579 Tasting Notes
1 TB for 450mL water, bare.
First note: if you’re new to honeybush, taste the steeped tisane before adding sweetener of any kind. It’s called honeybush for a really good reason.
Honeybush sweetness balanced the lemon grass. I enjoy the additional sweet grassy notes form the lemon grass. And the ginger is soft, not blazin hot as in the Electric Lemon blend — soft, but not subtle.
I sipped this before bed last night and found it soothed a (new!) sore throat. Didn’t kill all the sore throat pain, but definitely eased it. The steam, plus the scents of lemon and ginger, opened up my nose a bit, and my nose wasn’t even stuffy. The taste is sweet and welcoming. Jusy might have me a new go-to tisane while I wait (and wait, and wait) for the return of Super Chocolate.
1 TB for 450mL water, bare.
Dang! I really wanted to like this more than I do. I hang in limbo right now DavidsTea enters month two (!) of reformulating my beloved Super Chocolate, a green rooibos base with chocolate bits, ciunnamon and a sprinkling of green tea. They suggested I try Spicy Chocolate Rooibos while waiting.
I drink a lot of rooibos throughout the day, as much for my health as for the taste. Colds don’t last nearly as long anymore.
But Spicy Chocolate Rooibos has a red rooibos base. I’ve really come to prefer green rooibos. At least this red rooibos base isn’t minty, but it is woody. Meh. Woody red rooibos with a slick overlay of banana. I saw but did not taste the chocolate bits and peppercorns.
I’ll drink it, but not necause I enjoy it. A real disappointment.
1 pyramid sachet to 250mL water.
Competent blends, but nothing special. The Organge Spice cloys. All need an exceptionally long steep to bring out any flavour. Really, really, overpackaged; each pytamid is wrapped in cardboard (like Tea Forte) and then slotted in its own plastic compartment. Saving the cardboard (!) pyramid sleeves for my daughter to organize Legos in. Makes a pretty-looking gift, but there are better rooiboses and rooibos blends out there, with far less packaging.
1 full-leaf pouch for 400mL water, bare.
Okay, here’s a new low for MBH the Tea-Fiend. While looking in Winners last night for a can opener — a freakin can opener, people — I bought tea. Fancy schmancy over-packaged tea, left over from the ‘Desperate for a Gift?’ display. I bought a mug I most certainly do NOT need just to get the two pouches of Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce within. (Actually, a covered mug as packaging for teabags is pretty cool. Unlike the insane platic divided tray Tea of Life is using for a collection of rooibos pyramid sachets.) But I digress. The point is, I bought a mug just to get the tea. Cause Mighty Leaf isn’t available by retail here in NL.
Opening the foil packet, I could swear heat escapes. Or am I running a fever? (My household is rotten with a cold virus.) Smells smooth, not all biting harsh like Bigelow’s Constant Comment or Stash’s Orange Spice. Impressive ingredient list.
Oh, my. Gentle orange, gentle tea, but neither one is faint. Oooh, I could really get to like this. I’ve been cionsidering an order from Mighty Leaf on the description of Beatles Blend alone (major Beatles geek here). Creaminess, too — ooh, real vanilla! Not girly-shop-and-perfume vanilla. And jasmine scent. Oh. Excuse me. Orange Dulce and I need to be alone.
2-3 TB for a gourd, 1 packet stevia (equals 2 tsp sugar)
New batch — ai! David, what happened?? This is all bitter and harsh, and even extra stevia ain’t helping. My darling Jumpy Monkey has jumped away? Oooohh, it pains me, but I gotta haul the rating wayyyy down here.
1 heaping TB for 450mL water, 1 packet stevia (equivalent of two tsp sugar)
The sweetener mellows the sharp edge of the cinnamon, which, when you smell the tisane in the packet, is almost aggressive. I keep forgetting how much I like this blend — and how good it makes me feel. Offspring are home today with rotten colds. I haave the same cold, but much milder symptoms. Hmm, could it possibly be all the rooibos I’m drinking these past few days since I heard the first sniffle?
Sweetened, Cinnamon Rooibos Chai develops a creamier mouth-feel and heavier body. I may yet try some soy milk in this one. It warms the body slowly, similarly to a ginger tisane, and just makes me feel GOOD. Healthy good. Fortified good. David’sTea claims this blend — or at least the cinnamon in it — helps concentration and focus. I find that happens, to, but tht might be a placebo effect. Either way, a really good rooibos blend to have on hand when you’re feeling ill or need to fight off a cold. And best of all: the red rooibos is neither woody nor minty. Score!
1 TB for 450mL water, bare.
First, I want to get the word out for The Tea Brewery: independent tea blenders and merchants. And they’re in Nova Scotia, a sister province to my own Newfoundland and Labrador. So yay!
They carry a very full line of teas and tisanes (http://www.teabrewery.com/priceList.pdf), and I really want to try some more.
I received the Decadence White Chocolate Rooibos as a gift. It’s another one I really wanted to like. The red rooibos base is woody and a bit minty, occasional and unpreditcable features of red rooibos that I don’t care for but many others like or love. The white chocolate comes from white chocolate chips, the kind you bake with. They melt evenly with the tea, but, as the tea cools, blobs of fat from the white chocolate chips rise to the surface, like blobs of fat from a bone rise up in a soup stock. Most people will have the hot tisane drunk long before this happens, but it is an unappetizing sight. I would not recommend this tisane be brewed for cold/iced drinking. The white chocolate adds some sweetness to the overall tisane, which cuts and smooths out the woodiness of the rooibos. I couldn’t finish mine, but that’s a matter of taste in the drinker, not necessarily competenence in the tea blender … though I do wonder if baking chips are the way to go.