This is another one that Wombatgirl sent me in my surprise package.
I haven’t had honeybush for YEARS! I can’t remember what it’s supposed to taste like or smell like. I remember that I liked it, though. So now you might be wondering why on earth I’ve been avoiding it for so many years. The thing is, Steepsterites, when I decided that I liked honeybush… that was when I still liked rooibos as well. And today? I really don’t like rooibos. It’s not tea, it’s not interesting and it tastes like wood. So obviously I developed a certain scepticism towards honeybush as well.
This one was a gift though, and I don’t turn down a gifted tea without having tried it first at least once. (Unless it was pure hibiscus or something icky like that) On top of that, this is one that many Steepsterites have raved highly about. I take it a bit like the way to spot an excellent restaurant. 50 million flies can’t be wrong.
Let’s start with the aroma. Erm… It’s odd. Disclaimer, I don’t drink a lot of alcohol and I’ve never in my life had a real pina colada. I have no idea what’s in one or what it’s supposed to taste like, but based on this I’m guessing it’s something involving coconuts and pineapples. So back to the aroma and its oddness, I think it smells like cinnamon and something… wet. I’m not sure what the something is yet, but it’s definitely some wet something. Maybe it’s chewing gum? I’m leaning a little bit in that direction. Every so often I’m getting an alcoholic note as well. It’s not easily discernable and it only really shows up as an association to the champagne sorbet(!!! Apparently the ‘classic’ sorbet) that my father made last weekend when we visited my parents.
That aroma description doesn’t really sound all that flattering, does it? I’m sorry… Yeah, I’m still sceptical too.
…Okay, this is strange. And I don’t think it’s something for me. Where to begin?
First note I noticed was most likely the honeybush. It has the same sort of wooden flavour that I dislike in rooibos, so I wasn’t too pleased with that. It wasn’t as offensively spicy as rooibos though, so of the two I guess I’ll prefer honeybush. But I would prefer real tea.
Second note was a fruity sweetness. A TON of coconut and some sweet sweet pineapple. I would have liked some role-reversal here, to let the pineapple take center stage and the coconut to remain a little more in the background, but again, I don’t know if this way around is actually how a pina colada is supposed to taste. I just happen to like pineapples way better than coconuts.
Third note was alcoholic. Very alcoholic. Now, my alcohol habits are very very simple. I strongly dislike beer (ew) and I don’t care for spirits unless it’s mixed with such a large quantity of soda or similar that I can’t tell it’s there. Wine is pretty much the only sort of alcohol I drink, and even then I can only drink one or two glasses before I start finding it a little unpleasant. I don’t much like alcohol, I don’t much like the way it feels to be drunk, and I don’t like the way it feels when alcohol is swallowed. I work in a pathology lab. Alcohol is a chemical, not a beverage.
What this all comes down to, with the third note and the alcoholic feeling of it, is that it’s not a flavour. It’s just that feeling of heat on the swallow. I don’t like that. Not at all. If it hadn’t been for that particular note, I would have liked this a whole lot better. I understand, however, that since this is supposed to be a cocktail flavoured tea, and not a fruit flavoured one, and seen in that light, the alcohol note is a very nice detail. I personally just happen to not like it.
The fourth and final note is actually one that I hadn’t even found yet when I started writing about the first note, so I’m not sure if I really think it counts as a primary note. It’s related to the second note, however, and it has to do with the pineapple. When you eat pineapples, they come with a feeling of a sort of acidic astringency and the build up of an ever so slightly bittersweet aftertaste at the back of the throat. I’m having that same build up sensation with this one. Especially with the back of the throat sensation.
Apart from these four, I just get something sort of chamomile-ish and cinnamon-ish and that… wet something.
Sorry Frank and Wombatgirl. I can probably finish this cup, but I’m not sure what to do with the rest of the pouch. This blend was SO not made with me in mind. Not even slightly.