Comfort and Joy

Tea type
Black Fruit Blend
Apple Pieces, Black Tea, Cinnamon, Cloves, Licorice Root, Natural Flavours
Cinnamon, Spices, Spicy, Cloves, Sweet, Licorice, Apple
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Tea Bag
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by CHAroma
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 g 9 oz / 256 ml

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69 Tasting Notes View all

From The Republic of Tea

The Warmth of the Season.

Cinnamon and cloves are the shining stars of this blend. Wrap your hands around a cup that will surely put you in the mood for celebration. Fine black tea leaves create a substantial base for this spicy infusion, while apples and just a hint of licorice sweeten each sip.

A spicy holiday blend available in natural, round, unbleached tea bags.

About The Republic of Tea View company

The Republic of Tea is a progressive and socially conscious business recognized for being the leading purveyor of more than 200 premium teas and herbs, ready-to-drink iced teas and more. Founded in 1992, The Republic of Tea sparked a tea revolution in America with the purpose of enriching people’s lives through the experience of premium teas and a Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp lifestyle.

69 Tasting Notes

576 tasting notes

Another freebie, hard to complain. But reviewing is another story. This smells so nice as it’s brewing but after one sip, you’ll think, “where did you go so wrong?!” There is a definite dirt taste there – and not in a sexy way, like that Dirt perfume by Demeter. I’m talking old dirt in my tea cup. I am not a happy camper. I’m tempted to dump it out.

I gave into temptation and dumped it out. RoT – apropos. This does taste like rot.


I had an experience like this with a tea I was very excited to try. I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth or the smell out of my travel mug for hours!


Horrors! I immediately cleaned out my cup, but I could still smell the bag in the trashcan. shudder


That dirt perfume is pretty awesome! Sorry to hear your tea was not!


I’ve had this same experience before, at least twice. I didn’t fall for it this year though! I threw the dample straight into the trash when it arrived! (I can’t even give these away they ate so bad.)


*sample (or maybe i coined a new word, “dample” = an unwanted d@mn sample ?)


I’ll know for next time! I love “dample.” :) It’s so true!

Terri HarpLady

That’s a good one, Janefan!


Ugh, I was excited to get my latest RoT sample, but now you’re making me think that maybe I should hold off ;)

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788 tasting notes

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260 tasting notes

Oh, Republic of Tea. Where do I start with you?

As I fished out the [admittedly free] packet enclosed with your catalog, I began to think about your company as a whole. You boast a rather catchy concept in an Old Navy kind of way [coincidentally, they are a sister company of half of RoT’s entrepreneurial past – Banana Republic], thoughtfully designed packaging and imaging, well-written copy, and what I imagine is a pretty powerful marketing team as I’ve seen you prominently displayed in [but not limited to] Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Balducci’s. Indeed, you have cornered the market at Crate and Barrel.

But I most often find myself wishing that your tea stood up to all the hype. I am even in the middle of your book, which while a great deal insightful in its own right and a very interesting read at points, I find mainly overbearing, self-indulgent, and a bit obnoxious. Do you really believe that your tea is the best tea that can be found? That you are traveling to the ends of the earth to bring the most selective quality of leaf to the people of the “Republic”? It’s fascinating, because your levels of confidence are clearly not ultimately displaced, as you all seem to be doing very well for yourselves, but at some point do you not find yourselves pausing to ask, “…Seriously?”

Now that the RoT has begun carrying loose leaf, I suppose it might be worth while to give a tin a try to see how they hold up on that front. But, as I sit here drinking this “sip by sip” as they like to put it, I find myself becoming angry.

This tea is so far past even mediocre, it’s almost insulting. What makes it worse is that a) it smells like a carbon copy of hot apple cider and b) I can see how this might impress a long time drinker of Lipton.

The taste is weak and watery, and I thought it may have been because I only let it sit for three and a half minutes, but given how long others have steeped it that does not seem to be the issue here. The flavors that do emerge are dull and unimpressive. When I think about this tea compared with the also “light” Nishi Sencha that I drank last night, it’s like thinking about the difference between a sloth and a stallion; a Ford Pinto and a Bugatti Veyron; Psyduck and Pikachu. It’s simply not fair to do so.

