18 Tasting Notes
This was my first experience with rooibus. Having read of its medicinal flavor, I thought coupling it with my absolute most favorite icecream flavors might be a good way to start.
When I opened the package I was thrilled with the dominant and familiar scents of mint and chocolate but a little put off by the unfamiliar aromatic background offered by the rooibus – but I was determined to persist.
I continued by preparing the liquid by following the recommended steeping directions precisely (1-2tsp, 200degF, 3-5 min) using a stainless steel tea infuser with my favorite ceramic mug. Except for the aromatic, the scent was strongly reminiscent of my favorite icecream and I began to sip with some enthusiasm – for a bit.
Although I enjoyed the flavor initially – the mint chocolate was component was perfect – but the aromatic background from the rooibus became tiresome rather quickly – as did the the somewhat chalky mouthfeel.
I guess I will need to experiment a bit with flavors and and steeping conditions. Perhaps in my enthusiasm for the minted chocolate flavor I oversteeped the tea. I guess I will need to get more sample to investigate.
I guess for me, rooibus based beverages may eventually fall into the “aquired taste” category as I definitely had the sense of possibility – and the prospect of a naturally caffeine-free hot night time beverage is still attractive.
When I first opened the bag i was immediately and pleasantly overtaken by the scent of ripe mango.
The fruit appeared to represent the bulk of the dry material. I prepared the tea as per the package instructions using my mug with a stainless steel infuser.
The aroma from the liquor was dominated by the mango. It was so pleasant that felt I compelled to abandon my analyses in favor of uncritical imbibing – but I persisted.
I tasted the medium brownish liquor every 30sec throughout the 4-7min recommended steep time – opting for 6 min. where it seemed to my taste that the maximum fruit flavor without significant tea bitterness was attained (tea was spent at that time).
The mango flavor dominated the flavor profile and persisted well into the aftertaste. I’m beginning to understand the flavors of pomegranite now and I think its tartness modulated the sweetness of the mango without obviously declaring its presence.
The fruit flavors and the tea base were very nicely balanced thereby producing a very pleasant beverage. The aroma of the liquor and its taste seemed tell the same unified story which I enjoyed very much. This is the mango lavored that I expect to restock.
I’ve been looking for a plum flavored tea tasting of ripe, juicy plum for some time now. Unfortunately, my disappointment continues with this sample. The dry tea contained pieces of fruit which purhaps spoke to the slightly fruity scent to the leaves but which neither appeared in the liquor nor persisted in the spent leaves.
After following the steeping recommendations to the letter, I experimented further but was unable to coax any flavor other than that of an ok black tea from leaves. Given that is was a recently received 2oz sample (from Amazon<2weeks) which remained sealed until sampled – I have to conclude that it was inadequately flavored, not inadequately handled by me – so the hunt must continue.
This was a very interesting tea which demanded attention to steeping details to avoid bitterness while retaining the more pleasant and ephemeral fruit flavors and aromas. The dry tea which to me brought memories of sweet hard candies which seemed to be the sum of pomegranate and raspberry scents. After steeping the tea the ephemeral fruit scents had vanished entirely from the mixture of torn/cut tea leaves, stems and pomegranate pieces.
Now, for the important part – the liquor. I steeped the tea at the recommended temperature of 175degF (thermometer) and sampled the liqid in 30sec intervals over the recommended steeping time of 1-3mins. At times greater than 1.5 minutes the tea became too bitter for my taste without any increase in fruit flavor – I also tested the effects of a higher temperature steep at a mere 7deg increase – ie 182degF – where as expected the unacceptable bitterness appear earlier but, also, the delicate and apparently volatile fruit flavors could no longer be appreciated well in either liquid or aroma.
Moral of the story – as others have also noted – this is a very nice delicately flavored green tea where all the flavor and scent components can be appreciated at their best if attention to preparation details are carefully followed. I enoyed both the taste (uniqueness of pomegranate with hint of raspberry) and aromas – and the challenge – of selecting the brewing conditions which were optimal for my preferences.
Worth the effort!
Wow! What a strong coconut flavor and aroma! The dry tea matched its picture well but the coconut aroma was intense. I steeped the tea in my preheated mug as recommended ie 1.25 tsp of tea, with 198degF water, tasting the brew at 3 and 5 minutes. Both were dominated by the coconut’s aroma and flavor
The scent of the liquor spoke pleasantly and intensely of coconut – but little else. The flavor of the supporting tea was scarcely detectable to me. The coconut persisted in the after taste for many minutes after I had completed the cup. I feel inclined to attribute this to the artificial flavor.
If you’re a lover of coconut – like me – you will quickly become enamored of this tea – if not you might want to skip this one as the coconut seems all encompassing!