Monday, April 22, 2013

The Republic of Tea "Be Active"

I received another package of goodies from The Republic of Tea as part of my participation in their TEAm. I soooo wanted to come up with a recipe, but I ended up sipping my way through all the flavors as plain hot tea. The information that came with the tea mentioned that they'd make great iced teas, too. And I agree.

But the freakish cold weather we've been having made me want warm drinks.

If I was drinking them cold, I can imagine they'd work well as a base for a punch with the addition of some fruit and fruit juices. Or maybe some slushy drinks with lots of ice.

But oh, no. We had a blizzard here. In April.

So I drank hot tea. A lot of it.

Here's the scoop on the most current shipment:

They said, "This month we encourage you to Sip and Get Active with The Republic of Tea’s line of premium Be Active Teas! With a base of organic green rooibos sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, these five herbal blends are designed for people with active lifestyles so that they can steep, ice and enjoy on the go."

I wasn't going anywhere. A tree ate my car.

So I hunkered and huddled and heated my tea.

No, I'm not going to start writing Seussian poetry. Now on to the tea.

I was kind of excited about this batch of tea because I like herbal teas. Which aren't really tea because there's no actual tea leaves in them. But whatever. Language is flexible and herbal teas are yummy. And different. With a lot of variations, because when you're not restricted to brewing tea leaves, you can mix and match a whole lot of things to come up with some fun flavors.

So here we go:

They said: "Get Active Tea (Herb Tea for Endurance) offers smooth and aromatic, flavor notes of vanilla that are accented by the tangy citrus of holy basil and natural orange flavor. This tea helps increase energy, stamina, endurance and promotes resistance to stress while antioxidants help protect from free radicals. Ideal for power walks, golf and light workouts."

I say: Yes to the citrus, but it wasn't like a lemon tea. This also includes sarsaparilla and licorice root so there's a more earthy flavor to it. This was my second-favorite of the bunch. I don't know if it made me more active, because I was mostly trying to stay warm. Remember that blizzard? Yeah, well, my furnace also decided to take a little vacation. I drank a LOT of hot tea.

But I digress.

They said: "Get Limber Tea (Herb Tea for Flexibility) offers bright and fruity notes with a hint of spice, lemongrass, orange peel and pineapple flavors. This tea helps to reduce joint swelling and inflammation, enables mobility and helps the body adapt to physical stresses that can cause pain. Ideal for pilates, tennis, yoga, and plyometrics."

I say: I don't know if I felt more limber, but this was a nice tea with a hint of ginger along with the citrus. The turmeric gave an interesting flavor. That's not something I normally associate with tea, but it worked well. Now that I'm thinking about it, an infusion of this would make an interesting poaching liquid for seafood. Maybe I'll give that a try.

They said: "Get Burning Tea (Herb Tea for Metabolism) offers the tangy sweetness of Sea Buckthorn with the spiciness of zingy chili pepper, cinnamon and ginger. This tea assists in accelerating metabolism, enhances caloric burn rate and fat oxidation and helps strengthen stamina and endurance. Ideal for cardio, boot camps, running, weights and spinning."

I say: This was my favorite and I've used up most of the tin already. It had a nice, spicy flavor, but the chili pepper wasn't a burn-your-mouth sort of thing. If I didn't know it was in there, I might not have been able to detect it. The ginger and cinnamon was nice.

I could see using this one in a hot mulled wine or maybe infusing it into milk that you'd use for cake. (so much for the idea of burning calories...) A mix of this tea and apple juice would be pretty good, too.

They said: "Get Hydrated Tea (Herb Tea for Refreshment) offers citrus notes of fruity hibiscus, black limon (dried lime) and black currant. This tea helps boost levels of rehydration and refreshment and is full of antioxidants and electrolytes. Ideal for hiking, surfing, bikram yoga and running."

I say: I love the flavor of hibiscus, so this was a sure winner. Hibiscus reminds of of raspberries, and I love chilled hibiscus teas. As soon as the weather makes it worthwhile, I'm going to cold brew some of this for sure. Did I feel more hydrated? I don't know. I've been drinking so much tea lately, I don't think I'm in any danger of drying out any time soon.

They said: "Get Restored Tea (Herb Tea for Recovery) offers notes of caramel and coconut sweetened by dates. This tea, abundant in antioxidants, helps recovery by rebalancing acidity, increasing oxygenation and helps protect from toxin absorption. Ideal after any physical activity and/or at the end of the day."

Ah, here comes the coconut. I despise coconut. But you know what? I didn't taste coconut. This one's got carob and chicory and to me it tasted vaguely of chocolate and maybe slightly nutty. It's also got ramon nuts. I have no idea what those are or if I tasted them at all, but maybe that's where the nutty flavor came from.

I normally drink my tea plain - no sweeteners or milk. But I think this one would be a good candidate for adding a bit of milk or cream. Or maybe infusing it into warm milk and then adding some cocoa powder and sugar to make a crazy hot chocolate.

So there we go. Five teas and their tasting notes.

Have you tried any of these? Do you drink tea for flavor, or do you look for teas with health benefits? What's your favorite herbal tea flavor? Tell me, I'm curious, and I'm always looking for different teas to try.

Along with my teas, the folks at The Republic of Tea also sent me a nice sports bottle to carry my chilled tea with me on-the-go. Like, when it gets warm enough for me to want to carry a chilled beverage with me.

Not today.

If I was a good blogger, I could have offered you a code where you could have gotten a free bottle with a purchase, but this post is waaaaayyy too late for that.

I'll get yer code next time, I promise.

This post was sponsored by The Republic of Tea as part of their TEAm program.