The tea starts off with a lackluster, bland flavor akin to…argh. I don’t even know. It reminds me of the time when I bit into an Apple Gone Wrong [as I called it] – a fruit that wasn’t bad in that it was mealy and rotten, but truly was an apple that had no apple flavor in it whatsoever. No sweetness, no crispy tartness, nothing. Just watery blahness that was met by the disgusted faces of the people who I made try it. Following that is an unimpressive spice-like flavor and an aftertaste that tastes like some kind of bizarre mix of hot lemon water and chamomile.

And therein lies the reason why it’s proving so difficult for me to get through the RoT book. It would be a quick and easy read if their tea lived up to all the lovely promises portrayed by the eager authors, but when I drink something like this, it makes me wonder. Is this simply an earnest effort made by people whose opinion of tea is truly that far misplaced by my own tastes? Or is it a marketing ploy constructed by a team of people who learned from experience that in the American market sometimes all you need is a cleverly crafted image to sell a shoddy product, therefore resulting in a ridiculously high profit margin?

I can’t even rate this higher than the “devil tea” [Tazo’s Wild Orange] because that at least had flavor. The inaptly named “Comfort and Joy” is just…is just…a flaccid excuse for a tea. The only reason I would recommend to a friend to keep this around would be if they were selling their house during fall or winter and they wanted to have something sitting around to make it smell homey and inviting but they didn’t want to waste good cider. And in all seriousness, that is hardly a reason to buy tea.

Just for the sake of discussion, and for the more practically minded of us out there, let us consider something. Comfort and Joy can be purchased in the amount of 50 tea bags [2.8 oz, says the tin] for $11.50. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, we’ll say that this weight reflects only the tea and not the bags. So, you are essentially paying $4.10/oz [rounding down] of this tea. A brand perhaps considered notoriously expensive in the tea world, Mariage Frères’ Marco Polo can be purchased on average at $20 for a tin, which holds 100 g, or 3.5 ounces. Comparing this in the same manner, you are looking at $5.72/oz. However, let’s assume that you resteep this tea [I have had success with one resteeping], not even all the time, but about half the time that you make it. Already you are down to $4.29/oz [rounding up]. Yunnan Golden Bud is a tea that I typically resteep about three or so times on average when drinking, but even considering it being resteeped only twice, it’s down to $5.88/oz [jumping down to $3.92/oz for three steeps per use]. If I were to buy Comfort and Joy [and I won’t be] it is most definitely not a tea that I would find use in resteeping. Tea bags rarely lend themselves to this kind of use anyhow, as I find most of the flavor is typically extracted during the first steep and besides, it’s a bit psychologically disconcerting to reuse the dried, wrinkly, mushy bag another time. Even my parents, who are avid drinkers of bagged tea, do not reuse their tea bags. The convenience lies in the ease of the use-and-toss.

This is a point I want to make because, while we all hear about how fairly inexpensive tea actually is when you price it per cup, who here actually sits there and makes these calculations when you are buying tea? I certainly don’t. And even then, I very rarely go on tea buying benders where I buy teas from several different companies at the same time.

I believe that most of us subscribe to the idea that we are willing to pay a little bit more for things we like more. Comparing an $11.50 price tag to a $20.00 one or especially a $47.00 can seem like an incredible difference, but when you think about how much you will use these teas realistically [not even comparing opinion of flavor at this point], it truly becomes much less of a price jump. In life, I am one who considers it more cost effective to pay a little bit more in the beginning and get something of quality, than to save money at the point of sale and have to replace it more often later on down the line. This does not mean that the higher price point always belies a proportional difference in quality and that you shouldn’t research things – especially life’s bigger purchases – but all in all I find that the philosophy holds and it has served me well. Granted, there will be some people who enjoy Comfort and Joy, or who will always balk at the prospect of paying an undeniably higher price for something up front. That’s fine, but this point is, certainly, something worth considering.

Lastly, because I couldn’t resist, I decided to document this admittedly contemptuous account with a picture. For your viewing pleasure, please behold Comfort and Joy as compared to Mariage Frère’s Marco Polo and Samovar’s Yunnan Golden Bud. |

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Meghann M

I can agree that they do make some pretty awful black based flavored teas. I still find love in their rooibos and Hibiscus blends, but so many people hate those things in tea. Some of their greens have been impressive (blackberry green) and for the convenience of being able to pick it up at the grocer’s rather than a box of Celestial Seasonings, I do pick it up once in awhile. It is easy to use and convenient for travel when I can’t be bothered to take all my loose leaf stuff with me.


