Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Haul: Republic of Tea, February 2016

I have done tea hauls from Republic of Tea for a couple of years, usually getting two or more tins, mostly of tea bags, not loose tea.  I did one a couple of years ago when I tried out a few that I know buy refills from, and others I have not repurchased.  Mostly I have a good idea of what I like and look carefully at reviews before deciding.  This time I went for three tins of tea I had not tried before: the classic Vanilla Almond black tea, which is a best-seller (in a pack of 50), the Orange Ginger Mint herb tea (pack of 36), and the Ginger Peach red tea (the black version of this is a best-seller, in a pack of 36).

I received the package earlier than expected, as it was supposed to take at least a week according to the shipping information.  I didn’t choose the expedient shipping, but the one after that.  The order was received on Monday and arrived on Friday.  I am used to Zappos and Amazon, so this isn’t super speedy by my standards, but it’s tea, not a pair of shoes, and I have enough other teas to hold me over anyway while waiting.

The package came with two extras this time: a Raspberry Rose Hibiscus tea sample and a Get Lost Herbal tea sample.

I tried one of the teas yesterday and two today, the Orange Ginger Mint last night and the other two this morning and this afternoon.  I found the one I was most nervous about based on a smattering of reviews, the Orange Ginger Mint, to be my favorite.  I had seen reviews stating the customers tasted more of an anise-licorice flavor that was stronger than the other flavors.  I don’t personally like licorice much, but decided to try it anyway because the other reviews were so high and I needed another nighttime tea.  I admit to the anise flavor definitely being a player, and not so much the ginger and orange.  I still really enjoyed the tea, and would re-purchase.  I thought the combination was just what I need at night when I crave sweets.  Keep in mind I almost never put honey or sugar or any sweetener in my tea, and I found it naturally sweet because of the anise and mint.  I think it should be renamed Anise Mint tea, but would still give it five stars.  Word of warning: DO NOT keep the tea bag in too long (more than five or so minutes) or it will really taste overwhelmingly of anise!  A little heat and sweetness is fine, but only in small doses.

This morning I opened the tea I most wanted to replace the Christmassy chai teas I had been having so long in the mornings, the Vanilla Almond black.  I love the scent of almond, and amaretto is one of my favorite flavors for things like coffee.  I was a little overwhelmed by the smell though.  This tea also had a strange drying sensation in my mouth, which I account for the almond pieces in the teabag itself.  Unfortunately, this tea smelled weird to me, and I love most things that are almond-flavored (I love amaretto).  I will continue to use this tea, but I probably will not repurchase like I do some of the other best-sellers.  I give this tea three and a half stars.  It's better with a splash of milk, and I don't keep the teabag in too long.

The last tea I have having at four in the afternoon as I write this, and it is the red version of the best-seller Ginger Peach.  I have tried the original black version in a sample, and would buy it, but wanted to try another red (or rooibos) tea, as I am obsessed with Republic of Tea’s Cape of Good Hope Vanilla, another red tea.  I wanted another red tea because it is caffeine free, and great anytime of the day.  The smell is almost more lemony than peachy, but that may be the ginger mixing with the peach.  On a second try, I think it tastes a teeny bit like lemon cleansing solution, which I can only attribute to the strong peach flavor being too overwhelming to the rooibos compared to the original black.  This might have been that I had a cold at the time, and since I think it is much better.  I would give this tea four stars, and again, probably wouldn't repurchase, in favor of the original black version of this tea, which is slightly better in my opinion.

So, I unfortunately am not ecstatic about the majority of the teas from my haul, which I have to say, usually does not happen.  I love many of Republic's teas, and have repurchased many of them in the past.  I think because I drink so much tea, I have higher standards than general, and want good money worth it in the teas I drink.
Has anyone else tried Republic of Tea’s products?  I have plenty of others I have tried, with my all-time favorites being the Blackberry Sage, Comfort and Joy, and Pumpkin Spice.  Let me know what yours are, or if there are other varieties you think I should try out!

(Note: I bought these products myself and am not being sponsored.)

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