So, add me to the listen of people who didn’t know how dangerous over-steeping hibiscus could be. Because yiiiiiiikes, this tea…
After being introduced to cold steeping by Steepster and successfully attempting it for a few teas with Angusexpired, I thought I’d try this cold steeped. Results: not good. I used two teaspoons, like the instructions say, then I put two icecubes in a mug with the infuser and pouring some fresh water on it. I let it steep for about half an hour. The one good thing I can say about it? The colour was fantastic. It brews a gloriously saturated magenta-pink, and as a pink lover, I was incredibly happy—until I actually tasted it.
It was horrifically tart and bitter, with a strange basic texture that I can only describe as flat. I usually don’t mind hibiscus as long as the tea its in isn’t too tart, but yeesh; if it was really due to the hibiscus being over-steeped, I might withdraw my membership to the hibiscus club.
I decided to not give up, because I love how this tea smells dry (an absolutely amazing, intoxicating orange-y fruit cocktail), but I’m still not a big fan of this tea, even brewed the normal way.
I only used 1 and a quarter teaspoons and let it steep for six minutes, being careful not to let it oversteep. Once it cooled enough for my liking I did enjoy it more, but I’m just not a fan of Pink Flamingo. It just tasted predominantly of hibiscus and nothing else. Right now I’m getting a rather savory flavour, I’m assuming from the beetroot and carrot, but it’s nowhere near as orange-y and fruity as it smells. Maybe some agave or honey would help deal with the tartness, but I can’t see it helping with the other lack of flavour.
What I actually found really fascinating was that the liquor when brewed hot was much, much darker and had more depth than the liquor from the cold-steeping. The magenta had heavier purple tones, and my best guess is that regular brewing and cold steeping activate different ingredients in the tea.
All in all I’m INCREDIBLY disappointed with this tea. I was willing to overlook the use of artificial flavouring, and maybe I’ll give it a higher rating if a sweetener helps… but I’m just not a fan.