Most thoughtful review of a crappy teabag ever :D
(I have a bag of this waiting to be brewed and reviewed, too.)


Yes, horrid tea. An expensive horrid tea. But I will say, I’ve found 2 RoT bagged not-teas that I like (but then I do expect less of an herbal than I do real teas). That being said, the picture of the RoT sludge is… fairly gross (and makes me want to get a mud mask, actually).


@Meghann M Oh, absolutely. I cannot dispute the convenience of bagged tea. And, likewise, I have had a few that aren’t too bad. It is very possible that I will find a Republic of Tea offering that I enjoy, but their book is so full of it that I have to wonder if they are not, on some level, joking.

@Suzi Why thank you! Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

@Auggy I am sure that you have mentioned to me which teas these are, but I’ll have to go look and give them a go. And for what it’s worth, my mom has had a cup of bagged tea every morning for years and one time I popped one open to see what was inside. Fannings and dust are are what I thought tea looked like until about five or so years ago.


Raw Bush Coconut Plantain (or something like that) and Coconut Cocoa (which is really more of a caramel barley tea for me but whatever) are the two herbals of RoT’s I like so far. In general though, I’ve never been impressed with their bags, mostly because they are so freakin’ light. I think they typically weigh in at <2g. (Let’s just ignore the dorkiness of weighing teabags.) Lupicia’s bags are always over 3g so RoT drastically falls short when Lupicia teabags are around. (And Lupicia bags have actual tea leaves in them. Usually a little more broken up than the full loose stuff but still large enough to be easily identifiable.)

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161 tasting notes

Received a free sample of this in my RoT catalog. I LOVE how this tea smells. It smells like my mom’s Christmas cider. Apple, clove and cinnamon always smell comforting to me, so I guess this tea lives up to at least half of its name.

Unfortunately, the tea’s taste did not match its wonderful smell. The spice is there, it’s just really weak and watered down tasting. I steeped the full amount of time…probably a smidge more, so I think it was at its boldest. Perhaps RoT needs to cram a little more tea into their “environmentally-friendly, round, unbleached tea bag – free of wasteful stings, staples and tags”. Just sayin’…

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

Perhaps if you used two bags? I find that I often have to use two tea bags to get the tea flavor I like.


Perhaps…but this was just a sample, so I only received one bag. Now if I had it as loose leaf, I would use more than suggested. :)


RoT bags always seem really weak to me. I usually have to do 2 bags in a single cup – I’ve never tried to brew a whole pot because I thought it’d take waaaaaay too many bags.


The only ROT I’ve tried is their Get Relaxed! And steeped at 7 min I think it’s perfect. I can even get 3 infusions out of it.


I think its so funny that they boast how environmentally friendly the bag is, but what about the packaging? The packet is massive and oh-so-shiney and plastically feeling that I would think it negates the lack of a string and tag.


@ teafiend – so, so true. maybe cutting out the staple allowed them to spend so much on the packaging?


There is nothing about all of the reviews of this tea that make me want to get and/or try it.


I always do 2 bags per mug and sugar, I wait all year to buy this !!


@ teafiend, I thought the same thing. I understand wanting to protect the tea bag, but why not just wrap that in a small plastic bag and staple that to the catalog instead of wrapping the entire catalog?


@cofftea The Post Office discourages stapling things to catalogs or anything else going through the mail system. It apparently causes problems with their machinery. That’s probably why they wrap the catalog instead.

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464 tasting notes

Thanks, Shelley_Lorraine!

Cloves and Licorice? Yes, please! I love both and would never think of putting them together. The licorice smooths out the cloves and makes the mouthfeel deep and cool. The cinnamon was just right and the apple was light, but natural tasting from what I could tell. I need to get some of this around the holidays. Yum!

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Ha ha I sent this to her:) Its one of my faves:) Gald you enjoyed it!


