This is one of the boxes of Teapigs from my “Ultimate” collection that I’ve left until last fairly intentionally. Plain rooibos blends aren’t usually my thing – I want to like them, but I can’t get past the taste of rooibos on its own. It’s just too earthy and woodsy and plain odd. On closer inspection, though, this is actually a rooibos/honeybush blend despite its name, so I’m a little more hopeful about it now. Honeybush I can tolerate.
Dry and while brewing, this just smells like rooibos. It’s that typical, almost medicinal scent. Possibly there’s a higher proportion of rooibos than honeybush in here, which would make sense given that this blend is called rooibos, so perhaps I should have expected that. In any case, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to my first sip.
Strangely, though, the predominant taste here is honeybush. Relief is probably the first thing I felt, because now I know I’ll be able to finish the box. I was expecting the harsh edge of rooibos here, for certain, but this tea is remarkably sweet and smooth tasting. It’s almost as if I’d added honey, which I haven’t. After seeing the colour of the liquor, which is a deep, dark red-brown, I was half tempted to add some milk in an effort to make it more palatable. I’m glad I tried it first, though, because it absolutely doesn’t need it. I suppose there’s a lesson here in how not to judge a tea by its cover, as it were. Or by previous experiences with other similar teas, for that matter. It’s not my favourite, and no rooibos/honeybush blend ever will be, but it’s eminently drinkable and, I feel, one of the more pleasant examples of its type. A successful end to this experience, anyway!