The Republic of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

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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79

The first time I had this (about a year ago), I hadn’t particularly liked it, but I think that was because I sweetened it then, and found it a little bit too much like drinking a pastry. I found I enjoyed this this time, when unsweetened (though I suspect the opposite may hold true for a number of tea drinkers).
Got 2 bags of this, so brewed them together. For those who may not know, when Brits use the word “pudding” it can also be used to mean “dessert”, not just the soft, custard-like stuff served in bowls. I believe that’s how the word is meant here: as a “dessert” tea.
It certainly has a near-sweetness to it, even without sugar or other sweeteners. I felt like I was tasting pastry, even with none present. It seems to have a nuttiness, as well. I liked it—maybe as a fall tea, to enjoy watching the pretty leaves outside the window, or at campside.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cookie, Dried Fruit, Graham Cracker, Nuts, Nutty, Pastries, Round

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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No matter how much time I steep it for, it always comes out bitter tasting. The only way to make it taste okay is to add 2 packets of sugar and a sprinkle of salt. It isnt that badiced, but still could be a lot better.

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88

Firstly, I must mention that I have the loose leaf version of this tea, not the bag.

The smell of the dry leaf and liquid smells extremely strongly of blackberry. There’s something sort of dry-smelling at the end of the scent that suggests artificiality. I couldn’t detect any sage in the scent.

Starting with the base, there’s some astringency and bitterness, but they take a back seat to the flavoring. As with the scent, I can detect no sage in the flavor. The blackberry flavor is strong. It’s a tiny bit artificial, but it’s still a nice flavor.

Since Stephen likes this tea, we’ll be keeping it around.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Blackberry

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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62

I’m a huge fan of the DA show so it was bound to happen that I pick up at least one of their marketed teas. A lot of rose in the ingredients, but I mostly pick up a raspberry flavor. Tastes very sweet to me unless you steep it too long and then you get more of the tart flavors, which is way too much for me. This is definitely a stand-alone dessert kind of tea perfect for after dinner.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Raspberry, Rose

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

This is my favorite tea ever. It has a very warm/soothing flavor, without being too strong or bitter like many other turmeric ginger teas (even more surprising since it also has green tea in it). Great ingredients and unbleached tea bags as well.

Preparation
5 min, 30 sec

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70

There aren’t a lot of caffeine free teas I can turn to before bed. This is one of them. Unfortunately, it smells a lot better than it tastes.

I was able to get the color of the water to change at least…5 minutes after boiling water. The smell of the tea is a pleasant hot apple cider smell, sugary sweet and tangy with a touch of cinnamon and clove. It’s like hot apple pie.

But then when I take a sip, I get an immediate hit of apple and cinnamon, then a fading to something a little on the sour and unpleasant side. It’s lacking depth, or body, or something. I know! Tea! It’s lacking tea!

But in all seriousness, it would be rated much higher if that sour note could be eliminated. I don’t think the artificial flavoring would lend well to something like honey, either. Maybe I’ll try sugar next time.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Clove, Sour

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Wuyi Oolong by The Republic of Tea
26 tasting notes

Pleasant enough but a bit one dimensional. It has a light sweet floral flavor backed by a touch of roast. It is only good for about 2 or 3 infusions, but probably would go further with a different leaf to water ratio.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Roasted

Preparation
2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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68

Decent tea. Not a big fan of teas that already include sweetener, because I prefer my teas (especially herbal) unsweetened. It makes a fine iced tea though.

I usually don’t like rooibos, but I find blends that include some sort of mint to make it more palatable in my opinion. But I’ve never found a mint tea I didn’t like!

Flavors: Mint, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Whiteantlers was dear enough to lend me some. The first steep is the best, though this is not the greatest flavored milk oolong. It is a touch less veggy than a Quangzhou, but still super veggy. The later cups were not as good, but I surprisingly appreciated it even against a great white tea cake. Otherwise, it is pretty typical for a flavored milk oolong, just a tad bit weak and too vegetal for my tastes, but fruity and creamy enough to please me.

Evol Ving Ness

Have you found a replacement for the Mandala Milk Oolong yet? What is your second favourite? Do you have a top three?

AllanK

Supposedly Mandala will return but it has been a long while now. I had figured if they didn’t return for Black Friday they would return for Christmas. Someone on Steepster must have more information on them than I do.

Daylon R Thomas

What-Cha’s Taiwan Milk Oolong has been the substitute for now, but I haven’t liked it as much as I did the first time I sampled it. It’s still one of my personal favorite milk oolongs. The Chinese one What-Cha offers is also not bad-it’s more of a soft mango candy whereas What-Cha’s Taiwan milk oolong is liquid coconut oil. The sample I got was a winter crop and flavored, but the spring crop is still pretty solid. It is more nutty than Mandala’s, but in the same buttery parameters though more coconut sweet than toffee sweet.

There was also one that me and a few other people found that was almost the same from Dragon Tea House on Ali-Express. I swore it was the same damn tea. I haven’t bought from Mandala as a result.

But my preferences for the flavored milk oolongs have honestly changed. I’ve basically wanted something like the Lishan What-Cha currently offers, or an Alishan I had one time. They were the perfect balance between honeyed, floral, creamy and green. Shan Lin Xi’s used to do that for me, but this year has not been as impressive as last year.

