Rooibos flavor is "off"? Can I be steeping too short?

I have a “orange creamsicle” themed tea from Herbal Teas Plus (a local tea shop in Columbus, OH) which has been giving me some trouble. I am fairly new to rooibos, and each time I make it I feel I’m not getting the “true” roobios taste. I get the water to a rolling boil, and steep at 5 to 6 minutes. I’ve heard that steeping longer will release the rooibos’ true flavor, and antioxidants. But at the same time I’ve heard it makes the tea bitter?

Right now, I am getting a strong “medicinal” flavor. It tastes somewhat like the strong “minty”, almost spearmint, flavor. Kind of tastes like pepto bismol, if you are having a hard time trying to understand what I am trying to describe.

I have Rishi’s Blueberry Rooibos yet to try, and had only had rooibos once. So, I have yet to truly discern what rooibos truly is.

12 Replies
Angrboda said

My advice would be to get an unflavoured rooibos to familiarise yourself with the flavour of it. You’ll never get the ‘true’ flavour of anything when it’s made to taste like something else.


Thanks for the advice! :D

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It tastes the way mulch smells to me.

Angrboda said

For me it’s like chewing the end of a pencil.

lolainred said

yep, wood chip tea.

Cedar with a hint of graphite!

Joking aside, though, that’s a pretty close description!

I’ve never thought of that. haha…

But isn’t it basically the entire redbush? So, technically it CAN be mulch? LOL

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I usually describe it as medicinal, citrusy, woody. Not one of my favorites but can be nice in the summer. Would definitely suggest trying it plain. I find that citrus and tropical flavored blends work best with rooibos.

Any experience with it iced? That sounds nice! I have an argo tea in the fridge right now that its pomegranate and rooibos. Haven’t tried it yet.

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yyz said

Are you getting any of the added flavouring? If not you may have to use more tea. With some of my Rooibos I have to use 1.5 to 2 times what I use of my black teas to actually have the flavouring come true.

I’ll try this! :D I have tasted only a hint of the flavoring, but not much for it to be memorable. I’ve only been using the “suggested amount”.

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