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


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!

Irish Breakfast Tea from Epi Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Epi Tea

Tea Description:

Epi Tea’s Irish Breakfast is a great morning brew with a deep malty flavor and a smooth finish.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve been reading about Epi Tea all over Steepster, but this is the first chance that I’ve had to actually try one of their teas.  Epi Tea have been actively promoting their teas offered in biodegradable pyramid sachets.

While I tend to prefer loose leaf, I do occasionally enjoy teas that have been bagged, and I really do like these pyramid sachets that Epi Tea uses for a couple of reasons:  1) they’re biodegradable and I appreciate any company taking steps to protect our planet; and 2) I can see the teas through the silken material that is used in these sachets, and it looks to be very high quality tea – not unlike what I’d use when preparing loose leaf tea.  These pyramid sachets appear to offer offer the quality of loose leaf in a very convenient, biodegradable sachet.

I also like that the size of the pyramid sachet is sufficient to allow the tea to properly expand.  After brewing, the leaves had plumped up, but, there was still a bit of room left in the sachet … telling me that the leaves had plenty of room to do their thing.  That’s important if flavor is important … and flavor is the reason I drink tea!

Which leads me to the real test of these pyramid sachets:  tasting … and this tastes great too.  I love Irish Breakfast tea because it is usually offers a bolder taste than English Breakfast and it is also very invigorating.  And this Irish Breakfast is indeed that.  It is a bit milder than some Irish Breakfast teas I’ve tasted, and along with that milder flavor comes a smoothness that I was not expecting.  Very nice.

But it wouldn’t be an Irish Breakfast (at least, not to me it wouldn’t!) if it didn’t have some of the basic characteristics of an Irish Breakfast tea:  A delicious malty tone.  A sweet, caramel-y undertone.  And this tea brings those qualities to the cup.  It is good and strong, and it tastes really good – and I can feel it start to work on my caffeine needs too.

Yes, I’m addicted to caffeine.  I am sure that comes as no surprise to you.  As a result, in the morning, I usually have a slight headache as a result from caffeine withdrawal.

But this Irish Breakfast has offered me a speedy recovery from my caffeine withdrawal, and I am feeling fit to face the day thanks to this tea.