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Recent Tasting Notes
A nice, soft smell out of the tin that’s true to its namesake, but primes you for disappointment once you discover that it’s mostly just dusty, dry rooibos once steeped. I kept coming back to this one thinking the next cup would be different, and it’s passable with a splash of milk, but why waste perfectly good dairy? I struggled through the tin and was relieved when this was finally gone.
I added milk, and this tastes like a fake tea version of what it’s going for, but it works. I don’t get much chocolate, but I get some tangy berry. It all combines pleasantly. The berry is sort of like the kind you find in the middle of a chocolate. I got this as a free sample, and maybe I’d drink it a few more times, but I probably wouldn’t want a whole tin.
I have mixed feelings about this tea. While I enjoyed the bright, deep cranberry color and flavor of this tea, I didn’t like the stevia. I don’t care how ‘natural’ stevia leaf may be, I just don’t like that flavor—it’s artificial-tasting to me. Its taste represents artificial sweetener to me, and I can’t get past that. And I enjoy hibiscus-heavy teas. My favorite is Celestial Seasonings’ classic, original Red Zinger. That’s the tea that made me fall in love with hibiscus tea in the first place.
I ended up mixing a teabag of this into different combination teas I brewed. I can only recommend RoT Natural Hibiscus with reservations. If you would ordinarily add stevia or other artificial sweetener to your tea, then you’ll probably like this. If you like to add some extra color and flavor when you improvise a mixed tea blend, this works well. But it isn’t among my favorites.
Flavors: Artificial, Berries, Cranberry, Hay, Hibiscus
Oh hot hibiscus, how I love you!
Okay, really this isn’t as bad as I was expecting. Sure, it’s making my mouth pucker and dry up like a raisin but the flavor’s alright with a little honey thrown in. And of course it tastes better as it cools. This is the last of my opened herbals, so I’ll be moving on to a few teabags next. Glad to get these marked off my list. My husband can have the rest.
Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Dust, Tart
When RoT describes this as ‘Cuppa Cake’, believe that it’s really leaning into the bakery vibes of still-warm, squishy cupcake crumb. The taste and scent alike are both very buttery and soft with a hint of lemon rather than this being a lemon-forward tea with buttery notes. I can definitely get where some reviewers caught a little grassiness. In my humble opinion, this one tastes better as it cools off, if you can wait that long.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Lemon
This really is like eating a piece of vanilla cake! The caramel comes in in the aftertaste like caramel frosting. The flavor here is pretty accurate, which I’m really enjoying! I will say that it’s a little artificial and definitely tastes more like an herbal than a black tea. I don’t mind these things in a tea, but I can see where all the negative reviews are coming from.
Sipdown! (42 | 115)
I recently swapped with @thismorningstea on Instagram, and she sent me a few wrapped teabags of this tea. I used all three bags in my 16-ounce teapot.
This is… meh. It’s extremely grassy and I can barely tell there’s matcha added. It mostly just tastes like a cheap Chinese sencha.
Flavors: Dry Grass, Grass, Smooth, Straw
I’m just going to put this out there: for someone who doesn’t like rooibos as much as I don’t like rooibos, I sure wind up drinking a lot of it in the form of dessert blends. What can I say? I’m not smart, but I’m also desperate to keep myself warm during the dregs of winter and decaf is the only way to accomplish that without giving myself a heart attack.
Where to start? This is an odd one. It smells dusty in the tin. Without any addition of cream or sugar, the brewed tea is mostly not-too-sweet strawberry with a dash of funk you can’t quite place. You neither like nor hate it, and yet you can’t stop drinking it. Why? You search yourself for answers at the same time you fire up your kettle for yet another cup. You don’t know. It makes your mouth dry. Why are you doing this?
Maybe you’re wondering where the 65 rating comes from, and I’ll tell you: the addition of cream and sugar changes /everything/. I resisted the obvious additions for so long because I don’t typically like adding anything to any tea, but this is one where I clearly recognize the superior choice. It’s like drinking an entirely different bag. The dust and must disappears, the taste of cocoa turns to a surprisingly smooth milk chocolate, and the tart of the berry levels out. It’s hard to oversteep this one at this point.
Overall, a niche sip that’s nice when I want something a little more indulgent, but not necessarily one I’ll be reaching for as a regular drink.
Came back to this one after a few months of destashing less-loved teas and while this was better than I remember it being, it really just left an empty space in my bleak little heart for a more potent earl grey creme and now I’m off to the races to look for something to scratch the itch. This really is the ugly sister of Earl Greyer Vanilla.
I love RoT’s Earl Greyer Vanilla more than most, so I jumped on the Estate blend hoping for another earl grey creme that would knock it out of the park. It smells pleasantly like a creamsicle in the tin, but brews up smelling mostly just like heavy vanilla cream with a floral hit. If you’re not a fan of big bergamot flavors, this is right up your alley.
The verdict? It’s…fine. Yeah, it’s fine. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it’s a smooth sip for what’s shaping up to be a sunny day after a snowy hellscape. It’s inoffensive, takes well to cream and sugar (this one is especially poised for cream addition), and will be enjoyed, but inevitably not replaced once it’s gone.
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Flavors: Bergamot, Earl Grey, Vanilla