The flavored oolong I really want back is A Quarter to Tea’s Apple Panna Cotta Jade Oolong, but that was a limited edition. Lauren does however have a few more blends using the same approximate base, with one of them being On Wisconsin. It is a honey flavored cheesecake oolong. I’m going to ask Lauren how it compares because I honestly can’t decide if I want to purchase it, get a bunch of oolongs from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company, get another huge order from What-Cha, get a few oolongs like the Dayuling from Berylleb, or get more of the Dong Ding from Golden Tea Leaf. The Dong Ding from Golden Tea Leaf basically tastes like sweet cream which is impressive. A part of me also wants the Old Style Dong Ding from beautiful Taiwan because its cheaper, and Andrew did say that that particular variety has been good this year.

Do you want my top 3 teas overall now or milk oolongs?

Daylon R Thomas

I also have four notes I need to write

Evol Ving Ness

Both, please. And yes! QTT’s Apple Panna Cotta Jade Oolong is seriously divine. I have been awaiting its return with bated breath.

Thank you for alerting me to Golden Tea Leaf Co. Yet another addition waiting to happen.

Forgive me, it’s late and my eyes and brain are done for the day.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m at the point where top 3 shifts, but I’ll give it my best.

Best Flavored Milk Oolong:
Toss up between the Mandala Milk Oolong (which might be the same as Dragon Teahouses’s Taiwan Milk Oolong) and What-Cha’s Taiwan Milk Oolong
What-Cha’s Chinese Milk Oolong (the name is more specific)

Favorite White Tea:
The Kenya Rhino

Straight Black:
A Black TieGuanYin no idea where from
The Golden Snail I JUST rated from What-Cha

Flavored:
Nostalgia
French Toast Dianhong

Green Oolong:
Depends on the season at this point. You know the quest and existential crisis I’m going through. What-Cha’s Lishan so far matches the best price profile. You brew it between Eastern and Western timing, but it yields multiple cups with strong flavor and aroma.

Daylon R Thomas

I also highly recommend Eco-Cha’s straight Jin Xuan. It is the most floral I’ve encountered. And the rest of their tea is good quality.

Daylon R Thomas

I also will sample some of Quarter to Tea’s new Jade Lineup.

Daylon R Thomas

The Apricot Tart Jade and On Wisconsin specifically

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Daylon, for humouring and informing me. :)

I did try What-Cha’s Taiwanese milk oolong some time ago. Perhaps it was a different batch from the one you got. I didn’t find it all that, but perhaps I need to give it another go. Alistair’s teas are generally quite awesome.

I’ve been a bit more into black teas these days, but I imagine the pendulum will swing yet again to oolongs soon. Especially, I feel a milk oolong phase coming on in the near future.

I did order Nostalgia in my last LP order, but there was a hiccup and it didn’t arrive with the other items. I will try again.

I look forward to hearing your impressions of the new QTT jades. I don’t always agree with your spins on things, but they are always of interest and provide pause for reflection in one way or another.

Another question, do sweet oolongs have same impact as sweet foods on blood sugar and such? Have you done any research on this?

Daylon R Thomas

There have been a few studies suggesting that tea might generally lower bloodsugar, but that’s what I’ve seen so far unless I have a lot of tea on an empty stomach. Same with coffee, but I have to practically be fasting. Most studies that I’ve superficially skimmed link the blood sugar lowering to the caffeine anyway.

Some vendors have described how the roasting processes alters the natural sugar quality in the leaves,but I have yet to find any specifics. I think I’d have to ask one of them myself. Otherwise, the caffeine on an empty stomach is the only real thing that has impacted me.

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, interesting. I was under the impression that studies have been done on green teas mostly and their beneficial impact on health, heart, and such. Regarding sweet oolongs, I suppose some things are better not to know. :)

Interesting question though.

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Loose leaf version and a gift.

Not bad. Not bad at all. Creamy texture, spinach vegetal quality, and honeydew after taste. The honeydew after taste is awesome. Glad to sample. I wonder if this is flavored or unflavored.

Either way, pretty nice-but I’ve had better. If I weren’t obsessing over high mountain oolongs right now, I think that I’d enjoy this tea more. There’s on Shan Lin Xi that I really want, but I have. So. Much. Darn. TEA! I’m so doing a sale soon.

Evol Ving Ness

This one sounds pretty fab.

Daylon R Thomas

Then I might sell you this one along with my Oollo teas. Their Jin Xuan is very similar. These teas are VERY subtle though. Mostly creamy texture and a vegetal taste with tropical hints. I got the Oollo teas for 12.00, 10, and 10 CAD. I will sell them for less, but still so expensive.

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90

Picked this one up on vacation, since there are NO Harry and Davids around where I live (boooooo). It has a wonderful cherry aroma when steeped, like good cherry cobbler. I sweetened it, because it seemed like the right thing to do. It turns out, it definitely was the right thing to do. The black tea lends just enough flavor so as to be identifiable, but otherwise it stays out of the way and lets the cherry shine. This tea is almost juicy. I will enjoy this canister to the last bag!

Flavors: Berry

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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66

This is OK. The black tea is a touch bitter. The spices are mild and there is no noticeable pumpkin flavor.

Flavors: Bitter, Spices

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

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71

I thought I’d reviewed this tea ages ago. Ah well better late than never.

When I make iced tea I tend to do it as a hot brew and then add a bunch of ice and a bit of agave nectar. This method seems to really bring out the basil flavour. It’s more of a tulsi basil than a sweet basil (the kind you use to make pesto) flavour but it definitely dominates each mouthful. Following on the heels of the basil is a mildly sweet strawberry flavour and the grassy green tea base finishes it off. It’s not a bad tea but I wished the strawberry flavour was a bit stronger (Roswell had the opposite problem when it was cold brewed).

Unfortunately the boyfriend turns his nose up at most green teas this tea being no exception – so this isn’t really very good for filling the communal iced tea jug that I have going in the fridge all summer long.

Preparation
Iced

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