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Hmm, I wish I’d have known this was a red rooibos before I selected it to bring to work with me today… Both the bag and the brew smell quite strongly of rooibos, pretty medicinal. However, from the brewed tea at least, I am getting quite hefty smells of caramel, like jarred caramel sauce after it’s been warmed. Not so much apple, though, and the chamomile isn’t earning it any points, either. (I’m only a fan of chamomile in certain applications, anyway, because it tends to taste like bland lemonade to me, without any of the citrus-y bite that lemonade should have… if that makes any sense.)

Whoa. In the first few sips, I’m getting nothing BUT apple and chamomile. The caramel didn’t show up until the fifth or sixth sip, and the rooibos has mercifully taken a backseat. The overall effect is not as unpleasant as it might have been, but still not something I’d ever think of and go “yeah, I’m in the mood for THAT.” I’ll probably finish this cup, but I definitely won’t be buying this. Thanks to IrishBreakfastLass for this one, though (I think… I may be remembering incorrectly who sent this to me, and if I got the wrong person, I’m sorry!). Glad I got to try it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite (I get on tea kicks, which are various lengths of time in which I’ll drink one or two teas religiously, and then I’ll switch), but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3

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Louisiana, USA

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