Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rooibos

Class: Herbal/Tisane
Origin: South Africa, I think. Read Mary's blog for more info.
Year: Who knows? Maybe a year or two of staleness wouldn't be a bad thing anyway. [You can tell where this review is going, can't you?]
Vendor: Lupicia (Product page)
Price: $4.50 (50g)

Dry Rooibos
I thought I'd swirl this into a nice pattern, but it just ended up looking like a farting dragon. Could be worse, I guess.


Alright, first off, I don't want this to be viewed as an anti-Lupicia post; I like all the teas I have had from them, and their Japanese greens in particular are quite good.

This is an I-hate-rooibos post. [Perhaps this is the wrong place to thank Eric for the sample? Seriously though, you have my thanks. Even though I didn't like it, it was something new to try and I'm glad I did!]

Tetsubin spoutAnyway, on with the notes. The dry leaf smells like NyQuil. Not necessarily a bad thing; NyQuil is soothing and helps you fall asleep when you are sick, which is all good.

I decided to steep this in my neglected tetsubin teapot which I now know has fallen into a state of disrepair; the enamel on the interior of the spout seems to be peeling off. Not a big deal, but it added to the weirdness of this whole tasting.

Infuser basketI also used an infuser basket for probably the first time in a year (or two). Man, I hate these things.

I brewed it for about 5 minutes with boiling water, using all the leaf (Stem? Grass? What the hell is this crap anyway?) you see in the picture above. I think the pot is around two cups, but I really have no idea.

The resultant tea smelled and tasted like a NyQuil bush. Imagine NyQuil in grass form, sprinkled with anise (another thing I dislike).

Rooibos liquidSo, that's the end of that. Maybe I overbrewed it, but I get the feeling I wouldn't like this stuff no matter how it is brewed. *Sigh* lesson learned, I guess! Seriously though, thanks again to Eric. Not so seriously, despite how nasty I thought this stuff was, I am still grateful for the opportunity to gauge my intestinal fortitude. :)

9 comments:

Eric said...

I'm pretty sure it's an '07. I'm glad you enjoyed trying it even though you didn't like it. It's good to try something different or something you know that isn't that great every so often. That way it reminds you of what is good and what you enjoy. If you only drank the finest teas you would forget that they are the finest for a reason. Rooibos by the way is a product derived from a bush, most of it is leaf, but there is stem mixed in as well. I can't really tell the difference between them though.

eileen said...

I have never been a big drinker of rooibus but when I feel like I'm coming down with whatever is going around at the time, I raise a cup and bam! I'm almost always better by the morn. Try it next time you're feeling seriously under the weather. But no, it's definitely not an everyday cup by any standard. eileen

Brent said...

Eric,

Thanks for the info; I probably should have looked it up myself, but you spared me the effort. :)

Eileen,

Thanks for the tip. I don't have any more left, though, and after my reaction I doubt I will buy any. Still, it's good to hear that it works!

Thanks for the comments,

Brent

eileen said...

By the way, you may not have liked the rooibus but your photos were quite nice. The color of the tetsubin nicely complimented the color of the tea.

PirateGirl said...

rooibos always kind of smells like green olives to me. no matter how hard i try, that's the main association i have with that particular scent.

~:/

Steven Dodd said...

You can't really overbrew it. I do about 2-3 teaspoons per 15oz for 3-?? however many minutes I remember it.

Your rooibos needs some vanilla like mine. Maybe add some zucchini.

Brent said...

Eileen,

Thanks! The any color coordination was completely accidental, but there's nothing wrong with a little luck every now and then!

Pirategirl,

Green olives eh? Interesting...

Steven,

Vanilla maybe, the zucchini you can keep.

Thanks all,

Brent

Georgia said...

Hope you'll try Rooibos again. I like bagged Red Mellow Bush from Numi Tea and loose from Upton Tea Imports.

The plant, Aspalathus linearis, is South African in origin. See http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Aspalathus+linearis and http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantab/aspallinearis.htm.

Mark Fitzpatrick said...

Thanks for the idea Eileen. "Try it next time you're feeling seriously under the weather."

My wife's family is Chinese so we always have some natural remedies. Just made a potent tea of elderberries, astragula root, fresh ginger, and silver needle white tea for my cold ridden sister. I think the tea scared the cold away! It worked anyway.

Just tasted a Blueberry Rooibos today. Not bad but the flavoring masks the tea with the typical flavored teas. I'll have to try a custom blend.

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