Tag Archives: Republic of Tea

Life of a Tea Drinker, Chapter VIX

Chapter, the Ninth

In which the author relishes the change in season and body, the moisture in the air and her constant need for hydration…

It’s the first day of Autumn. What a wonderful season. Jackets, socks, cardigans, tummy panels. OK, that last one is not an annual addition to my Fall fashion. I have to say, the extra layer of support that sweated me over the summer is now a welcome shield between my stretched belly skin and the chill of the morning air.

I walked out the door and down the front steps into a cloud this morning. A soft fog had settled on the city. The early chill was a soothing contrast to my personal space heater strapped to my front. No, I can’t bend in the middle. Yes, my toes are no longer visible from a standing position. (I’m a little bigger than the last photo shared here.) But I know I won’t freeze in the coming months. Thanks, Oliver.

The extra moisture today is only helping my skin. I’ve been trying to moisturize myself into the prevention of stretch marks. So far, so good. I think the power of positive thinking is also on my side. (Hydration applies inside and out. Even though I’m looking forward to a hot cuppa, I can’t get enough water today!)

Autumn is a great time for tea drinkers. We’ve been guzzling iced tea all summer (sorry to offend, Republic of Tea, but sometimes “sip by sip” just doesn’t compare to thirst-quenching “gulp by gulp”). Now we’re ready for our spiced hot tea, our smoky toasted tea, our classic hot black varieties. We dig in the back of the pantry shelf for those beloved flavors that tingled our senses last year. It is the season of tea!

Although I’m at work today, I look forward to a steaming cup of English Breakfast to kick off the new season. Maybe tonight will reveal the first cinnamon-inspired cup of Autumn. So many endless possiblities, so much to celebrate.

Is there any better way to welcome autumn while at work?

Have a favorite Fall tea? Share in the comments!


Leave a comment

Filed under Life of a Tea Drinker

There’s Snow Day Like a Snow Day for Tea

Cardamon Cinnamon
by The Republic of Tea

(Available here, or trudging out in the snow to a store where Republic teas are sold.)

What is it about cinnamon that warms our souls? How can a physical substance transform our inner countenance to one of peaceful reflection and thankfulness. It is truly a spiritual spice.

Maybe the 5 or 6 inches of snow blanketing the world outside my home has brought out the philosopher. Work was canceled. The roads were deemed unsafe to drive on this morning. This Midwest town is closed for the morning. My husband rolls over and goes back to sleep; I creep downstairs to start the kettle boiling. Dreams of cinnamon dancing in my head.

A snow day is really like Christmas in January or February. You stay up a little later than you normally would the night before, having almost convinced yourself that your company would be nuts to make you clean off your car in the morning and brave the hazardous highways. The alarm goes off (and in my case, goes off again and again). You walk to the window and behold the dumpings of last night’s weather phenomenon. And it’s still falling! A pre-recorded message waits for you, reassuring your giddy little heart that you won’t be going out today. You have a snow day.

OK, I guess I feel like a kid again, so the narrative above (which some of you may have skipped over to get to the good stuff) is to prepare you for a steamy, cinnamelicious experience.

The first sip of Cardamon Cinnamon only builds the anticipation for the next sip. The hodgepodge of steeped spices and herbs caresses your tongue and you feel the warmth spread to your fingers and toes. This is especially pleasing on a cold morning. Perfect, even if you don’t have snow on the ground. Most regions are experiencing “unseasonably” cold weather this time of year, or so the meteorologists have been telling us.

Citizens, The Republic of Tea really put together a nice line of loose-leaf herbals, including today’s feature. If you’re going to add pink peppercorns to the mix, it has to be loose-leaf. It’s a list of ingredients more commonly associated with culinary creations than herbal tea. Cinnamon (of course), ginger, carob, cardamom [spelled with an n in the name], chicory, pink peppercorns, star anise, cloves, and cassia oil. What a mouthful, literally.

The spice in this tea is delightful. The peppercorns really give it a kick, but the ginger and cloves tone it down just enough to kill the shock factor. It’s spiceful, not spicy. The canister reads “spicy depth and fresh perspective.” I think they nailed it. You can feel the burning spice in the layers beneath. The aroma of this potpourri is to-die-for. You know cinnamon smells good, but what about peppercorns and carob and star anise (oh my!) all steeping together. It smells like magic.

But, what’s a carob? (It’s always good to know what you’re consuming–and thrilling when you have to look it up to find out!) Carob trees are small evergreens that yield carob pods, which are used as cocoa substitutes. It’s the brown, chopped stuff.  Cardamom is easily identified as the large, green seed pod-looking things. The bright red of the pink peppercorns gives the mix some color pop. It’s overall very pleasing to all the empirical senses.

Have a warm, spicy day!


Filed under Tea Reviews

Harry Says “Merry Christmas”

Harry’s Christmas Tea
by The Republic of Tea, for Harry & David
(Pick it up at a Harry & David store.)

