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

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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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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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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