Downton Abbey® Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea by Republic of Tea

Before I get to my tasting notes I’d just like to mention that Republic of Tea uses eco-friendly packaging to combine the convenience of tea bags with the sustainability of loose leaf tea. The tea comes in a reusable (and surely recyclable) metal tin, prepackaged in super-convenient round tea bags that are:
  • Unbleached
  • Minimalistic (don’t use much material)
  • Biodegradable (well, it’s just a thin piece of paper, and tea leaves are compostable)
  • Chemical-free
  • Glue-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Without extra packaging like staples, strings, or tags

It’s a very clever design and I really appreciate the effort they put into making eco-friendly tea so accessible.

So anyway. I steeped this tea for four minutes. I enjoyed the steeping process as well as the tasting process, because this tea gives off a wonderful aroma as it brews. It’s actually so good that you might end up worrying that the tea won’t live up to its fragrance when you actually taste it. It smells like an excellent dessert, which of course it should since it’s dessert-flavored, and creates the impression that you’re baking something custardy in your kitchen.

After steeping, it’s become a nice medium-dark color; it’s reddish/orange/brown, and the smell has strong notes of vanilla and cream. The first sip definitely has more black tea flavor than you’d expect from the fragrance. There’s lots of pudding flavor too, especially in the aftertaste. A bit sweet on its own (without sugar), and it’s very, very buttery.

With milk, it tastes like a custardy dessert in liquid form– it doesn’t taste eggy, though (which is probably a good thing, because who would want to drink eggy tea? Although eggnog chai is definitely a thing I drink sometimes, but it tastes more of spices than of egg fortunately).

Four minutes is just the right steeping time. If you wanted it more dessert-like, you could add sugar to boost the sweetness. But I’m having it for breakfast, not dessert, so I’m not doing that because it seems plenty sweet enough the way it is. Milk goes very well with this (and adds a slightly sweet dimension while also boosting the creaminess). Especially whole milk. I don’t vouch for creamless milk though. Anyway, the creaminess plays into the pudding illusion, so that’s another positive.

All in all I really enjoyed trying this tea (I loooove having desserty teas for breakfast–it’s great because everyone thinks you’re just having tea rather than dessert!) and I definitely would like to try it again. And I’m very glad to know that if I choose to buy tea from Republic of Tea in future, I’ll be making an Earth-friendly choice!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Republic of Tea
Description

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.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bates’ Brambleberry Black Tea from The Republic of Tea

In addition to being a fandom tea that I’m sure everyone who watches Downton Abbey will love, this tea has a wonderful flavor and is an awesome eco-friendly offering from the Republic of Tea. It comes in a round unbleached tea bag with no strings, staples or tags, and can be composted after you use it. It looks insubstantial enough that you could even throw it in your own non-industrial-strength compost pile (I understand some municipalities have compost pickup along with trash and recycling pickup, but mine is not that lucky so I do my own composting).

It smells excellently of berry, so I greatly enjoyed the fragrance as it steeped. I steeped it about five minutes using boiling water and it turned out reddish-brown with that very pleasing fragrance and a wonderful refreshing berry taste. It does, as advertised, remind me of summer and berry-picking. It’s called “brambleberry” so I would have expected mostly blackberry flavor (because those are the type of berry that people call brambles in England, right?), but there’s definitely a serendipitous raspberry tinge in there as well. The tea information says that it also has strawberry and blueberry flavors, but I found those to be less obvious than the raspberry and blackberry flavors.

considered adding milk but then decided against it. I don’t think this tea is acidic enough to actually curdle the milk (although I could be wrong), but it’s definitely acidic enough to be interesting and I don’t want to dull that edge, which milk is likely to do.

 I only had one teabag in my sample, so I was unable to try it both hot and iced, but I’m convinced that it would be really great iced as well. In fact, icing it would probably bring out the summery berry flavors even more. And cold steeping is another great idea, one I also didn’t try but do encourage others to experiment with.

 

Overall I really enjoyed this tea and wished I had more of it! I’ll definitely consider purchasing it if I ever get around to ordering from The Republic of Tea while they still carry it. (So many tea companies, so little time!)


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:
Where to Buy: Republic of Tea

rtea-logo-hdDescription

This bold yet smooth premium black tea is perfectly coupled with a handful of summer fruit – blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. A touch of sweetness to this cup will bring out the full, ripe flavor. A casual refreshment served hot or over ice with biscuits or sandwiches.

The award-winning TV series, Downton Abbey® has entranced millions of viewers and become a modern media sensation. Every episode is an explosion of drama, relationships and intrigue. Downton Abbey is home to the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. From the pen of Academy Award® winner Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey is the most watched drama ever on PBS!