It’s funny to me that some Christmases are so different from others (and for some reason, the word Christmases reminds me of Hippopotamuses—probably too much holiday radio station). What I think of as quintessentially Christmas is different from what Martha Stewart or President Obama or Madonna may consider Christmasy. I know it’s Christmas when I can taste my mom’s cinnamon pull-aparts melt in my mouth, and when my husband brings me hot chocolate while I’m breathing in the aroma of fresh evergreen tree and scotch tape. But for Harry (of Harry & David), it’s butterscotch carmel.

I made my annual pilgrimage to Harry & David while shopping for my grandmother. I like to buy her Harry & David soup mixes for Christmas. They are the perfect gift for my 90-year-old grandmom who will also love the family photos that accompany the food gift. When I saw the familiar Republic of Tea cylindrical canister, my fingers flew to the festive label and I didn’t put it down.

With a rooibos base and carmely overtones, this tea is comforting and delightful. Perfect for curling up next to the Christmas tree. It’s sweet, and I love the idea of pairing rooibos with something creamy, like carmel. Apparently this is the “butterscotch carmel” variety. Vanilla is also at work here, bringing all the flavors together in sweet harmony. With all the hectic aspects of the season, it’s nice to take some time out to enjoy a cup of tea, some red tea with carmel, because it makes you feel…what do you feel? The one thing I don’t understand is why butterscotch carmel? My husband had the same reaction. My conclusion is that Christmases are different. It didn’t occur to me that rooibos and carmel were what expressed Christmas because I express the holiday with cinnamon and chocolate (but not chocolate tea—it’s just a disaster).

Regardless of which flavors help you to celebrate Christmas, Harry’s Christmas Tea will give you a reason to relax and enjoy the holiday.

If you’re interested, read a quick history of Harry & David on their corporate site, and browse their tea collection available for order online, most of them made by Republic of Tea exclusively for Harry & David. They’ve gone way beyond Royal Riviera pears! I think Farmhouse Breakfast Tea will be a future conquest.

Merry Christmas from Tea Notes!

Leave a comment

Filed under Tea Reviews

Baltic Tea

Sea Buckthorn Green Tea
by The Republic of Tea
(Ships quickly from here.)

I’m always amazed by the speed of shipping The Republic of Tea provides for all its orders. It’s a good thing for people like me who get excited about a new tea flavor and can’t wait to taste it. The Republic does not make its citizens wait long. I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than two days for one of their packages. So I guess you’re tired of this shipping introduction and want to know more about this new tea. Alright, read on.

Sea buckthorn is a shrub that produces small, round, orangish yellow berries. The tea canister shows a picture of bright yellow berries, but in all the photos I found of the whole shrub, they appear rather orange. To be fair, we’ll call them orangish yellow here. Regardless of color, this seems to be a remarkable little fruit.

Commonly found along the Northern Atlantic coastline, and apparently in similar climates in Northwestern China, the sea buckthorn shrub thrives near saltwater. This particular tea uses berries harvested in Germany, off the coast of the Baltic Sea. Here the fruit is known for its high quantity of vitamins C and E. Couple that with antioxidant-rich green tea and you’ve got a healthy cup of fresh flavors.

Apple was added as a sweetener, and I think it adds just the right amount of flavor. (Apparently, sea buckthorn is not very tasty by itself and is often paired with apples or grapes.) The slight tartness of the sea buckthorn berries and the pleasant but understated sweetness of the apples allows you to taste the green tea as well. It really is a refreshing cup of tea. It’s not heavy, and won’t give you very much of a pick-me-up, but it’s a nice pairing of flavors for a late morning or early afternoon tea break.

Leave a comment

Filed under Tea Reviews

Daily Greens

Daily Green Tea with Honey and Ginseng
by The Republic of Tea
(Available here.)

We’re all looking for ways to get our daily amounts of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle. Consider boosting your immune system and fighting off germs part of an even healthier lifestyle. Finding a daily green tea to give you antioxidants is a step in the right direction, but what if this tea could also boost your immune system?

A coworker offered me Daily Green Tea with Honey and Ginseng once and I’ve been drinking it ever since. It has wild ingredients, like pollen and lindenflowers, that make it kind of adventurous. For those of you who like trying loose-leaf tea with whole flower heads in it, you know the kind of feeling this conjures up. The touch of honey brings all the ingredients together with a subtle sweetness that masks all the good-for-me components. I usually add just a little bit of sugar to bring out the honey and make it a smidge sweeter.

I bring some of this tea to work with me and drink it at least five mornings a week. Needless to say, I’ve started buying it in bulk. Another great thing about The Republic of Tea: bulk items are listed first under package options, so you don’ t have to search around to find the big quantities you require. Also available: refills for 50 tea bag packages, full leaf, and traveler’s tins of 6 bags.

Some of you may be thinking, Sure, it’s another green tea with supposed immune-boosting capabilities. You’ll just have to try it to believe it. No guarantees from Tea Notes, but you have my hearty endorsement. I’ve given you all the info you need to try it for yourself. What’s holding you back?

A fun discovery when I received my first bulk order: they used the clippings from the tea bags to pack the box. No waste. I like it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Tea Reviews