Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tea Review 35 - Four Faces of Rooibos

Redbush Chai Tea
Yogi Tea

Red Chai at Night
Mango Rooibos
Ginger Roibos
Tempest Tea

Feeling a little twitchy? Indulging in too much of the old Camellia sinensis? Maybe it's time to take a break and try out some caffeine free Rooibos, one of a few herbal beverages that can stand in - sort of - for real tea.

I've had a bunch of Rooibos come my way lately. I reviewed several a while back and recently I rounded up the rest and had a tasting session.

First, the chais - which is kind of a tricky thing actually. I keep giving chai another chance, but to be honest, I really don't like it much.

So with that caveat, on to the Rooibos chais. First up, Redbush Chai, from Yogi Tea. This one comes in a tea bag and uses all organic ingredients, including cardamom, cinnamon bark, ginger root, clove bud and stevia leaf.

At the same time I brewed a loose leaf Rooibos chai from Tempest Tea called Red Chai at Night (clever). This one brewed to a darker color than the Yogi and with a fuller taste, though not as spicy. I could smell a little more cinnamon and could taste some of the Rooibos that was overpowered in the Yogi variety. Not bad for a chai.

Also up from Tempest was Rooibos Mango. This one is good, but the mango aroma and flavors are very subtle, at least to my leaden palate. Tempest's Ginger Rooibos was considerably less subtle, with a nice ginger bite complementing the Rooibos rather nicely. It no match for the king of all ginger teas - Traditional Medicinals' Ginger Aid - but it's quite good.

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