Today I’m alternating between soup and tea in order to quiet my cough. But since I really don’t need to OD on caffeine, I thought I’d make the next tea an herbal. Okay, so there is a tiny bit of black tea in this. But based on the leaves, it’s too tiny to really count so I’m thinking I’m okay.
Dry, this smells sweet and woodsy and a little like dried fruit. I can’t figure out exactly what kind of fruit… maybe a fruit roll up? That’s sorta dried fruit, right? Or not. Anyway, brewed, it smells a bit like the apple cider TheraFlu. Yeah, this might not be pretty. Not that I wasn’t worried before. I mean, the description plainly states that it is using hibiscus to enhance the present tartness of rose hip.
Now, I’m not one that follows the school of thought that all hibiscus is evil. I just think that there is a place for it. It’s like the food service at my college – their food was pretty bland but about my junior year, one of the chefs apparently discovered that if they added spice to the food, it wouldn’t be tasteless and bland. Now, that is true, but when everything tastes like red pepper? Not that big of an improvement. Same with hibiscus. In certain situations it can be good and help accentuate the flavors already present. But to depend upon it to provide the sole taste? Not cool. So I’m hoping this really isn’t hibiscus flavored tea.
Huh. This is hard to describe. Okay, first off: the hibiscus. Yes, it is there. But it isn’t overpowering. It adds a lighter (and yes, slightly tart) note on the tail of the tea. It gives me a little bit of the phlegm-y feeling when piping hot that I get from hibiscus flavored things and I could do without that, but again, the hibiscus isn’t the dominant flavor and the phlegm-producing tang calms down a little as it cools a smidge.
Now, on to what I can only assume is rose hip (having never tasted it before). It’s very woodsy and a bit flat. The hibiscus does help fluff it up a little. And it is a bit tart but in a sweeter, darker way from the hibiscus. So in this case, the hibiscus does actually round out the flavor of the rose hip, giving it more depth. That’s good. I could probably do with a little less hibiscus but credit to this tea for having a distinct non-hibiscus taste going on.
So how do the tastes go together? This is going to sound weird, but this tastes like marinara sauce. No, seriously. There’s the darker initial flavor which is kind of like a roasted, slightly spiced, mellower tang and then it lightens to end on a tomato-like brighter tang. That might be the cold talking but seriously, that’s what I get. I even made the husband have some (sharin’ the germs) and he didn’t look at me like I was insane. He even said that he could see that with the tang at the end. So I’m not totally insane.
Now I feel like I need some pasta. I’m drinking tomato sauce. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. I might actually like it but I can’t get over the weirdness factor. Ultimately, while I don’t hate this tea, it confuses me enough that I’m gonna have to go a little towards the ‘meh’ face. Because I’m drinking marinara sauce.