I’ve had the black tea version of this and really enjoyed it. But this is the rooibos version. [insert dramatic music here] I’m a little nervous but mostly intrigued because the dry leaf smells awesome. Sort of perfume-y but in a good, vibrant but soft citrus-y way that makes me want to keep sniffing. It’s a little spicy, like a citrus-floral pepper. I can’t stop sniffing this. Every so often I get a hint of warm woody (but not sour) rooibos so I have hopes that this will be another rooibos that my brain allows me to enjoy.
Post-brewing, the citrus smell has turned into almost a feeling – a fresh tingle as I inhale over the cup. There is a little smell of woody rooibos, but not sour and it’s very mild and seems to blend with the spice smell/feel of the tea.
Sipping, this is pretty gentle. I made this a little thin on the leaf by accident so that might be some of it, but I think for the most part, it is just a gentle tea. Soft and relaxing. Citrus-y and light with a clean and woody taste seeming to anchor the light floral citrus. I’m not really tasting much of any spice just floral, almost perfume-y, citrus and light wood. The wood taste is actually quite nice – like smelling a board of pine that’s clean and sanded smooth – but not recently because it isn’t strong at all but maybe a few weeks ago. And since then it has been sitting in a cold shed outside, close to nature but all cleaned up. Or maybe I’m just projecting childhood memories of how my dad’s workshop would smell in winter when it was too cold to be out there even with the kerosene heater on. Like woodwork happened there once and would again. But getting back to the tea…
The flavors overall are very soft but not delicate. And even though it is light and floral and citrus-y, it manages to be a warm, cuddly tea – partially because of how the flavors combine and I think also partially because of the rooibos woody base. I don’t think this tea is for everyone – I imagine quite a few people would feel like they were drinking perfume. But I kind of like it. It’s basically a soft, floral Earl Grey but not the typical Lady Grey take on a floral EG.
My last sip was forgotten in my cup for a bit so it got pretty cool. I think that’s the reason why it was 90% rooibos. So I like this tea better warm when the flavors really show up and the rooibos is in the background, but even that last sip was pretty good. Noticeably rooibos with hints of floral citrus instead of the other way around. I think if the whole cup has tasted that way, it would have been too rooibos-y for me to enjoy but as it was, I quite like it.
::gasp:: Another rooibos I like! This has to be a sign of the Apocalypse.