I got this one a few weeks ago, at the start of the post-Halloween season, because I think that caramel rooibos is a great tea to drink during the cold months of the year.
This one is very interesting in terms of smell. Just after steeping, it starts with a very vanilla-like smell that becomes richer and deeper as the tea cools down; it gradually becomes more caramelly, and more interesting. That didn’t surprise me – it is my humble opinion that tea is usually most interesting to the palate when it’s just a bit warmer than lukewarm.
I have had a soft spot for rooibos since I moved out from my parents’ home. I used to drink a vanilla-flavoured rooibos from Meßmer for a while a few winters ago, it would comfort me after hard days. This Dammann Frères is way less brutal to the taste than the Meßmer one; the aroma isn’t thrown into your face as if the drink were trying to punch you in the nose. It’s way more subtle and feels nicer to drink.
Your mouth still gets that nice rooibos feeling when you drink it, but it doesn’t feel burnt out after drinking just one cup like I’ve had it happen with other rooibos(es?).
The aroma is clear and good caramel, but it has a pleasant gingerbread vibe as well, and just like the smell it becomes richer the more it cools down. It’s sweet, but not too sweet – I didn’t sweeten it because I never sweeten any of my drinks, but I don’t think you’d need to sweeten it even if you did. The balance between rooibos, caramel and sweetness is pretty harmonious.
If I had to describe the taste of this rooibos in an image, I’d say there’s that hint of spices you’d smell in the streets of Strasbourg on a cold December evening, when the Christmas market is just closing and people are making dinner in their warm homes.
It’s a fine rooibos to drink around 5 or 6pm, after a long and cold walk in the forest, or after a cosy day spent practicing some meaningful, hearth-centered witchcraft. It reminds me of an alternate childhood I might have had if I’d lived in a fantasized version of another century.
This rooibos takes you on a journey – whatever mindset you were in before you took that first sip.
Flavors: Caramel, Rooibos, Spices, Vanilla