83

Once again I’ve been completely puzzled the first times I drank this, as it did not taste like what I expected. At the same time, TWG description of the blends can only be considered as simplistic or minimalist.
After a few surprising and almost difficult to drink brew, I realized this blend, though different from my usual rooibos, definitely grew on me. After believing I never would be able to drink it all, I changed my mind and realized it might be easier and easier to drink until it’s finished, as I like each new pot better than the previous, for now.
The rooibos in itself seems really nice, brews a very clear and bright color, quite fragrant.
Let me try to describe the fragrance and flavors, quite tough because I haven’t managed yet to really grasp what could be in. There’s nothing flowery, nor fruity or sweet in this blend, which favors much more vegetal and earth tones. Thinking of the Caribbean, those flavors would remind me of a walk through the jungle forest, definitely out of the seaside and out of blooming gardens.
There’s a clear nutty flavor to it, bringing both mellowness and a tinge of bitterness. The cocoa beans cannot be mistaken for chocolate, it’s clearly the unprocessed, unsweetened slightly bitter flavor that comes through. I still have not managed to be certain whether there is some vanilla inside, bringing additional mellowness to the nuts. Nor am I clear whether there is some coconut; in any case, if there is, it would be fresh and raw coconut, most probably just scooped from the nut, taking only the pieces that were closer to the bark and neither the milk, nor the soft flesh at the center of the nut.
I hope this rambling will make sense.
I may some day post another tasting note not too similar on this one, which still puzzles me…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Hallieod

Your “rambling” was very interesting! Odd about the lack of descriptions (or ingredient list!) from the company.

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Hallieod

Your “rambling” was very interesting! Odd about the lack of descriptions (or ingredient list!) from the company.

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I’ve started drinking much more tea quite recently, almost completely quitting espresso for it!
I’ve been introduced to high quality tea by one of my best friend, MF Marco Polo addict since more than 20 years. I’ve only rarely bought tea-bags since then, preferring the quality-price ratio of loose leaves.
I drink my tea natural, without any milk, sugar or sweetener. I only add honey when a sore-throat is coming along.
I usually either brew a large pot at home or resteep my leaves at the office. I cannot seem to learn to master the use of a gaiwan in an elegant and not clumsy way…
My tea preferences :
- I really like flavored black teas, with a preference for fruity flavors, from a tangy Earl Grey to a real fruit smoothie-like tea. I’m trying some single origin unflavored blacks from time to time but always end up having trouble to finish them. I usually do not really enjoy the strong breakfast teas.
- I do not like chai or teas with strong spice flavors. Strange considering I really like spicy food, but not what I drink.
- I am quite afraid of pu-erh and lapsang souchong, though I probably have never drunk any real good ones and I’m quite sure it can make a huge difference… A few years ago, I had been introduced to scotch whisky and can definitely attest that you cannot say you don’t like whisky, if you’ve only drunk blended stuff and not tasted yet single malts. I hope to get the same happy discovery for those teas.
- I discovered very good oolong, without going through the step of drinking bad-one first, and really enjoy it, especially with a meal. I’ll definitely try some flavored oolongs in a near future.
- I’ve just started discovering white teas, which feels very delicate. The only problem is that those can be awfully expensive…
- I also really like rooibos which I discovered a few years ago while searching for low-theine/caffeine teas that I could drink at night without suffering from insomnia.
- As with green tea, we’ve had a long-standing difficult relationship. I’ve occasionally had some that were real smooth, refreshing and so very many that turned bitter very quickly. And I cannot stand a bitter tea.
- As for jasmine tea, I used to like it but have indeed drunk too much of some bad quality bitter brew, and now I even have problem finishing the high-quality pearls I bought in Beijing.
- Yerba Mate: I’ve had some in one blend and am quite convinced that I would never like that as bitterness is one of its main characteristics. I’ll try to avoid it like the plague.
- Herbal tea: I used to drink more or those before discovering rooibos; finding good ones is unfortunately really difficult – even in organic shops, the herbs sold are far from great.
I loathe artificial flavoring of any kind in any beverage or food.

I’m quite opiniated and try to leave room for further improvement and better discoveries, which explain why I haven’t rated any tea in the 95 and above range.
Teas above 80 are among my favorites
Between 60-80, I could or could not give them a second chance or recognize that they are made with high-quality ingredients though their taste does not please my buds.
Around 50, it starts to be rather bad and a not so pleasant experience to drink.
25 to 40+ cover low quality products that I manage to drink when nothing else is available.
Below that, it’s really vile and basically almost undrinkable IMHO.

Location

Singapore

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