This is my first experience with a Rooibos and I’m not sure if it’s that I’m smelling or another of the ingredients, but something in the tea smells insanely pungent to me and it’s an overwhelming smell that my nose doesn’t agree with—especially while dry. It leaves the same kind of sharp spice in the air like a cinnamon or something, it’s hard to describe and I don’t think I recognize the scent.
Anyway, in measuring the tea to be steeped, I was super hesitant to even use my normal half measurement, but I went with it anyway for a first attempt. I used 0.75 tsp for my 12 oz cup instead of the recommended 1.5 tsp per 8 oz. Even with it just sitting next to me for the 5 minute steeping time I can smell that “smell” in the air. (Recommended steep time was 4-6 minutes at boiling, so I went with that.)
The tea came out a dark reddish brown and to my great surprise the taste wasn’t nearly as strong as it smelled. It is actually fairly mild, but fine for someone like me who doesn’t really like strong flavors. I’m glad I didn’t let the scent scare me off. The plain tea doesn’t taste bitter at all, but has a weird mouth taste/feel to it. The only way I can describe it is, the air it leaves in my mouth after each sip reminds me of the freezing gel they use at my dentist’s office—fortunately without the actual freezing.
Would I buy it again? Maybe. It wouldn’t be at the top of my list, but I do appreciate the fact that it goes down smooth until it’s pretty much completely cooled down (then the flavor kicks up a bit) and that it’s caffeine free.
Updated cup count (12 oz) from 8g sampler size: 1. Still a lot more tea in the sampler.