Yum. Just… yum. I could stop there, but I’m much too verbose. ;-)

As wombatgirl said, the dry rooibos mixture does smell amazing. Sugary, lemony, creamy. Like a bowl full of icing. It’s amazing to me that that smell even exists in a context other than icing and makes me that much more awestruck by the artisanry involved in creating something like this. Also amazing is that this smell comes from something this color since it really seems like it should come from something colored pale yellow. The dry rooibos mixture is a pretty, almost chestnut color as is the liquor. I find the color/flavor thing pretty interesting and sneaky, like the chocolately flavor in red velvet cake.

The taste is similar to the smell, though the lemon isn’t quite as strong to me. The “chiffon” part, the sugar/cream duo, is more pronounced, whereas both were equally present with the lemon in the the aroma triumvirate. I haven’t tasted “plain” rooibos and only one other flavored version so I don’t really know what part of this taste could be attributable to the rooibos itself. But whatever it is, it works.

This is not the substitute I was looking for in my search for the perfect lemon herbal, but it’s enjoyable in its own right. I love it when I’m looking for something and have something particular in mind, and in the process surprise myself by discovering something else that is an unexpected delight. So while this isn’t the perfect lemon, it’s a stand up lemon chiffon. I can see it going into rotation as dessert, for evenings when something fruity and on the lighter side than, oh say, chocolate or caramel, is warranted.

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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