I’ve finally gotten a clue. When cold brewing a quart of anything Rooibos, I don’t waste any time with a regular tea sieve. Nope, I pour the whole thing through a paper coffee filter to get all the little bits out. It’s the surest way to avoid them.
This tea came in a sample box from my big sister. It sure has a mouth watering name, doesn’t it? Brandied Apricot Upside Down Cake. MMMMMM. I’m a sucker for a good name and always willing to try a new rooibos blend.
It’s August and there’s nothing like a cold drink on a hot day. I guzzled through half the first batch before remembering that “Oh yeah, I meant to write a review for this one!” It took some time before I was ready to settle down to the business of taking notes.
My first impression was that while I could tell there was something more here than mere rooibos, the apricot and brandy in this were kind of subtle. I’m not much for subtle. I like assertive, in your face flavors that don’t need cream and sugar to “bring them out.” Once in awhile, though, I’m strongly tempted to indulge. In this case, I wanted to sample it hot with cream and sugar and was pretty sure it would be awesome. Unfortunately, I had already finished the quart.
What with the heat and my own distractions, it seemed I really had only barely gotten to sample it, so I made a new batch. (You know a tea is good when it merits further investigation.) Then I got side tracked and it had a good long time to brew in the fridge while I was involved in other pursuits. Fortunately, the nice thing about Rooibos blends is they usually get better the longer they brew. This one continued to mellow, even after I had poured it through a coffee filter and discarded the herbs. The first cup of the second batch I drank cold and without any additions, yet I was already getting a pleasant underlying perfume that I hadn’t noticed before and realized I was starting to really dig this combination. I warmed and added sugar to the second cup, and it was quite good, with the apricot, vanilla, and brandy flavors coming forward a bit more, but that last cup, which I had cold with nothing added was the very best. Either the flavors had peaked or I had learned what to look for and how to appreciate it. It seemed to me very mellow and satisfying, even with nothing added.
In conclusion, this is a good cold brew if given a nice long steeping, but probably would be even better as a hot tea to keep me warm in the wintertime. I could get used to this stuff. Unfortunately, the sample is all used up. Ah well, the joys of life are ever ephemeral. Thank you, Terri Harpwriter, for this lovely sample.