All day, I’ve been thinking about giving this tea another go. So I did. I did a shorter steep time and that really seems to have decreased the rooibos taste, which has given me the chance to check out the berry flavor closer. It doesn’t say this in the tasting notes, but this tastes like it has rose hips in it to me. I say that because Lupicia’s Rose Hip tea reminds me of spaghetti sauce and I’m getting a hint of that here – not full on spaghetti sauce but more like hints of canned tomatoes. (Of course, Lupicia’s Rose Hip tea also had hibiscus in it, so perhaps hibiscus makes me think of spaghetti sauce.) Anyway, when I sip this tea, I get a flash of berry followed by a quick dip into canned tomato and then lifted back up into dark berries again. As it cools, the dip into tomato becomes shallower to where it almost doesn’t happen. The rooibos wood is pretty much totally gone in this shorter steep which I oddly find I miss a bit. (Not much, mind you. It is still rooibos.)
That being said, I think I kind of like this. Even with the shorter steep time, the berry flavor is pretty strong so I do wish that could be mellowed out more, making the first steep more like the second. If a black tea tasted like this, I probably wouldn’t love it, but for a rooibos, this isn’t bad.
PS – I did the second steep at five minutes and it’s really quite lovely. No tomato, just mild and pleasant dark berries and a whiff of the lattice they are growing on.