Monday, January 18, 2016
The Republic of Tea, Mrs. Patmore's Pudding Tea
This decadent dessert tea has the homemade flavors of vanilla sponge cake drizzled with rich caramel sauce. The full-bodied base of premium black tea lends itself well to a splash of milk, making it a perfect afternoon tea to partner with puddings, scones and shortbread.
Black tea, sweet blackberry leaves, carob bits, natural caramel and vanilla flavor
First, I have to admit I have never seen a single scene from any Downton Abbey episode. I realize it has a cult like following. I just happen to lean way more sci-fi than Downtown.
Second, I am often hesitant to try Republic of Tea offerings. I really like their tins and per cup they aren't out of line with similar teas. This one retails for $12.99/36 bags or roughly $0.36/per cup. My hesitation centers around the size of the bag and the lack of string.
The bags are unbleached paper and round. They lack a string and tag - to reduce waste I assume. If you leave the bag in the cup, which you really shouldn't do, you won't mind. If you properly remove the bag, you have to fish it out. I'm easily annoyed, yes, but I want a string and tag - or better, give me loose leaf.
I only have one tea bag of this so I cannot confirm the amount of leaf in each bag. I also can't find this information on the Republic of Tea website, Amazon, or anywhere else. I am not going to guess but will say it does not look like enough leaf for a mug.
I did find one mention in my web searching to use a 6 oz cup. Rather than quibble over whether a cup is 6 oz or 8 oz (it doesn't really matter as a proper mug is 12 oz!), I heated the water to boiling and poured 6 oz over the bag. The steep time was 3 minutes.
The dry aroma is similar to the steep aroma. I had trouble deciding what notes I was catching. It reminds me of the kind of teas my wife enjoys. It made me think of Superberry by Townshend or a brambleberry tea she liked.
I read the company description and my reaction isn't even close to what they stated. I'm a fat boy, I know what sponge cake and caramel sauce taste like. I am not fooled.
I looked at the ingredient list and would have never guessed blackberry, caramel, and vanilla. Although now that I know, I can catch glimpses of each one. While the blackberry is the strongest, it is the vanilla that I can most recognize. I can't taste the black tea at all.
I added Splenda to see if it separated the flavors and it really didn't, in fact, the tea is naturally sweet enough the addition was kind of in the way.
I've read many reviews from fans of this tea. I am not joining the club today. I don't hate this by any means. I've previously admitted my bias with the brand, that is not the issue here. I personally am not a fan of teas flavored similar to this one. If the ingredient list sounds lovely to you - then it probably is a lovely tea, in your home (humor intended here).