Overall impression: this is tomato juice. Definitely an interesting, one-of-a-kind tea experience.
Rose hips are used for a variety of purposes, one being tea and one being itching powder! I’m not sure if that will psychologically affect my rating or not, but it sure is weird. Hibiscus is a flower.
The dry leaves smell interesting, not really like tea at all. In fact, I wonder what actual tea leaves are in this (it says black herbal tea, but I’m not getting any black tea leaf aroma). The liquor is dark like a black tea though.
Some other Steepster users have described it as similar to pasta sauce, and I can definitely smell the similarity. To me, the brewed tea smells like tomato with a hint of onion.
The blend does have ample servings of rose hips in it. I actually squished them with my tea bag squeezer tongs and this red paste oozed out. That’s a first! It only solidified the pasta sauce comparison in my head, but you have to appreciate Lupicia didn’t skimp on the ingredients.
With the aroma of pasta sauce fresh in my mind, I took my first sip. Wow, I probably shouldn’t be surprised, but this tastes EXACTLY like warm tomato juice! I think I could literally pour this over a plate of pasta and not be disappointed (except perhaps for the watery consistency).
It is quite tart when it first hits your tongue, but that tartness fades once you swallow. This is a very flavorful cup! It’s definitely not something I would want to drink when I feel like tea. To me, I can’t find any real tea in the aroma or flavor at all. Also, I get no hint of flowery hibiscus (unless hibiscus tastes like tomato).
But if you love tomato juice, you’d probably love this tea. I’ve never really been a fan of V8, so I’m gonna’ pass this cup along to my beau. He absolutely loves tomato juice. Sure enough, when I handed it to him he tried it and said, “I really like this! You’re really not gonna’ drink it? ‘Cause I will!”