The Republic of Tea Review

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Written by Cambria Glosz
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Our Rating: A+

High-quality ingredients, strong customer service, and a commitment to transparency and ethical sourcing earned The Republic of Tea an A+ from our review team.

We determined this rating by evaluating the following factors:

  • Quality
    i
    QualityA+
    High-quality and organic ingredients, ample certifications, fair-trade sourcing, and unique formulations led to this A+ rating.
A+
  • Transparency
    i
    TransparencyA
    The Republic of Tea is an open book with easily accessible information about product details, sourcing, and manufacturing.
A
  • Website Experience
    i
    Website ExperienceA
    The Republic of Tea scored high on website experience for their abundance of educational resources and product navigation choices.
A
  • Customer Service
    i
    Customer ServiceA
    The Republic of Tea’s ​​customer service team was quick and helpful via email and phone, and their money-back guarantee is greatly appreciated.
A
  • Value
    i
    ValueA+
    Despite their high-quality, organic, and fair-trade ingredients, The Republic of Tea’s products are very reasonably priced compared to other brands.
A+
  • Brand Value
    i
    Brand ValueA+
    With a focus on philanthropy, sustainability, and innovation, The Republic of Tea earns an A+ for brand value.
A+
Our Editorial Policy

Welcome to our The Republic of Tea review!

With a 30-plus-year history of scouring the globe for the best tea farms, The Republic of Tea now provides hundreds of premium teas and tea accessories for every taste preference.

From prioritizing fair-trade and organic farms to constantly improving upon sustainability practices and providing stellar customer service, The Republic of Tea is definitely doing things right.

Combining these factors and more, our editorial team awarded The Republic of Tea with an impressive A+ grade overall—let’s see how they did it.

Hydration Blue Berry Lime Single Sips®
Hydration Blue Berry Lime Single Sips®
  • Description

    A base of hibiscus, mixed berries, and baobab combine with butterfly pea flower and spirulina for a beautifully blue-hued and hydrating beverage.

  • Ingredients

    Organic lime juice, organic agave inulin, organic mixed berry flavor, organic baobab, organic blue butterfly pea flower extract, organic hibiscus extract, organic lime flavor, organic blue spirulina extract, Himalayan pink salt, citric acid and organic monk fruit.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • High-quality, ethically sourced teas
  • Transparency on sourcing and testing
  • Rapid and thorough responses from customer service
  • Commitment to philanthropy and sustainability
  • Cons
  • $59 for free shipping is a bit steep considering the tea prices
  • Would like to see more details about their founders and origin story

Over 30 Years of Mastering Mindfulness, One Sip at a Time

In 1992 in California, Mel and Patricia Ziegler—who previously founded Banana Republic (yep, they’re a fan of republics)—and Bill Rosenzweig introduced The Republic of Tea, offering almost two dozen premium teas at a time when bland bags of tea from who-knows-where were the norm. 

The founding trio published a book about their new tea revolution, which was read by Ron Rubin, an entrepreneur in the premium wine and tea business, who bought the company just 18 months after its founding. 

Although Rubin is still the Minister of Tea, he welcomed his son Todd Rubin as the new Minister of Evolution (AKA President) in 2015.

Todd Rubin, Minister of Evolution at The Republic of Tea

As you can tell, you won’t find any boring job titles at this company, as the employees are referred to as Ministers, the customers as Citizens, the sales representatives as Ambassadors, and specialty retailers as Embassies.

For example, our team spoke with Kristina Tucker, the Minister of Commerce and Enlightenment—an amazing job title if we’ve ever heard one. 

Ministers, Ambassadors, Citizens, and Embassies

As you can imagine, The Republic of Tea has amassed quite a catalog in their 30-year run, constantly coming out with new flavors, types, and formulations. 

But they’re not only about cranking out new teas—they are a socially and environmentally responsible business that truly cares about the regions and farmers where the teas are sourced from. 

Since the early 90s, The Republic of Tea has mastered the craft of premium teas and tea culture itself, including what they refer to as the Tea Mind®—”the perfection, the harmony, the natural serenity, and the true aesthetic in every moment in every natural thing. Alert, yet calm.”

