drank African Rooibos by Twinings
37 tasting notes

For a “tea” that’s not really a tea at all, it wasn’t half bad. That said, I can’t honestly say that it was half good either :) Kind of unremarkable and not particularly noteworthy. It did have an absolutely beautiful color, but I personally think that’s it’s most endearing characteristic. I tried it first without any sweetener, then added 1 Splenda to a mug and decided one was not enough — so I added a second Splenda, and this made it almost too sweet and syrupy. (It is just a tiny bit sweet even without any sweetener added.) I can definitely taste that earthiness and woodiness that people talk about with Rooibos. Which is not really a surprise, given that it’s made from a bush.

Anyway, once I over-sweetened it, I experimented a bit to see if I could make it more palatable. I added milk to some of it, and found that it was decent with milk but again, not particularly remarkable. Then I added a single Tetley British Blend Decaf teabag to the remaining cup, and found that (for me anyway) that added some true tea flavor to the cup, and gave it a little bit of tannin that I think I had been missing with just the straight Rooibos. So maybe that will be my occasional evening blend — a bag of Rooibos + a bag of Tetley decaf plus one or two Splenda (no milk).

On the other hand, I honestly think if I’m looking to cut down on evening caffeine that I might prefer a Twining’s decaf of some sort, or even a Tetley British Blend Decaf, even though that tea is not especially remarkable, either. But at least the Tetley decaf is actually a tea, as opposed to an “herbal tea” like the Rooibos.

I have had a couple of samples of Rooibos from other sources in the past, and I thought this one was pretty decent. Very surprised by the reviews that some people have written, though, claiming that this tea is “100 points” or “the best bagged tea out there.” Hardly. It’s not really a tea anyway, as I mentioned in the first line of this review, and it just doesn’t stand out as anything all that spectacular. I guess if I had to sum it up in a couple of words, I’d say “serviceable, and caffeine free. But not noteworthy.”

195 °F / 90 °C

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