Review: Hi-Caf Caramel Black Tea

Hi-Caf Caramel Black Tea

I recently hosted a virtual tea party by inviting a group of Diabetic Foodie readers to help me review a new product from The Republic of Tea. I sent each participant 3 or 4 tea bags and asked them to try the tea and fill out a short survey. They didn’t know the brand, the flavor or whether it contained caffeine or not. I’ll summarize the results below.

First, a little about the tea we all sampled. The Republic of Tea has a new collection of Hi-Caf teas with the tagline “Get a Better Buzz!” Flavors in the line include Toasted Coconut Black, Pom-Berry Black, Breakfast Black and Gingermint Green. We all got to try Caramel Black.

The Republic of Tea defines a “better buzz” to be a state of calm alertness resulting from a high dose of caffeine mixed with some L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea leaves. Several studies have shown that the combination of L-Theanine and caffeine may result in faster reaction time and better numeric memory.

L-Theanine is the primary component in those “stress mints” you may have seen for sale. The receptionist at my doctor’s office swears by those mints. “If I ever get stuck in traffic, I just pop some of those babies and the road rage just melts away,” she said.

Hi-Caf Caramel Black Tea

Survey Says …

I noticed a pronounced caramel aroma when I opened the canister of tea; however, only one of the nine survey respondents correctly identified the flavor as caramel. Two people said it tasted fruity (“berries and pomegranate?”), two said it had hints of vanilla, one said it was definitely anise and another said they thought it was a variation of Earl Grey. I thought it smelled like caramel, but didn’t taste like caramel. Only two people said they liked the flavor of the tea and three said they might purchase it.

The survey asked whether the tasters thought the tea had more or less caffeine than other teas. Only one person thought it had more and two people thought it had less. Everyone else thought it had about the same amount as other teas.

The tea bag is round, stringless and fits nicely in the bottom of a regular-sized mug. Seven respondents liked the size and shape of the bag. One person said because the tea has “no string or tea tag that is less wasteful and better for the environment.”

Four people added some sort of sweetener to their tea and one used a powdered creamer. Regarding taste, one person said the tea was “strong and rather bitter.” Another said it was “a tea you would sip alone mid afternoon…maybe to help curb a sweet craving.” Another person said they didn’t like the tea for drinking, but thought it would be great for baking. I also found it to be strong, but it is a black tea and I’m generally a loose-leaf green tea girl.


If you are a coffee drinker who prefers robust flavor and is trying to make the switch to tea, I think this Hi-Caf Caramel Black tea might be a good choice. If you are a tea drinker and prefer a more delicate flavor, I’m not sure this is the tea for you.

I have provided complete survey results (pdf format) if you’d like to see them. Thanks to everyone who participated in the tea party.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Hi-Caf Caramel Black Tea from The Republic of Tea. All opinions are my own and those of Diabetic Foodie readers.


  1. Bonnie K. says

    I did wonder if it had a little bit of vanilla but have never considered it to be caramel. Thanks for the opportunity to sample the tea.

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