I bought this tea several months ago from Rishi, but never got around to try it. I’m not the hugest fan of blueberries, but I figured it might be a nice caffeine-free alternative on the days when I’ve had too much to drink. It’s cold and icky here in NYC, so some hot blueberry goodness seemed right up my alley.
Man, when you open this package, the blueberry, it just hits you. A wall. SO aggressive! It smells tart and sweet and full of flavor. Blueberry concentrate. Blueberry incarnate. There are bits and pieces of blueberries mixed in with the rooibos, which is always a nice touch.
So I steeped this one up, and my entire kitchen began to smell aggressively like this tea. Seriously. It still smells. It’s hours later. My parents were freaked out when they came home. “WHAT IS THAT.” “teaplz, what did you do now?” Yeah, made some tea. They thought it smelled like perfume. And you know what, there is this undercut of floral notes. But for the most part, it smells pretty fruity, with a bit of a sour edge.
The color of this tea is pretty intimidating as well. Combine the reddish rooibos brew with the purple contrast of the blueberries and you almost get this bruise-like color in a cup. It also stained around the edge of the ceramic. This is some hardcore stuff, y0. A blueberry chain gang.
So I cuddled up on my sofa to watch some Buffy and Angel this morning, and took the first hesitant sip.
And man, is this TART. And SOUR. And… hibiscus-like. Yes, I am one of those people that can taste hibiscus almost immediately. The flavor profile on the first sip is not unlike Celestial Seasoning’s Lemon Zinger (or any of their Zingers, for that matter). There isn’t much body, and it’s just… BAM. I am here! There’s really not much of a rooibos, woodsy-hippie flavor going on here.
What kept me drinking was the aftertaste. Blueberry. Blueberry muffins! That’s exactly what the aftertaste was. It lingered on the tongue, the same way blueberry bear does (which is delicious, by the way). It was alluring. The faint wisp of what this tea could have been. Rich and succulent with an almost baked-buttery edge.
But again, it was only the aftertaste. And most of drinking tea is about the entire sip, from the moment it hits your tongue, through the body of it, finishing with those final notes. Ultimately, it was most of the sip that doomed this tea for me. I just couldn’t take the sour. The aftertaste pay-out wasn’t good enough. It’s like one of those movies that you watch for two hours and only the last five minutes are worthwhile. You admire what they did with those last few seconds, but you want your money back.
So unsatisfied, I dumped about 1/3 of the cup down the sink. The horrors, I know! Maybe with a shorter steep time, or some sugar, or even some milk, this one will mellow out. But for now, the blueberry dragon has defeated the teaplz.