too sweet.

Flavors: Creamy, Peppermint, Sweet

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37

I received a bag of this as a freebie with the quarterly Republic of Tea catalog. Even though I am trying to primarily focus on unflavored teas and tea blends, I still wanted to give this a shot. I’m not a huge fan of the teas offered by The Republic of Tea, but hey, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to try one more. I love peppermint, cocoa, and vanilla (I’m not sure how I feel about green rooibos at this point), so I figured this one might be a winner.

I prepared this tea using a one step Western infusion. I steeped my sample bag in 8 ounces of 212 F water for around 5 minutes. I am not in the habit of resteeping tisanes or anything in a teabag, so I did not attempt additional infusions.

After infusion, the liquor produced strong aromas of cocoa, vanilla, and peppermint. There was a slightly toasty character that I presume was provided by the green rooibos. I could also pick up on a slight sugary scent from the stevia. In the mouth, I got a muddy mix of peppermint, stevia, cocoa, vanilla creme, and toast followed by a finish that continued to emphasize peppermint, cocoa, and vanilla creme notes, though there was also an oddly sugary sweetness from the stevia that became a bit distracting for me.

So, it would appear that I am still looking for a tea from The Republic of Tea that I actually like. I think what killed this one for me was how muddled the flavors were and how sickly sweet this blend became toward the finish. I am far from a fan of stevia, and I think this blend may have been slightly better without it. I also noticed that the green rooibos base was just barely detectable. It seems that a lot of herbal blends are going to rooibos as a base component these days, and while I like rooibos, I am undecided on green rooibos and tend to feel that rooibos of any sort is better on its own. I also have a little bit of an issue with the teamakers seemingly deliberately obscuring a component of this blend to the point that it is just barely detectable. I get that the green rooibos is likely there just to provide body, but why even bother at all? Why not use something else? In the end, I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this one and will give it points for decently approximating the flavor of peppermint bark, but I would most definitely not go out of my way to have it again.

Flavors: Cocoa, Peppermint, Sugar, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Ah see, I like green rooibos because it doesn’t take over a blend like its red sibling can. It allows room for other flavours to flourish.

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85

I really like this tea! It’s smooth and creamy and sweet. We had warm weather yesterday, and I was in a very stuffy room with a few hundred other people. I drank water continuously all day. When I got home that evening I took a long cool shower and brewed a cup of this. I really enjoyed it.

This new apartment has so little cabinet space that I have divided my stash into three places: a box in the front hall closet, a bin on the counter, and a bin onthe bakers rack. This may mean I have too much tea, even though I have given a bunch of it away. I may need to prune more. But this tea will never be given away.

gmathis

I like it, too. Wonder if it is tasty chilled. RoT’s Downton Abbey English Rose tea is nice on ice.

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85

I have too much tea. How can I ever drink it all??? Is it better to drink one tea faithfully until it is gone? Or should I continue to drink a cup of this one here and that one there? This month is NO Spend February for me. So no more new teas! That doesn’t mean I’ll get caught up of course. But it’s got to help, right?

I decided to have a cup of this tonight after supper. I wanted something dessert-y with no fuss. I still really like this one. Rich and creamy flavor. There is a slight acidic edge at the end of the sip. I may have over-steeped, but I bet some milk would take care of that.

And now I need to decide if I love it enough to re-steep to keep this tea in the cupboard as long as possible, or if I should use a new bag for a new cup and thus sip it down all that much faster. Decisions, decisions.

gmathis

I think I’ve tried it with milk and liked it that way. What could be wrong, if Mrs. Patmore’s hand is in it ;) (Binge-watching DA Season 6 this week.)

Maddy Barone

One of my favorite characters on the show is Daisy!

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85

What a horrible, horrible day at work. The morning was fine, but the afternoon … No. I cried. I used four letters words. Repeatedly and at volume. Good thing I work from home. The cats barely blinked. Really, it wasn’t a big deal. We were “blitzing”, where you try to work as many pieces as you possibly can in 4 hours and then post the number of your completes for all to see. For the first 2.5 hours I completed 17. Yes, 17. Normally you can do 20 an hour. But two co workers went through the queue and cherry picked the easy ones, leaving the icky ones for me and others. I know that for a fact, because the computer system records who looks at a piece. Guess who had the most completes? Yes, those two. When I mentioned it to the team leader she looked surprised and said it didn’t really matter who completed the most. I think she missed my point.

OK, done. Got that off my chest. Bad day = good tea, right? Yep, what is better after a crap day then pampering yourself with tea? I picked up a tin of this at the new local tea shop back in September, and haven’t opened it until now. I remember hearing some of the Steepstercians I follow talk about this tea favorably last winter. I couldn’t find it in town, and I didn’t want to order a tin, so I was glad to see it there. It was a little spendy, but then you get the tin, which is really nice.

