For the first time since Monday, I actually am craving tea. So I’m going to go with it, do a little celebration dance and have a brand new tea. This is one of the free samples I got from Jade Teapot so yay! I’m actually the most hesitant about this one simply because… rooibos. But Samovar has convinced me that rooibos can be done well (thank you, Ocean of Wisdom) so I’m not going to automatically exclude all rooibos as I continue to search for good nighttime decaf tea-alternatives. And this one is blood orange flavored so that’s a point in its favor. I’m a sucker for anything orange and my grocery store has had some really great blood oranges lately so perhaps the stars will align and it will be love, right?
Okay, it’s not quite love but I might be able to develop a bit of a crush if given enough time. My biggest problem is the smell. Maybe one day I’ll get used to the sour wood smell and taste of rooibos. Until then, rooibos just makes me go ick. Fortunately, this rooibos also smells strongly of blood orange. Most of the time the smell of the citrus gives a nice sweet lift to the tail of the rooibos smell but every so often I catch overwhelming whiffs of orange and that’s fun. But the main smell is still rooibos sour wood and that made me a bit hesitant to sip.
But sip I did and it actually tastes a lot less rooibos-y than it smells. The rooibos and the orange tastes blend really well. No wait, let me take that back. The taste of the orange nicely covers the taste of the rooibos. It’s sort of like someone snuck in and spiced my orange with rooibos. The rooibos taste is there but there is no sour wood taste – just a dry, woody taste that I can totally deal with especially since it is wrapped in juicy orange. And I know the ingredient list has hibiscus, but it’s insanely light. Just a wee hint of tart that helps simulate the tart bite of a sweet orange.
So yeah, not sure yet if I’d order this but fortunately the Jade Teapot gives generous samples so I have several more sessions with this beastie to see how we will get along. I do kind of feel a bit like I’m taking bubblegum-flavored medicine though. You know that you are ingesting something icky that you don’t really want, but it’s flavored so there’s a secret part of you (okay, fine, me) that actually likes it. (And considering that rooibos is supposed to be an expectorant, that comparison is pretty accurate right now).
ETA: Second steep @ 8min. More rooibos woodsy but still not sour so bonus. Has a nice fresh-fruit orange aftertaste. I might actually like the subtlety of this steep more. Maybe.