Friday, October 3, 2014

Tasting: Republic of Tea

The Republic of Tea is a widely available brand. It's usually the higher-end brand choice sold in many grocery stores. They sell both bagged and loose tea, and I recently had an opportunity to taste three different Republic of Tea offerings. Here's how it went

Let's start with the Breakfast Black HiCaf tea. This bagged black tea has added green tea extract which provides a caffeine jolt. It is actually listed to have more caffeine than a cup of coffee. This worried me, as I'm only on occasional coffee drinker mainly due to the effects of the caffeine. The taste of this tea is similar to a middle of the road breakfast tea with added earthy, roasty note of chicory. The flavor doesn't grab my attention, but the energy jolt certainly does. After trying a mug of this tea, I definitely felt the caffeine. It wasn't the uncomfortable feeling that I get from coffee, but it is definitely a noticeable energy boost with a bit of jitters. This tea is not for those that are sensitive to caffeine. Or for those that drink tea because it produces a milder, gentler form of energy. This is a wake-up tea, no doubt about it. I'd recommend avoiding this tea in the afternoon. This is a tea suitable for coffee drinkers looking to get into tea, or tea drinkers that feel their breakfast teas aren't caffeinated enough.

The second tea I tried is the Jasmine Jazz. This is a light, easy drinking Jasmine tea. The loose tea has a very strong jasmine scent. It's so strong I wondered if there was added 'essence' of Jasmine to the leaves, but only green tea and jasmine blossoms are listed. Those are some potent blossoms! The flavor reminds me a little bit of floral soap. The tea is gentler than the dry leaves threatened to be. It is a smooth brew but a but shallow on jasmine flavor. It's definitely there, but not as rich as I was looking for. The green tea flavor is pleasant and soothing, I like that it's not completely masked by the jasmine. This is a good choice if you are in the grocery store and in need of a jasmine tea.

The final tea is the Republic Chai. I recently had a fabulous taste of chai, so the bar was set very high. This teabag had potential- I sniffed out cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves right away. The brewed tea didn't have a super strong taste, but I did get a hint of those nice warming spices. An extra long steep would probably help bring out the flavors at bit more. The tea would hold up well to milk and sugar, as a masala chai should. A good choice if you are looking for an accessible masala chai.

The Republic of Tea is a good choice when your options are limited. They offer dependable, consistently pleasant teas. I'm happy to have had an opportunity to taste these. They brightened up a dreary, chilling fall day.

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