Rooibos: Am I missing something?


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Rooibos: Am I missing something?

Postby osadczuk » Jan 16th, '08, 09:34

Last night I decided to try a cup of Rooibos tea at my local tea shop. (Now, as a caveat, in the past the teas I have bought there have been prepared quite well and appropriately.) I went for vanilla because that is what the proprietress suggested.

And well, I just don't get it.

It was okay. Nicely vanilla. But it tasted, well, bland. Like weak tea. Yet, I don't think it was weak, because the vanilla part wasn't weak.

Just definitely not something I would order again.

So, did I just miss something? Is my palate not sophisticated enough to pick up on the wonders of Rooibos? Was it misbrewed (see caveat, above)?

Or is it just meh? An okay solution for those trying to avoid caffeine?
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Postby Space Samurai » Jan 16th, '08, 11:23

Rooibos is hard to brew incorrectly; its quite resiliant. That being said, I don't trust flavored blends; they can be strong on flavor but weak on tea. If you want to like rooibos, then I recommend trying one that isnt flavored, and seeing what you think.
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Postby Mary R » Jan 16th, '08, 11:48

I'm going to disagree with Space on this one. Rooibos is resilient, but it is easy to brew incorrectly--especially if the tea shop is used to lowering brew temp and time for everything but black teas.

What probably happened is that they didn't let it brew long enough. Even the long 5 minutes for black would be too short for rooibos. That's a 7 minute steep at least. The reason the vanilla tasted all right is because the flavoring (or actual vanilla, as some blends use) diffuses into the water at a higher rate than the rooibos insides. The vanilla should probably peak at around 3 minutes.

And, of course, brewing a rooibos should begin with a kettle of boiling water. :)
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Postby osadczuk » Jan 16th, '08, 12:58

They had the water temp right - boiling. But the brew time was 5 minutes.
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Postby skywarrior » Jan 16th, '08, 13:40

Most Rooibos I've had has been pretty strong. But then, I've been accused of drinking weak tea. I would probably buy a sample of Rooibos and experiment. It is a good tea when brewed correctly.

:arrow: But then, it might just not be your cup of tea.
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