First Harney from the loose leaf order! I threw this sample in as a kind of throwaway to meet free shipping, and to have some more caffeine-free/decaf options in my house. I wanted to cry when I steeped this up, as I picked up the sample packet upside-down, open, and dropped about 3/4 of it all over the place.
:( :( :(
But I managed to salvage most of it, and it’s back in the bag. Anyway, the tea smells delicious. Like cranberry and orange, with a little woodsy flair. It also looks pretty rooibos-ish, with little bits of orange things and whatnot. I used Adagio’s tea filters for the first time, since rooibos doesn’t need to expand, and I think it was a smart choice. The last time I made rooibos in the pot it got all stuck in the filter and was incredibly annoying to clean out.
So while cleaning the rooibos off my floor, I steeped this up for myself and the boyfriend. The resulting infusion is a very beautiful red color, rich and pretty. The boyfriend thinks this looks like cough syrup. WHATEVER.
Anyway, the wet leaves and the tea itself doesn’t smell as strongly as the dry. On the first sip, I was midly pleased. I could taste cranberry and orange, and under it all, as an aftertaste, that woodsy sweet rooibos taste that I’m really growing to like. But as my cup cooled down, things took a turn for the south.
I’m tasting hibiscus. I’m not sure if it’s really hibiscus, and it’s just my head playing tricks with me, or my tastebuds revolting, but it’s got that tart hibiscus taste that’s pretty different than cranberries. And now I can’t get that thought out of my head, and all this tea makes me this of is an upscale Celestial Seasonings Zinger. A type of tea that I’m definitely not a fan of.
I think there’s a lot of subtle nuances of flavor in there that elevate it above a typical Zinger, but the forefront of the flavor is pretty much that dreaded flower. Followed by some orange notes, and finished with rooibos goodness. It’s a bit tart for me, overall… this might actually be better iced, or gasp even finished with a bit of sugar to round it out.
Is it a bad tea? Not at all! I just don’t think it’s stellar, and I couldn’t imagine ordering more once this little sample packet is done. The boyfriend says that it’s good. “Very tart. Not a favorite, not very smooth. I can’t see drinking this all the time.”