Rooibos: Describe the flavour you experience?

Healthy herbs, rooibos, honeybush, decaf tea, and yerba mate.

Rooibos: Describe the flavour you experience?

Postby Drae » Jan 30th, '07, 12:25

I'm having a tough time describing the flavour of rooibos. Especially, because sometimes I feel like I taste different things in it. I might not be brewing it right.

Sometimes I taste something a little sweet and fruity in it. Other times? I feel like I taste almost cigarette smoke. I wish I could consistently get the sweet!

I'm making a genuine effort to cut back on caffeine, and this is the best alternative I've found to actual tea (though I still have a cup or so a day of that). Herbals tend to be too sweet for my all day sipping (good for breakfast, or a treat, but not for right next to the keyboard at work.)

I'm thinking I may try the rooibos jasmine to give a little added depth. Any other suggestions on what to change?
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Postby Space Samurai » Jan 30th, '07, 19:37

It is hard to describe. I always found it kind of...I hate to say bland, because that has a negative connotaion, neutral. I think that's why I've seen it used in so many blends; you can flavor it with whatever you want.

From Rishi I've tried the blueberry rooibos, good, a mint rooibos, better, and a 'jamiaican red bush' that has lemongrass, schizandra berries, hibiscus, and a few other ingredients, best.

Republic of Tea has a new line of Be Well red teas that sell pretty well at my store, but I haven't tried them.
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Postby Mary R » Jan 31st, '07, 00:54

I get what you mean about the cigarette smoke. The first time I tried rooibos, I was disgusted. It was like a tobacco plantation and a horse barn all rolled into one. I had to go back and really think about what I was tasting to find the sweet notes and then play around to find how to consistantly get them. Generally a five minute steep starting in boiling water will do it for me.

I still prefer my rooibos flavored. Vanilla brings out the natural sweetness, and tropical fruits complement both sweet tones and the overall vegetal character well.
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Postby teamuse » Jan 31st, '07, 01:14

slightly sweet, like a nice cigar perhaps
light mouthfeel, not overpowering in flavor

i will agree that i prefer the flavored rooibos to the plain
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Postby kimber45acp » Jan 31st, '07, 02:35

I find it to have caramel, earthy and tobacco flavors in unflavored rooibos. I find it tasted pretty good when you add soy milk to it. It kinda compliments all those flavors.
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Postby javyn » Jan 31st, '07, 22:10

To me it has a slight vanilla taste, and is otherwise tobacco-ish. It suits me just fine unblended because I used to be a smoker.
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Postby peachaddict » Apr 18th, '07, 12:48

Something about it reminds me of puerh, but not too strong. Otherwise pretty neutral, yeah. Interesting.
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Postby tomasini » Apr 18th, '07, 13:23

i like to mix it with jasmine phoenix pearls :D
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Postby noah » Nov 29th, '07, 07:52

I bought the rooibos unflavored and though it was pretty good, so I was digging in my cupboard and found imitation chocolate flavoring. I added a splash of it in the rooibos while it was steeping and found it to be much better that way.
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Postby henley » Nov 29th, '07, 09:44

The vanilla rooibos is a favorite here at my house. I tend to steep it at least 4-5 minutes. I've got some other flavored rooibos on order & anxious to try them.
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Postby Wesli » Nov 29th, '07, 18:17

I consider the taste of rooibos to be simply: "red."

Although sometimes it can taste slightly "brown" with a hint of wood to it.
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Postby hummingbird » Nov 29th, '07, 20:12

I usually use the term earthy to describe it. Thinking back, when I opened the first tin of rooibos it reminded me of the horse barn smell and I was ready to send it back. After trying some of the flavored varieties, the term mellow along with earthy seems more accurate a description.

Flavored rooibos is definitely the way to begin acquiring the taste.
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Postby jashnew » Dec 4th, '07, 01:19

How many minutes do you guys seep your rooibos? I have heard 5 minutes through 14 minutes. I usually go with 8 minutes. I think at that point it's as good as it's going to get.
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Postby Mary R » Dec 4th, '07, 11:42

It truly depends on how busy I am and how I time. I usually shoot for nine minutes, often get ten, usually get 15ish, and occasionally forget about it for 30-45 min. Hooray cast iron pot, else I'd be drinking iced rooibos!
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