So, the tea. Beautiful rich color. I can’t smell it, but I imagine it smells divine. The flavor is good. Again, I don’t taste a whole lot, but this tea is mellow. Mild. A little sweet. Creamy. What I DON’T taste is as important to me as what I do taste. No bitterness. No fake flavoring. No feeling of dryness on my tongue. All in all, this is a delicious dessert tea, perfect for me to comfort myself with after a spectacularly crap day.

Flavors: Creamy

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

Aww no, I’m sorry. I hope you will have a better day tomorrow. That reminds me of a job ad I saw for those at-home transcription services. Sounds like it works in a similar way.

Maddy Barone

Thanks, Fjellrev. I pretty much like my job. I’ve been there for 15 years. Now and then there’s bound to be a day that sucks. :)

gmathis

If only it came with Mrs. Patmore’s scones and a downstairs maid to clean up the kitchen! (I like this one, too. With a little 1/2 and 1/2, it’s even more pastry-ish.)

Inkling

Sorry about the rotten day! Glad you were able to come home to a nice treat.

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82

This is the quarterly Republic of Tea catalog freebie. I’m sure it will be interesting because this is definitely not something I would have chosen on my own. I like mint and am in love with vanilla. However, rooibos and I are not friends. Though I guess green rooibos isn’t quite as bad…

Flavor-wise, the mint is in the foreground and it is oh-so-tingly. Really cools and lingers in your mouth. It’s followed by a very nice, smooth vanilla. It’s desserty with creamy notes of white chocolate. Yeah, this actually tastes like peppermint bark. Though the peppermint has that faint pickle taste that I swear is there but only I ever taste. As far as the rooibos goes, I really can’t taste it. The mint is just too loud.

While this is interesting and makes a nice after-dinner treat, it’s still not really something I’d get for the cupboard. When I go for seasonal teas, I don’t really crave peppermint. I want caramel, cinnamon, pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, that kind of thing.

Flavors: Candy, Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint, Vanilla, White Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec

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I have so many backlogs to write. Namely an awesome Darjeeling What-Cha offers.

Anyway, this is basically all chai herbal which I like. Cardamom is a good thing for me, and so is cinnamon. I was pretty happy with how this turned out, and was kinda glad that the spices were the main body of the tea. Rooibos is too hit or miss for most tisanes. But yeah, this tea is masala/chai spices with a Christmas feel for relieving stomach aches in short. Good once, good for occasion, but I did not pay full price so I cannot judge fully.

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86

Thanks to rosehips for the sample!

What a cute dessert decaf! This is a rooibos with lemon, vanilla, and coconut. It’s really light and sweet.

It’s like if you were coming home on a sunny day and found — ta DA — a baby unicorn on your doorstep! Turns out the stork dropped it off JUST FOR YOU. What a DARLING WEE GUY.

Oh, and that little unicorn? Is never going to get higher than, say, waist-high. And it poops nice-smelling glitter.

You’re never going to take your unicorn very seriously, but it will be very nice to have around.

Flavors: Coconut, Frosting, Lemon, Sugar, Vanilla

Kaylee

This is easily one of the top ten tasting notes ever. Unicorn tea!

VariaTEA

This is delightful. Also reminds me of the squatty potty ad with the unicorns that poop the glitter rainbow ice cream.

Fjellrev

Ooh, maybe I’ll grab this if I ever see it, then.

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68

Picked this one up when I happened to see it in the store. It didn’t look like there was too much tea in each teabag so I uses three tea bags for one 16oz cup. It has a nice strong chocolate taste and the rooibos is there too. Not sure if I’m getting the vanilla and the beet root. Over all this is a nice cup of caffeine free tea. And it was not expensive. It’s not the best I’ve had as far as rooibos goes but it’s also not the worst.

Steeped three tea bags in a 16oz mug with boiling water for five minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
gmathis

I still have about half a tin I wasn’t completely in love with. Will have to see if tripling it up makes me feel more affectionate.

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68

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70

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70

Just got a tin of this in the mail yesterday I have always been a big fan of Earl Grey (I love Bergamot) this is overall a good tea, a little light on the bergamot but add a touch of lemon and it was great.

Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

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78

Surprisingly sweet and mellow for a green tea with dandelion. Not at all what I’d call herbaceous or grassy, with not bitter or dry notes. I feel like whatever flavoring this has overshadows the actual title. I don’t think that’s necessarily bad, just misleading. I liked this tea and would drink it again, but probably wouldn’t purchase it. Surprisingly, I think it would work well with milk due to the vanilla/hazelnut/coffee flavor that others have mentioned.

