Yellow Rooibos Tea?!


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Yellow Rooibos Tea?!

Postby deadalchemist » Dec 7th, '07, 12:18

I bought some rooibos tea from Teavana, if anyone is familiar with them. Their samples tasted wonderful, so I wanted to take home some of the rooibos key-lime blend. Their rooibos tea was yellow! That was surprising, but what was more surprising was when I brewed my first cup. When you open the bag, the key-lime scent is overpowering and makes your mouth water. But when I brewed the rooibos, it was tasteless! I tried more amounts of it, I brewed it longer, but I could not get a taste out of this tea! I have never had a problem in the past with any tea. All of Teavana's rooibos tea is yellow instead of red. I know the plant is yellow, but when the leaves are fermented, don't they turn red? I was wondering if anyone knows why my tea is yellow, and if that would have anything to do with it's bland taste. And honestly, Teavana's herbal teas are tasteless too. I will never buy tea from them again.

-s
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Postby Ed » Dec 7th, '07, 13:58

Most likely these teas are made with green rooibos (unoxidized) rather than red (oxidized) rooibos. I haven't tried anything from Teavana so I don't know what they're selling. Green rooibos does brew a lighter cup. I think it tastes like honey. If you don't like these then try some other red rooibos. Adagio and others have good flavored and unflavored varieties. Personally, I wish Adagio carried green rooibos too.
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Postby Mary R » Dec 7th, '07, 15:00

That Key Lime Rooibos of Teavana's is made of green rooibos. Dragonwater sells the same things as Green Rooibos Mango Papaya. (There's not a speck of lime anything in that blend...lord only knows why Teavana named it that.)

The blend will brew up a pale orange. It's milder than fully oxidized rooibos, but it shouldn't be tasteless. In fact, this blend is one of my favorite flavored rooiboses (rooboi?). I'm usually pretty generous with the amount (maybe 3-4 g per cup?), and I've taken to brewing it for about 8-9 minutes, though by 6 I usually think it's drinkable. You must, must, must use boiling water, and if you have a heavy teapot, pre-heat that for brewing.

I've not found Teavana's red rooibos to be any lighter than any other companies. In fact, their Vanilla blend won my Vanilla Rooibos showdown. (Again, Dragonwater's is exactly the same as Teavana's.)
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Postby Ed » Dec 7th, '07, 15:09

Good points, Mary. I forgot to mention longer brew time and adding more leaf. I also use lots of leaf and I brew for 10 mins with all types of rooibos.
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Postby deadalchemist » Dec 7th, '07, 23:21

Thanks a lot for the info. I did some research and I didnt find anything about yellow rooibos so I'm glad that you guys could help.

I am pretty good, i think, at brewing tea. I always make sure I bring the water to a full boil, I always preheat my teapots when needed, and I've never had problems in the past; only when i was a tea-beginner. I found my errors, but the teas I bought from Teavana were just bland and tasteless, both their herbal and rooibos. Maybe it's just the store in my area, but I was just truly unsatisfied with their teas. I do love adagio and I've enjoyed all their rooibos teas that I have bought.

Thanks for your help! Even though my Teavana quest for tea failed, I'll still keep the things you've said in mind!
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Dec 7th, '07, 23:39

It is entirely possible that it was just stale. Maybe try ordering a similar product from a different vendor, to compare.
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Postby Mary R » Dec 8th, '07, 10:24

That's a very good point, Scruff. The Teavanas I've been to have been pretty good about storage and such, but with the way they're always opening those big drums--even for the 'by the cup' café--I can see how the stock could get stale in a hurry. It's a problem that could only get worse with harried clerks.

I've not been displeased with any of my flavored rooibos, but they almost always smell a little better than they taste. The flavoring oils sort of mellow in the infusion.
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