Another way they embody this lifestyle is with their slogan, “Sip By Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp.”

[The Republic of Tea] is about enriching our citizens’ lives, and it all comes down to the ‘sip by sip rather than gulp by gulp’ lifestyle.

Kristina Tucker, Minister of Commerce and Enlightenment

As Kristina told us, this motto reminds us to slow down, share, and use the tea experience and ritual to be present and mindful. 

In this fast-paced world, we couldn’t agree more with this sentiment.

Our The Republic of Tea Review

With their high-quality ingredients, transparency with sourcing, prompt customer service, and reasonable prices, The Republic of Tea received a rare overall A+ rating from our editorial team.

Here are the six categories we base this on, with The Republic of Tea’s grades included:

  • Quality (A+)
  • Transparency (A)
  • Website Experience (A)
  • Customer Service (A)
  • Value (A+)
  • Brand Value (A+)

It’s worth noting that our review team doesn’t give out A+ grades lightly—here’s how The Republic of Tea did it.

Quality

Summary:

Grade: A+

High-quality and organic ingredients, ample certifications, fair-trade sourcing, and unique formulations led to this A+ rating.

From sourcing and quality of ingredients to certifications and tea formulations, quality is not something that The Republic of Tea skimps on. 

The teas are sourced from premier tea gardens all over the world, ranging from Japanese matcha to jasmine pearls from the highlands of China’s Fujian Province to oolong tea from the Wuyi Mountains. 

Let’s take a quick deep dive into those Jasmine Pearls, a full-leaf loose green tea. 

This highly prized tea comes from Fuding, a city in China’s Fujian Province that is surrounded by highlands and microclimates ideal for growing concentrated green tea leaves. 

The Republic of Tea makes their Jasmine Pearls tea by harvesting young green tea leaves only in early springtime, selecting the best “tippy leaf and bud sets,” which get hand-rolled and dried into that unique pearl shape. 

From there, the pearls are painstakingly scented with fresh jasmine blossoms to impart the perfect floral flavor. 

Although we won’t go through every one of their 350-plus offerings, The Republic of Tea uses similar methodical sourcing techniques and high-quality, minimal ingredients in their tea formulations. 

For example, one of their best sellers, the Theo & Thea™ Caramel Coconut, contains organic Nicaraguan medium roast cacao, organic Keemun black tea, organic natural flavors, organic coconut, organic green tea extract (L-theanine), and organic monk fruit. 

The ingredients used are not only good for us, but they also don’t harm the planet or the people producing them—or the elephants, as we’ll see with their Elephant Friendly Certification. 

Although not 100% of their teas have all of these certifications, you can find the following on many of their products:

  • USDA Organic
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Fair-Trade Certified
  • Demeter USA—a nonprofit that supports biodynamic practices and principles and certifies all biodynamic farms and products in the marketplace. 
  • Kosher Certified
  • Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)
  • Certified Elephant Friendly™—The teas are sourced from tea gardens committed to the protection of Asian elephants and their habitats.

Notably, The Republic of Tea was the first tea company to receive USDA Organic and gluten-free certifications. 

The packaging and labeling are also high-quality, with 100% recyclable packing material and airtight cylindrical steel tea tins for their tea bags—and the unbleached tea bags do not contain any excess wrapping, strings, tags, or staples. 

The Republic of Tea also offers glass-bottled iced teas, BPA-free plastic bottled teas, and commercially compostable Nespresso-compatible pods. 

Plus, the labeling is helpful and informative, detailing the benefits of the tea and instructions on how best to use it.

The Republic of Tea Product Catalog

While we certainly can’t go through all of their products—we’d be here all day—here is a select sample of what you can find at The Republic of Tea. 

Green Tea

Spring Cherry Green Tea
Spring Cherry Green Tea
  • Description

    A combination of Japanese sencha green tea leaves, an essence of cherries, peony flowers, and rare white tea buds called white paklum make for a sweet and floral tea.

  • Ingredients

    Fine sencha tea leaves, natural flavors, peony flowers, and paklum flowers.