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95

I love this tea. The blueberry flavor is subtle, yet present and very pleasant. I was surprised how smooth and soothing this tea is and how the flavor is not overwhelming.

Flavors: Blueberry, Flowers

Preparation
1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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71

I found this on the end of summer clearance shelf at the grocery store for $4.79. At that price I couldn’t resist the draw of watermelon even though I don’t usually buy bagged tea. I liked it, but it is a bit candyish and the melon has a strong after taste. If I saw it on sale I’d buy it again.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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75

A friend gave me a couple of bags of this tea. I abhor the taste of chamomile, but thankfully it’s not really detectable in this blend. Instead, I get lots of lavender and a hint of rose. And somehow, the flavors blend in a way that doesn’t make me feel like I’m drinking perfume. This is actually a surprisingly pleasant herbal tisane and I do find it relaxing.

Flavors: Lavender, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

This is the second time I’ve gotten this as a freebie in the Republic of Tea catalog. But last year I was making a pot of chai to share with someone and blended it in. So no review. My bad.

Ok, so the tea bag is very, very aromatic. I’m getting loud notes of butter-rum flavor, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Good lord. They did not go lightly on the spice. (Yay!) Seriously, this smells like it would be a Yankee Candle. (I mean that in the nicest way possible!) Just handling the bag from the envelope to the cup leaves my hands smelling festive.

In addition to the usual stevia sweetener, I added a tiny splash of 1% milk. Ginger seems to be the strongest spice in the mix, followed by clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The pumpkin pie filling flavor is there, but the spices sort of shout over it. This could be my fault for steeping for so long.

This still might not be quite the pumpkin spice tea I’m looking for, but it sure comes close! Best yet, for sure.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pumpkin, Rum

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Saw this in the store and it looked interesting. However, while it is not all bad it has it’s faults. It’s chocolate taste is stronger than it’s peppermint taste. It’s peppermint taste is barely there at all. It just doesn’t have strong enough taste of either one. I brewed it with three tea bags for I am guessing 5 minutes. I lost track of time and don’t really know how long I brewed it. It’s not really bad but there is just not enough peppermint to it.

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57

Today August 26, 2016 was the 96th anniversary of the day American women got the vote. I chose to celebrate by making my first pot of this RoT Downton Abbey tea, which features a picture of Penelope Wilton as Isobel Crawley and Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Violet, the Dowager Countess. Their two characters were both such strong women that it seemed fitting to me to make this today’s pot of tea. None of my other teas even have that remote a connection, so why not? At least these two characters date from around the time of the suffragettes, and Mrs. Crawley was a big advocate of rights for others, decades before such things were popular.
The label says these two characters “…do not agree on much when they have their afternoon tea—but they would agree on this delightful caffeine-free blend. Fragrant garden herbs such as ginger, orange bergamot mint and lemon thyme add depth and sweetness to a pleasant conversation.” Oddly, although the strongest flavor of this blend is anise, due to two ingredients (anise hyssop and anise seeds)—neither of those are mentioned! This is a disservice, both to those who love anise and to those who feel the opposite.
Truly, anise is the predominating flavor in this tea, and one should know in advance whether to stock up on this tea, or avoid it. I fall into the latter camp, but even so can value the occasional anise tea for soothing a sore throat.
I will have to try this one again, as this pot is cold now, and am nowhere near the kitchen to try to describe it hot.
My other quibble is that three ingredients are not available for inclusion here at Steepster (orange bergamot mint, lemon thyme, and anise hyssop), nor was there a box to click for it being Certified Gluten-Free.

Flavors: Anise

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 30 sec 6 tsp 50 OZ / 1478 ML

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75

Backlog from this morning.

I do not watch Downton Abbey at all, but this tea was gifted to me by my grandfather, who very much enjoys gifting me tea. :)

This was one of those Mondays I woke up moody for no reason, so it was a good one to do this tea, which is actually pretty light-hearted and sweet. It reminds me a bit of some of Harney’s blends, like Paris? It’s very vanilla and fruity, but there’s also a cherry note to it that’s a little on the strong side… slightly like cherry cough syrup, but not nearly as obnoxious. I was drinking it on the way out the door this morning, so I didn’t get the most nuanced picture.

All in all, not bad! I have a feeling it’ll grow on me as I drink it some more. I think it would be a good work staple. Lord knows I need to bring some of my tea to work…

Evol Ving Ness

What a lovely way of showing care your grandfather has!

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