Trick or Treat! I had a sample of this from the Here’s Hoping Teabox, so thank you to tea-sipper for organizing and all teabox participants! I’ve been excited to try this one since I quite like rootbeer blends. I steeped the 3g in 400ml boiling water, steeped for four minutes, and then set that in a mason jar to chill, since I felt a rootbeer tea would be nice as an iced brew. But since I didn’t want to wait to try it (patience, who has that?) I reused the leaves as a second steep, making a 350ml cup steeped for five minutes, hoping there would be enough flavor left to enjoy a cup while my iced tea was getting icy.
The hot tea was still quite nice, even for a second steep (and yes, confession, I rarely do second steeps when I western brew because I usually find they just don’t have the “oomph” I’m looking for). It had a nice root beer flavor, tasting mainly of sarsparilla and sweet vanilla. It was quite naturally sweet, and I didn’t notice any bitterness or astringency from the black tea blend.
The iced tea was equally nice as far as rootbeer flavor, but did seem to have a little more black tea briskness and a slight astringent quality left on my tongue and the roof of my mouth, and I’m not sure why the difference, other than the fact the leaf was more “used” on the hot cup and thus a bit more mellowed out. It wasn’t too abrasive in my iced tea, but it detracted just enough from that syrupy-sweet feel of rootbeer for me that I did something I don’t do by principal with my teas, and added just a teaspoon of liquid sugar, which took that problem right away and really made it hard for me to think I was drinking tea rather than rootbeer that had lost its carbonation. If I had the chance to make this again, knowing what I know now about adding that touch of sweetness to curb the astrigency of the black tea base a bit, I would’ve added a teaspoon of honey while it was still warm before icing it instead, which I think would’ve been even better.
Flavors: Astringent, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Sweet, Vanilla