Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: Rooibos Rocks Sampler Tin

Tea reviews are fun to write, and give me the opportunity to share my tea tasting adventures with you. They can be helpful if you are mulling over what teas to buy, or looking for a particular brand or variety. Keep in mind that taste is subjective, and depending on how you prepare the tea and the water you use, you may have different results. I usually prepare the tea as instructed by the vendor, unless otherwise noted. If at first you're not happy with a tea, try adjusting your water temp, steep time, and amount of leaf. Keep experimenting and tasting!

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I don't particularly care for rooibos. I know countless people that swear by it, but it just doesn't usually grab me. So, when Rooibos Rocks reached out to send a sampler, I was hesitant. But then I decided I've been keeping an open mind lately, and it has led me to try some interesting things. So, I decided to agree to accept the sampler tin. I'm glad I did, as I learned there are a couple of tisanes I didn't know I liked.

First off, rooibos is not tea. It doesn't come from the camellia sinensis plant. Rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) is an evergreen shrub found in the Cederberg region of South Africa. To create the tisane, the needle-shaped leaves are picked and allowed to oxidize. Green rooibos (which is included in this sampler pack) is not allowed to oxidize so the flavor profile is a little different. 

The sampler contains four types of tisanes: natural rooibos, chai rooibos, honey bush, and green rooibos. Here are my thoughts on all four types...

Green Rooibos

Green Rooibos: Even though natural rooibos isn't my favorite thing, I enjoyed the green rooibos. It still has a faint flavor that I associate with rooibos, but it's very mild. It's sweet and a little bit earthy. It also has hints of dried grass. I can definitely see myself reaching for this gentle tea in the evening.

Honey Bush: I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. It has a strong honey note, of course. It's smooth, mild and very sweet, reminding me of the honey notes I get when I sip chamomile, if that makes any sense (but not necessarily the floral notes). I don't care for chamomile, but I liked honey bush quite a bit! It would be a nice way to unwind after a stressful day.

Natural Rooibos: Since I'm not the biggest fan of rooibos, it makes sense that I'm not in love with this tisane. The strong after taste just isn't for me. It reminds me of the way I feel about cilantro (not in taste, just in idea)- I can taste it even in a small amount in any dish, and it it just isn't for me. It's slightly sweet and earthy and has a vanilla note, but there is something I just can't describe that lingers for ages on my palate. Almost tobacco-like, but not exactly. It's consistent with every rooibos I've tried.

Chai Rooibos: Since it has the natural rooibos, I wasn't the biggest fan. The blend is mildly spiced with chai flavors. The ingredients cite cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, pepper, and ginger. I mostly detected ginger and cardamom. But it could also be that my brain had a hard time tasting anything but the rooibos (again, a trait that's similar to cilantro for me).

I am a sucker for good packaging, and the sampler tin is adorable. It's colorful, sweet, and would make a great gift for the rooibos-lover in your life. Thank you to Rooibos Rocks for sending this sampler tin. If I hadn't given it a try I never would have learned that I enjoy honey bush and green rooibos. The tea is sold on Amazon, and you can visit the Rooibos Rocks website for more information. I'll be passing the natural rooibos and the chai on to a few people, but I'll be keeping the honey bush and green rooibos for myself! 

No comments:

Post a Comment