I'm an avid tea drinker, the type of person who has a pantry stocked with tea...I'm forever on the lookout for new teas to try. I recently purchased a sample pack of Downton Abbey Tea from the Republic of Tea; I enjoyed their Mrs. Patmore's Pudding Tea & Downton Abbey Christmas Tea so much that I purchased these teas both for myself and as gifts. I ended up sending them back. To say the least, the product did NOT match the description.
I was extremely disappointed when I made my first cup of Mrs. Patmore's and found that the tea was nothing like the sample I tried. The tea was weak and bitter tasting, and the lovely caramel flavour present in the sample was missing. The Christmas Tea sent to me was also incredibly disappointing. I don't know who thought up this concoction ("sweet-tart cranberries and ruby red hibiscus flowers shine in this vibrant tea that finishes with an airy touch of forest pine"), but I can assure you that it's horrid. This is not the original medley ("mulling spices - featuring cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and other fragrant herbs") I sampled, which was marvelous.
I ended up returning the crappy tea, and I've decided to avoid doing any future business with the Republic of Tea. The quality of their tea is shockingly bad; you could try a sample, like I did, then purchase the full size only to learn that it's nothing at all like the sample. Another reason to avoid the Republic of Tea is because it apparently censors negative reviews of its products. I wrote a negative review of the new Downton Abbey Christmas Tea but it's nowhere to be found on their website. Instead, a search for Downton Abbey Christmas Tea pulls up 29 reviews, all which refer to the old, no-longer-produced medley. I can't help but feel, in light of these practices, that the Republic of Tea is trying to pull the wool over their customers' eyes.
In sum: this vendor is not only unscrupulous; they appear to have TERRIBLE taste in tea.