While out in Deansgate the other day I decided to be a little daring in my choice of tea. I went for the interestingly named Rooibos tea which until recently I knew nothing about (except that my friend Aisha was a fan of it).
For those who don't know Rooibos (or Redbush) tea is made from a bush found in Africa and is naturally caffeine free. Since it is not made from true tea leaves it counts as a herbal tea. It is still full of anti-oxidants though!
"Use freshly drawn water. Use water at a rolling boil. Steep for 3 to 5 minutes (or to your taste) to release all of the flavour. Delicious with or without milk."
I brewed this tea for about 4 minutes but I didn't keep diligent track of the time since I was enjoying myself in a restaurant. I enjoyed this herbal tea with milk partly because if you can have milk in tea I normally do and partly because I left the waiter standing there for so long while I made my decision that it would have been rude not to.
A rich red-brown colour that compares to most everyday teas.
The aroma is nothing special, smelling very much like an ordinary tea.
This was the most interesting part as I had absolutely no idea what to expect because herbal teas have such a wide range of flavours. Rooibos tea, it turns out, tastes very similar to normal tea. In fact had I not known it was different I would likely have thought nothing of it and assumed it was simply normal tea.
Since this is clearly marketed as caffeine free alternative and is a lot nicer than many decaf teas I can definitely see the appeal.
Cake & Conversation
I tried this tea with a slice of carrot cake (Café Rouge is yet another place which does a 'cake & coffee' deal) and a delightful conversation.
Very similar to your standard teas but without the caffeine. A pleasant surprise!
See you all next week for the second Twinings sample!