Black Tea

Theo & Thea Mint Chip Creme
Theo & Thea Mint Chip Creme
  • Description

    The Theo and Thea line delivers theobromine from cacao with L-theanine from tea leaves, with this flavor marrying the rich and complex notes of cacao and black tea.

  • Ingredients

    Organic Nicaraguan medium roast cacao, organic natural flavors, organic Keemun black tea, organic peppermint, organic green tea extract (L-theanine) and organic monk fruit

Iced Tea

Blueberry Hibiscus Iced Tea
Blueberry Hibiscus Iced Tea
  • Description

    Each large tea bag makes a quart of lightly sweetened, ruby-hued hibiscus tea combined with blueberry flavors.

  • Ingredients

    Organic hibiscus, natural blueberry flavor with other natural flavors and organic monk fruit

This is just a small sample of what they carry, but it’s likely that The Republic of Tea has any flavor or type of tea you have in mind (like an entire Bridgerton or Downton Abbey-themed tea line?—yep, they’ve got ‘em both.) 

And don’t miss out on their sipware, gifts, and tea accessories—we especially like the Blue Floral Cast Iron Teapot and the Matcha Starter Set.

Transparency

Summary:

Grade: A

The Republic of Tea is an open book with easily accessible information about product details, sourcing, and manufacturing.

Transparency is essential for building customer loyalty, which includes details about product sourcing and testing, supply chains and manufacturing processes, and even mundane things like shipping and return policies.  

Fortunately, The Republic of Tea is not hiding anything—they are transparent with where the teas come from, where they’re produced, and how they ensure their safety.

Whereas many popular and inexpensive tea brands contain ​​heavy metals or pesticides, The Republic of Tea undergoes rigorous testing at both the tea garden site and the packing facility to ensure that their products are safe.

Although their products are sourced from all over the globe, the manufacturing processes are more straightforward, with all teas being blended and packed in southern Illinois. 

The only area we wished we had more of was the “About Us” section—we love to see details about a brand’s founders, its origin story, or a “who’s who” at the company.

Lastly, the shipping and return policies can easily be found at the bottom of the site. 

Website Experience

Summary:

Grade: A

The Republic of Tea scored high on website experience for their abundance of educational resources and product navigation choices

The Republic of Tea’s homepage is clean, informative, and easy to navigate—we especially like that you can search by package type (like tea bags versus loose leaf) and tea type.

The Republic of Tea website

Another helpful part of the e-commerce experience is that you can purchase single tins, bulk tea bags, or tea bag refills—a welcomed eco-friendly option.

The Republic of Tea's Organic Mint Fields Tea Bags

These factors, combined with the abundance of blog articles, resources, and educational materials—ranging from the Tea Library to afternoon tea etiquette to tea-based recipes—led us to award The Republic of Tea with an A for overall website experience.

Customer Service

Summary:

Grade: A

The Republic of Tea’s ​​customer service team was quick and helpful via email and phone, and their money-back guarantee is greatly appreciated.

Responsive and accommodating customer support combined with shipping and return policies make up the core of this category—and The Republic of Tea passed the tests. 

They offer 24/7 phone support and email during business hours, with the former answering immediately and the latter responding within an hour—even after their business hours.

As for shipping and return policies, The Republic of Tea offers free shipping on orders of $59—a little steep, considering most of the teas are about $11—with a $5.99 shipping charge otherwise.

Finally, the return policy is generous, allowing for a money-back satisfaction guarantee if returned within 30 days. 

Overall, The Republic of Tea earns an A in customer service with their generous return policy and rapid responses by email and phone.

Value

Summary:

Grade: A+

Despite their high-quality, organic, and fair-trade ingredients, The Republic of Tea’s products are very reasonably priced compared to other brands.

Assigning value is not always as simple as it sounds—rather than looking at price alone, we also assess ingredient quality relative to the price and how a brand compares to competitors. 

While The Republic of Tea’s products are pricier than a typical grocery store brand, they are on par with other organic brands and affordable. 

Although they have hundreds of teas to choose from, we’ll compare a few standard types: organic green tea, matcha, and organic Earl Grey black tea.