Lol! Tea has a way of getting around the Steepster community! :-)


it’s awesome the way it all gets shared here. =0)

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392 tasting notes

Had a cup of this while opening presents with my family. It was very fitting. I enjoyed the cup although I enjoyed the sample from last night better. I am leaving for vacation in a few hours and then no more steepster for a week :(. Merry Christmas!!!!

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358 tasting notes

I survived my first week of nursing school. It was actually a lot less stressful than I had been expecting. And my schedule isn’t terribly horrible – class/clinic 4 days a week and then 3 days off. I’m sure I’ll have so much work to do that those days off won’t really be days off, but that’s ok. I’ve been drinking tea non-stop all week, and it’s helped me with my new schedule of waking up at 5 am. I’ve gone through a ton of tea, but that’s ok because now I have an excuse to order more!

I’m trying to get through my box of teabags on the days that I have time to add to my tealog, and this one was on the top of the pile this morning. I was a little sad to see so many negative reviews about this one, but it’s not surprising to me since I didn’t care for TRoT’s Holiday Spiced Plum blend. Maybe their holiday blends just aren’t my thing. This one smells strongly of cinnamon and sweet cloves, and the tea liquor has a nice tart apple aroma. Unfortunately the flavor doesn’t match at all. The flavor is a very bland apple with a spicy cinnamon finish. There is a strong spicy aftertaste, but it is really artificial tasting. Adding a little milk and sugar tones down the spiciness and artificialness from the spices, but it is still a very weak cup.

-Round unbleached teabag.
-Teabag smells strongly of cinnamon and sweet cloves. Tea liquor aroma is of tart and spicy apple cider.
-Tea liquor is a cloudy medium orange brown color.
-Bland apple flavor with a spicy cinnamon finish. Strong aftertaste of artificial spices.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Poor tea. Very weak apple flavored tea with a note of artificial spices.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Holiday blends can be either wonderful or awful. I don’t think there are any in-betweens!


I’m glad your first week at nursing school went well; I find that often the anticipation of the fear is so much worse than the event itself. I hope you made use of your timolino! :)

Josie Jade

Fuzzy_Peachkin, I would agree with that completely!

keychange, I have been using my Timolino every day and it’s been wonderful! I love being able to throw it in my bag and not worry about it leaking everywhere. And, yes the anticipation is always worse. I still have a bit of anxiety, since this first week was almost just too easy, I think next week will knock me over. :)


I can relate to that kind of anxiety for sure. But I promise that once you know what to expect and have been doing it for a while, that anxiety will calm down a lot (at least that’s what I’m telling myself re my new job uggh). Have a great weekend!

Josie Jade

Good luck with your new job, keychange!

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639 tasting notes

In general, I’m not usually a fan of The Republic of Tea. Their tea bags don’t have strings, which I find very annoying and unhelpful, and they usually brew a barely flavored cup of water. So, why did I purchase a tin of 50 tea bags the last time I was in the local market? I don’t know. Something about the graphic on the tin and the name, Comfort and Joy, just called to me.

Well, if I try and compare this tea to any full-leaf, loose variety I have in my cupboard, it’s not going to stand up to the competition. Yet somehow, I find that I’ve been really enjoying this tea for what it is: a simple, easy-to-brew, nothing-to-clean-up-afterwards, perfect-for-the-evenings cup of tea.

Since I have a pair of tea tongs, I’ve gotten over the fact that the bag doesn’t have a string. And really, there’s nothing easier than sticking some water in the microwave and popping a bag of this tea into a mug for 5 minutes. When it’s done, I toss the tea bag and there’s no further clean-up necessary! I always use a dishwasher-safe mug, so there’s really nothing easier when I’m in the mood for a simple cup of tea and don’t feel like going through my normal, more involved brewing process and the clean-up that’s required afterwards.

It is rather lackluster in the flavor department, so I brew one teabag in about 6 ounces of water. This produces an enjoyable cup that usually disappears quickly. The flavor profile is mainly orange peel and cloves with a light, smooth, black tea base and a hint of licorice. I actually quite like it! It’s plain and simple and doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. I can sit back and drink it without feeling like I have to analyze the cup and take notes or otherwise confer a lot of attention on it.

