The apple cider tea bags caught my eye in the grocery store last week. Can anything rival a hot cup of apple cider on a crisp fall day?
I love apple cider, but I’m trying to cut back on sugar and calories. Could I find the flavor I crave in an Apple Cider Tea Bag?
I decided to put two different brands to the test:
In the first corner: Bigelow Apple Cider Herbal Tea  weighing in at $2.75/box of 20 apple cider tea bags.
In the opposing corner: Republic of Tea’s Apple Cider Tea  weighing in at a hefty $16.96/tin of 36 apple cider tea bags.
To make the tea, I did what I always do: throw a bag in a mug, fill with hot water and let it steep. The first thing I noticed was the color.
GAK! The Bigelow brews up pink! Decidedly un-apple cider-y in my humble opinion.
Despite my objection to the color, I tried the Bigelow tea first. The Bigelow Apple Cider tea is a delightfully drinkable tea, but it tastes nothing like apple cider. If I just wanted apple tea, I’d drink some of my own Homemade Black Apple Tea. 
I have a clear focus. My quest is for an apple cider no-calorie no-sugar tea.
I moved on to the Republic of Tea. The smell was spot-on apple cider. But the taste? Bleech.Watered down apple cider. Not enough flavor!
Not to be discouraged, I then read the instructions on the Republic of Tea tin. PEEPS! I can not remember the last time I actually read the instructions on how to brew tea. Seriously!
The Republic of Tea Apple Cider Tea’s recommended brew time is 5 – 7 minutes. I never brew my teas for 5 – 7 minutes. I never measure out the water! Apparently I’m too impatient.
I measured out the 6 ounces of water. I waited the entire 7 minutes. I even set the kitchen timer. However, the results are well worth the wait.
The Republic of Tea Apple Cider Tea is expensive. It’s high maintenance. 7 minutes to brew tea is an eternity. But it really does taste like apple cider. Mind you, it is not sweet like apple cider, but it definitely has all the flavor of apple cider.
THE WINNER: The Republic of Tea Apple Cider!
Since it takes so long to brew, I have been throwing a tea bag into a travel mug, top it with the 6 ounces of measured water and just leave the bag in there and haul the cup along with me on my errands. Fall in a mug!
Do you have a favorite seasonal tea you’d recommend?