Saturday, August 30, 2014

On Tea: Republic of Tea's Downton Abbey English Rose Tea

Republic of Tea is a very recognizable brand of “better” teas that are still widely available, even in a lot of grocery chains.  They do both “bag” and “leaf,” traditional teas, green, white, uniquely flavored, herbals, “health” teas… in short, the lot.  Variety, generally, is the spice of life, but I’m always a little wary of a brand with too much variety.  That can lead to spreading too thin, in my opinion. 

Republic of Tea, however, manages it fairly well.  They have such a lot of different teas, it would be almost impossible for me to give a broad overview of their entire line, but the teas I’ve had from them so far have always been excellent.  Enough so that when I see something I’d normally roll my eyes and pass on from other brands, I’m willing to give Republic a go. 

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During the interminable winter this year, I realized just how high my tea intake was getting in a day.  I’d sometimes go up to about 6 cups of black tea.  I started backing down from that when it was giving me jitters that I definitely didn’t need. 

Winter, here in the States anyway, is also when PBS runs new seasons of Downton Abbey.  Let’s just get one thing straight from the go… don’t even try getting a piece of my Sunday night when Downton’s on.  Just don’t!  Sometimes I like to have a bite of dessert or a nightcap while watching.  This winter I happened to find a Republic of Tea/Downton Abbey tie in tea “English Rose Tea” – which, at first, I thought was a little tacky, but the price was good and, as mentioned, I’m willing to give Republic the benefit of the doubt.  Because “English Rose Tea” is decaf, that became my little Sunday night Downton treat.

This is a really lovely tea, no other way to describe it.  Rose tea, itself, tends to underwhelm me a bit, but Republic blends this one with raspberry and hibiscus for a more robust, sweet flavor.  I’ve had a number of teas that use hibiscus (and/or raspberry) that really overpowered my taste buds in a less-than-pleasant way.  This tea could overpower, too, if you don’t watch your brewing temp and time, so be especially mindful of those.  Aesthetically speaking, this tea is practically artful.  The scent is like a potpourri and the color, an almost impossible amethyst pink-purple, is stunning.

Gorgeous amethyst color!
As I mentioned, this tea works nicely for an after dinner sweet or for relaxing in the evening.  It’s also just as nice for an afternoon treat.  Try it iced for an awesome sweet, refreshing drink in the summer that won’t tack on calories.  This is one tea that I would most definitely serve at an at-home afternoon tea party for those who like a lot of sweetness/flavor and/or want to avoid caffeine.  I could see kids (or, ya know, grown-up kids…) “playing tea party” absolutely loving this, too! 

This one might do with a little milk in to tone down the sweetness, though I haven’t tried that myself.  You’ll definitely want to serve it in gran's good china with delicate biscuits, tea sandwiches, nice chocolates… all that too-too divine sort of stuff.

I’m giving it an 8.5 (plus a bonus half-point for its fancy-factor) for a total 9/10.  

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this tea too. I bought it mainly because I'm a DA fan and I get the Republic of Tea catalog, but it's pretty tasty. I enjoy it.