This tea is an online exclusive

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rington’s Kenyan Gold Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

kenyanRingtonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black,

Where to Buy: Rington’s Tea

Tea Description:

Kenyan Gold is a luxury, top quality tea. Bright, golden with a full, refreshing flavour. From our “Extra Fresh” family of wholesale teas. This includes two cup Kenyan Gold tea bags that are flavour locked for freshness and shipped from the US.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It is always nice to have a steadfast bagged tea to grab quickly as I am trying to join the rat race on time in the morning.  I am NOT naturally a morning person. The irony is that I start my commute at 6am.  Bagged tea is my friend on those mornings when the snooze button was just too tempting…like this morning.  Fortunately, Ringtons Kenyan Gold was there for the rescue!

Kenyan Gold is a lovely amber gold in the cup.  The smell of the liquid is of lightly toasted biscuit and malt, which are my favorite notes in tea…so I was pleased that the smell translated wonderfully into the taste in the cup!

There is a slight astringency that touches the back of the tongue and adds to the “brightness” of this tea, but not so much that it leaves the tongue feeling dry.  This tea accepted a touch of milk graciously and and deliciously as well.  I steeped this for 3 minutes and it was “Goldilocks” strength….not TO strong and not TO weak.  Just right for the tea drinker who likes a cuppa as a boost to their day, but not enough to knock their socks off.  Ringtons Kenyan Gold is a bright and pleasant way to start your day, and I’m glad I did!

Traditional Black Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

traditionalTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

“Our Traditional Tea Blend contains some of the best teas produced from around the world, selected predominantly from our long standing relationships with family businesses in East Africa and India. Our expert tea blenders taste and choose each individual tea that goes into the blend, ensuring you always receive that unique, refreshing and lasting flavour that makes Ringtons Traditional our most popular blend in the US.”

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Since I’ve returned from my trip to the UK, I have been on a bender with Breakfast Blend teas. I am obsessed with them, always choosing them from my tea cabinet over high price single estate teas. They have reminded me of the gorgeous comfort they bring when it is 45 degrees and raining sideways for days on end. I love the kinds of teas that can hold up to that type of weather, like a stout umbrella. Yesterday, I received a sample of a few of Rington’s teas in the mail and couldn’t have been more pleased….so guess what’s in my cup this morning?

Rington’s Traditional English Breakfast is a bagged tea, which as far as convenience goes, can’t be beat. On first sip, the dark amber brown liquid give a lovely mouthful of the flavors that should come with a breakfast blend….the first is a toasty baked grain note from the Kenyan tea, then the round maltiness and a touch of citrus that the Assam brings to the blend. There is a bit of astringency here from the Assam, but nothing that another sip won’t easily fix. If you have a penchant to add a bit of milk to your tea, there is no problem here. This tea’s full bodied flavor profile supports even the milkiest tea drinkers!

This is not a complicated tea, but that is exactly the point. A great breakfast blend from the UK has just a few jobs to do. One is have enough flavor to stand up to breakfast, whether that be a full cooked breakfast of eggs, sausages, baked beans (etc.) or a bowl of oatmeal. The second job is to stoke up that inner sunshine so that the chilly sideways rain and the mood it brings is held at bey. Rington’s Traditional English breakfast does both with aplomb….and of course, I’m going back for a second cup.

Morawaka Ceylon BOPF (Teabags) from KTeas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  KTeas

Product Description:

These teabags contain Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings grade tea from Morawaka Tea Estate’s Low Country Ceylon plantation in Sri Lanka. With the convenience of a teabag, you get the benchmark Ceylon color and flavor in your cup. No stale left-over Dust, here: these teabags were manufactured in February 2011, February & March being the First Flush of the Ceylon tea world, providing the prime quality teas which have been selected to fill these teabags.

Taster’s Review:

This may just be the freshest bagged tea I’ve ever had!  The tea in this teabag was harvested in February of this year and immediately processed into teabag form.  Now, I really don’t know when the tea on the grocery store shelf was harvested and manufactured, but I suspect it was longer than seven short months ago.

And you know what?  The proof of the freshness is in the taste.  I’m blown away at just how good this Ceylon from a teabag tastes.  It is a bold and bright.  It has a good, strong flavor to it … and even some malty undertones.  The best way I can describe the flavor that I’m experiencing right now is that it is a cross between a rich Assam and a brisk Ceylon… falling very close to the middle between the two … veering slightly more toward the Ceylon.  It has that briskness you might expect from a Ceylon, but a rich, malty undertone that is common with Assam tea.

I steeped my first teabag at 3 1/2 minutes, and I found that it was just a little too astringent for my taste.  Still good and certainly very drinkable, but after that cup was gone I decided to brew another bag, this time at just 2 1/2 minutes and found that this was perfect.  A deliciously inviting cuppa!

This makes a great breakfast tea and goes great with milk and honey, if you like to add them to your breakfast tea.  It is also tasty without any addition if you prefer it that way. It is also good iced with lemon or lime.

This is a wonderful alternative to those store-bought teabags.  These teabags provide the convenience of teabags and the freshness of loose leaf.  That’s a win-win in my book!