Sampler Sunday! I only had one teabag of this, and after being impressed with my Steven Smith Teamaker tea yesterday, decided I’d have this for my herbal tonight. But I do have to be in a certain mood for warm hibiscus — I perfer it iced — so this afternoon I dropped the teabag in a cup of water to let it cold brew. It is now a vibrant red and has probably had ample time to cold brew given I usually brew four cups of iced tea at a time and this was just a single cup.
It smells lovely. I can smell the sarsparilla, which is one of my favorite notes in a tea, though I don’t think I’ve ever had it paired with hibiscus, so I’m curious about the flavor. It also has a somewhat floral aroma. The flavor has that nice tangy flavor I enjoy (you know me, I’m a huge hibi fan!) but there is definitely a softening sweetness to this tea, as it isn’t as tart as many of the more fruity hibi teas I’ve tried. It doesn’t have that really strong “fruit punch” taste to it either… there is the typical hibiscus fruitiness, but the sarsparilla brings in more of a… soda sweetness/creamy feeling? They are two flavors that one wouldn’t think would fit together but they oddly do. Almost like cherry soda, except not that sweet or extreme, but a bit of that vibe. I’m not really picking out any particular floral notes from the tea, but I do get a floral sweetness from the tea.
I don’t think stalwart hibiscus-haters would be converted by this, but this is a hibiscus tea that has a lot of natural sweetening elements without using the other most-hated ingredient on Steepster, stevia; it is quite surprising how much balance the sarsparilla brings and I do think it brings out a somewhat “natural” cherry soda element to the tea when cold brewed. With sweetener added that may be even more prevalent, but I like it fine as is. I’d happily stock more of this to cold brew by the quart over the summer, and probably will when I visit Steven Smith Teamaker on my Portland vacation this coming summer.
Flavors: Cherry, Floral, Fruity, Hibiscus, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Sweet, Tangy