Honeybush? Adagio has it!


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

Honeybush? Adagio has it!

Postby CynTEAa » Jun 17th, '08, 16:29

Any one have an rooibos vs honeybush comparison they might wish to share?



:D
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Jun 17th, '08, 22:16

Good idea! I absolutely love the Vanilla Rooibos so I decided to try the Vanilla Honeybush to see how they compared in flavor. Here is what I came up with.

I brewed both teas using paper filters for easy clean up. I did one mug of Vanilla Rooibos and one mug of Honeybush Vanilla, both steeped at boiling for an undetermined amount of time. I don't time Rooibos so it is generally steeped until it is cool enough to drink so I followed that parameter for both teas. I used one scoop (roughly one teaspoon) of leaf for each mug.

The first difference that I noticed was the leaves in each tea. Vanilla Rooibos is a very small cut leaf that is primarily shades of dark red. Honeybush Vanilla has larger leaves that than the Vanilla Rooibos and are various shades of brown ranging from a medium tan to dark chocolate colored. The differences didn't just stop at the size and color of the leaf. A quick sniff to each found that the Vanilla Rooibos has a very definite vanilla aroma with hints of a darker tone that my father likened to pipe tobacco. The Honeybush Vanilla smells like sweet fruit, maybe apricots or peaches, but not of vanilla.

After brewing the leaves for a bit, the Vanilla Rooibos made a deep red cup of tea while the Honeybush Vanilla was more of a peachy brown color. For taste, Vanilla Rooibos reminds me of those inexpensive crispy, vanilla creme filled wafer cookies. It has a nice vanilla taste like the creme of the cookies, but also has a bit of the carboard flavor like the cheap wafers that are around the filling in the cookie. Honeybush Vanilla actually does have a vanilla flavor, but it is mixed with the fruity sweetness of the honeybush.

In conclusion, the Vanilla Rooibos has a richer, more prominent vanilla flavor while the Honeybush Vanilla is sweeter and fruitier. Both are good, but are very different.
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Postby neowolf » Jun 18th, '08, 08:11

I recently ordered some honeybush as I was curious about both it and rooibos from the get go and I love rooibos. I'll be sure to post some feedback once I get it in!
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Postby CynTEAa » Jun 18th, '08, 08:56

Nice post Cinnamonkitty! And looking forward to your thoughts Neowolf.

Rooibos has a distinctive aroma that seems to be hard for some people to get past. Xine and I were discussing this yesterday and found honeybush to be more 'approachable.' The honeybush is much more fruity like CK said and a bit more complex for an herbal.

We will be playing around with it and trying iced, mixed with other things, etc. It's like having a new toy. :)

So far I tried the orange and the chocolate honeybush and really liked them both. The next step it to mix then and make a chocolate orange..hehehe!
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Postby auggy » Jun 18th, '08, 09:52

CynTEAa, great topic - I noticed when Adagio added the Honeybush and was eyeing it a little, but was worried it would be too much like Rooibos, which (like Cinnamon Kitty mentioned in her fantastic side-by-side) tastes a bit cardboard-y to me. But after reading this thread, I'm going to have to get some!
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Jun 18th, '08, 22:15

CynTEAa wrote:Rooibos has a distinctive aroma that seems to be hard for some people to get past. Xine and I were discussing this yesterday and found honeybush to be more 'approachable.' The honeybush is much more fruity like CK said and a bit more complex for an herbal.


That was definitely the main thing I noticed with the Honeybush. Plain Rooibos has a medicinal, cough syrup scent to it which is very hard to get past. I still can't drink plain Rooibos even though I like some of the flavored ones. The Honeybush, on the other hand, is sweet like its name and smells fruity, not to mention that it tastes great unflavored.

One of the things I noticed with the Apricot Honeybush was that the flavor went together so well with the tea. It is more of an enhancement of the Honeybush's natural flavor instead of just being a flavor added to it. I can see the other fruit flavors working in the same way, enhancing the fruitiness that is already there. I thought that was nifty.
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Postby CynTEAa » Jun 19th, '08, 09:15

Kewl, CK! Have you tried icing it yet?

This might become my evening drink as I (try to) keep a 5 pm cut-off for caffeine. :)
They honeybush certainly seems more complex than rooibos. Mmmm!
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Postby xine » Jun 19th, '08, 10:31

I had some more Honeybush Vanilla last night with a jam tart...very good! I'm not a fan of our fruity rooibos, but I think I might try the Apricot Honeybush as Cin.Kitty's described it so nicely. I'm drinking a lot less caffeine nowadays (especially since I have picked up coffee again for my commute- which juices me up enough for the day).
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Jun 19th, '08, 23:02

CynTEAa wrote:Kewl, CK! Have you tried icing it yet?

This might become my evening drink as I (try to) keep a 5 pm cut-off for caffeine. :)
They honeybush certainly seems more complex than rooibos. Mmmm!


I put the Apricot Honeybush in the fridge for a few hours and it turned out as a very nice iced tea. Cooling it smooths out the fruitiness and makes it taste almost creamier. It keeps the sweetness and the complexity of flavors that it had while it was hot so it definitely doesn't need any sugar added to it. There is also no astringency so it should be refreshing on a hot day. I couldn't test that theory out since it didn't quite hit 70*F here today. Maybe next week.
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Postby neowolf » Jun 20th, '08, 19:03

I like it! Though I actually find it's smell a little more off-putting than rooibos! It seems to set off the neurons associated with a sour smell despite not really having one. It seems to be over all smoother and just slightly sweeter than rooibos to me, and so far milder as well. Though that makes me think I might enjoy it flavored more so than I do it's cousin. Next time I'll likely order some samplers of those!
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Postby elchai » Jul 15th, '08, 11:11

Well, I will have to try some now after reading this thread! I wasn't aware of the rooibos smell you've spoken of. I tried it in teabags once years ago and loved it. So, I will try the honeybush!
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