I just sip and relax and concentrate on something else, like a TV show or movie that I’m watching with my husband, as my cat curls up on my lap and purrs contentedly until he drifts off to sleep. Drinkable? Absolutely. Comforting? Yes, indeed. I may not stock it forever, but I am definitely enjoying this tea for the moment.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

when using RoT teas I normally need 2 teabags to get more flavor out of them…


agreed! 2 bags!


Yes, I concur that if you steep 12 ounces, you need 2 bags. Luckily, I have lots of various size mugs at my house. So, I generally steep 1 bag in 6 oz. at home.

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1220 tasting notes

Wow I’m confused…this tea has some serious hate front and center…I found it not bad at all. I thought at first well maybe they’ve changed something because almost all these 1-4 ratings are from years ago.

I got it for free in the catalog like most everyone else.

I steeped it while I made some solid perfume, so it had time to cool off also. The good thing about solid perfume is it’s so quick to finish, so the tea was at the perfect temperature for drinking when I was done.

I’ll honestly say I was expecting to hate it. I don’t care much for RoT unless it’s herbal/rooibos. But I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was going to be weak and bitter because I used a lot of water for their underleafed sachet.

This isn’t strongly spiced, but I don’t think it tastes a thing like apple cider. It was like a cinnamon/lightly spiced black tea with just a hint of sweetness.

I don’t think I’d buy it unless I could get it way cheaper than what RoT sells everything for, but it wasn’t bad especially if you’re in the mood for cinnamon, but not a tea that’s really IN YO FACE cinnamon.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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911 tasting notes

Free tea bag. In the theme of holiday spiced tea, thought I’d give this one a shot. Can I go tea-nerdy for a moment? I was curious as to what size of a cup they set their tea bags up for so I weighted it. 1.8g. Sooooo, we’re talking a 4oz cup?

Anyway, I brewed mine in 6oz. Compared to Holiday Dream, this one smells better. Almost entirely like mulled cider. This could be very good or very bad.

Wait, what? Where’s the taste? I smell cinnamon and cider and the a little TheraFlu (apparently I’ve got TheraFlu on the mind) then I taste…. nothing. Warmth and then maybe a little tiny bit of citrus and then nothing and then an aftertaste of freakin’ Red Hots. Another sip and I get the same thing! It’s like scented water with a drop of Hot Damn. Non-alcoholic Hot Damn.

Really? REALLY?

No. I don’t even think so. Next tea please!

ETA: I gave the husband the option of finishing my cup. Hey, he LIKES TheraFlu so he might like this. But based on the face he made, okay, he DOESN’T like this. There was a comparison to cleaning products mentioned and then he said that the spices smelled nice so maybe it would be better with a little sugar but that’d risk oversweetening and drowning out the spices. He gave it a 2/5 stars saying “I could drink it if I had to”. Ah, a ringing endorsement.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Seems not many people like this one…I will stay away from it then! LOL


Their bags are SO SMALL. Tiny, tiny, tiny! I was shocked when I ripped mine open and it was pretty much the size of a silver dollar.

KEEP MOWING THROUGH THOSE TEAS. And Golden Moon will be yours!


Yep, this is pretty much the same review I gave it. They need to put way more tea in their tea bags. I haven’t been impressed with any of their free catalog samples.


WHOOOOO!!! I have 2 Lupicia bags – they are up next! (Fingers crossed they aren’t nasty because my stomach officially thinks I’m evil for the last two teas I’ve subjected it to – more the ROT than the Holiday Dream).


@Lena, I haven’t tried any of their non-free sample tea bags in years and years. Do they always skimp so badly?


I’ve never bought from them. I was referring to their freebies…but I think they are exactly the same ones they put into the canisters.


Shame on them. And that bag has to be heavier than Lupicia’s bag so it’s probably closer to 1.5g of actual tea. So maybe their teas are good with brewed in very tiny teacups.


Never thought of weighing it!:) Now I need to weigh my Get Relaxed!, the only ROT I currently have. Considering this has licorice, maybe I’m not too disappointed I haven’t got my catalog yet…


RINGING ENDORSEMENT INDEED. This review made me chuckle. 4 oz. cup? Ridiculous. Don’t they know that everything’s bigger in Texas? [I’m sorry I had to say it.]

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