Green Tea Price
The Republic of Tea Organic Green Tea $11 for 50 teabags ($0.22/cup)
Art of Tea Organic Green Tea $45 for 50 teabags ($0.90/cup)
VAHDAM Organic Green Tea $24.99 for 100 teabags ($0.25/cup)
365 by Whole Foods Green Tea $6.33 for 70 teabags ($0.09/cup)
Matcha Price
The Republic of Tea Organic Full-Leaf Matcha $19.00 for 30 servings ($0.63/cup)
Jade Leaf Organic Matcha $19.95 for 30 servings ($0.66/cup)
Earl Grey Black Tea Price
The Republic of Tea Earl Greyer Black Tea $12 for 30 servings ($0.40/cup) 
Numi Organic Aged Earl Grey Tea $33.22 for 100 servings ($0.33/cup)

Overall, The Republic of Tea is either more affordable or comparable to many other organic teas, earning them an A+ for value. 

Brand Value

Summary:

Grade: A+

With a focus on philanthropy, sustainability, and innovation, The Republic of Tea earns an A+ for brand value.

The Republic of Tea earns high marks for brand value, which encompasses factors ranging from innovation and industry disruption to philanthropy and environmental efforts. 

While they are doing many things in these categories, we’ll just highlight a select few. 

The Republic of Tea is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, an alliance of tea-packing companies that promote social responsibility in the world tea trade, ensuring ethical sourcing and respect for the culture of tea-producing cultures. 

They’ve also teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance, sourcing tea, rooibos, and herbs from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ gardens and farms that protect forests, waterways, wildlife habitats, and the rights and welfare of workers, their families, and their communities.

Some of their other partners include, but are not limited to: 

You can read more about their philanthropic initiatives here

The Republic of Tea also treats their Ministers (employees) well.

For example, they offer Trips to Origin, where they visit a tea-growing country, and participate in Make a Difference Day, where they are encouraged to volunteer at and support a non-profit organization of their choosing.

Further on the sustainability front, The Republic of Tea packs their tea in recyclable steel tins, and citizens (AKA customers) are encouraged to purchase refills to reuse the existing tins. 

They are also very innovative, with new tea flavors, blends, and lines constantly emerging, and were the first tea company to introduce 100% white tea and rooibos tea to the American marketplace.

Overall, The Republic of Tea exemplifies stellar brand value, considering everything from their employees and customers to the farmers and environment.

Our Experience

Our team got to sample a couple of The Republic of Tea’s newer offerings, including the Hydration Blue Berry Lime Single Sips® and the Blueberry Hibiscus Iced Tea.

Hydration Blueberry lime and Blueberry Hibiscus

Both products are beautifully blue-hued and offer a refreshing drink for the warmer months. 

We especially liked how the blueberry lime hydration sticks were not overly sweet—the slight bit of monk fruit adds just a subtle sweetness— and the.  flavor was lime-forward, with notes of the mixed berry flavor.

The powder was a bit grainy when stirring with a spoon, but dissolved well in water after using a handheld frother. 

Hydration Blueberry lime
Check out that color!

We also enjoyed the labeling on the blueberry lime hydration sticks, which feature the prominent ingredients and a brief blurb about what each does and its benefits.

Blueberry Hibiscus Iced Tea

The Blueberry Hibiscus Iced Tea was also great, providing a refreshing balance of tart hibiscus and slight sweetness from the blueberry flavor and monk fruit.

FAQs About The Republic of Tea

Is The Republic of Tea Good Quality?

Yes, The Republic of Tea is high-quality tea sourced from premier tea gardens worldwide.

Where Is The Republic of Tea Made?

While The Republic of Tea sources their teas from all over the world, they are blended and packed in Southern Illinois. 

Who Owns The Republic of Tea?

Ron Rubin owns The Republic of Tea, and his son, Todd Rubin, is the president.

Final Thoughts

With their meticulously sourced teas and ingredients, helpful and rapid customer support services, and contributions to social and environmental causes, The Republic of Tea earned a rare and impressive A+ rating from our team. 

Not only are these teas affordable and high-quality, but they are also delicious—a win-win-win. 

As Kristina concluded with us, The Republic of Tea “is about enriching our citizens’ lives, and it all comes down to the ‘sip by sip rather than gulp by gulp’ lifestyle.”



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