I’ve said in the past that green rooibos doesn’t really have a reason to exist (meaning that it doesn’t have much flavor and doesn’t help make a tea distinctive). As a base for amazing cotton candy flavor, though, it works.
I only get to visit David’s Tea when I go to New York City, and the last time I was there I didn’t get to go, so this packet of tea is nearly two years old. Rummaging around amid my tea packages, it popped up, and I don’t really want caffeine at 2 in the morning, so I brewed some up. I did a paper-filter mug brew because it’s the only thing that keeps bits of rooibos from showing up in the brewed tea; it’s also convenient.
In the package you can smell the cotton candy flavor. It’s that particular cotton candy flavoring that the cotton candy Lifesavers in the Easter mix had—I used to buy bags of those just for this flavor. Some cotton candy flavored products have it; some don’t. For example: Dippin’ Dots cotton candy flavor yes, Ittibitz cotton candy flavor no. Pearl Ice Cream Parlor in La Crosse, WI yes, Chocolate Shoppe in Madison no. Now that they’ve discontinued that particular Lifesavers mix, it’s not easy to find it. So I was happy to smell this tea in the store and immediately catch the scent of the “good” cotton candy flavor. I don’t smell hazelnut in either the leaf or the brew, and I don’t taste it in the brewed tea, but then, I’ve never paid much attention to artificial hazelnut flavors in coffee or tea; I prefer roasted actual hazelnuts. The cotton candy scent may be covering it up for me.
In the brew, one reviewer is right that this has a thick, slightly oily mouthfeel, I assume from the bits of “brickle” (pink and blue cotton candy bits) that dissolve during brewing. The liquid is darkish brown and opaque, a little odd to see in brewed tea (again I assume from the dissolved candy bits). Neither of these things bother me. But if you expect tea to be clear and clean on the tongue, I could see where these characteristics would bug you.
I avoided adding anything to the cup, though I was tempted to sweeten a bit more—just because partially-sweet things bother me. For some reason I think tea should be not at all sweet, or quite a bit sweet, not in the middle. But after a few minutes I felt like it was plenty sweet for me.
In short: drinkable, might be good iced, might be good with extra sugar, but pretty nice just the way it is. I put this down to the particular cotton candy flavoring used, which is something I was already aware of and have been looking for. If it weren’t for that, I probably would find it pretty boring. (’Cause green rooibos.)
Flavors: Bark, Caramel, Cotton Candy, Wood