Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tea Review 80 - Rishi Rooibos (x2)

Jamaica Red Bush
Blueberry Rooibos
Rishi Tea

I've never been much of a fan of flavored tea. That's tea, in the strictest sense of the word, as in the beverage made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. But when it comes to rooibos and its African cousin, honey bush, it's a different story. While I can drink either one plain, in my opinion, they both benefit from the judicious addition of flavorings.

Which Rishi Tea does quite nicely, at least with the two flavors under consideration here. What caught my attention with both of these blends is how strong and fresh the flavoring is. In each case, when I opened the package, I was nearly bowled over by the aroma - and I mean that in a good way.

Jamaica Red Bush was a little less to my liking than the blueberry, but that's a matter of personal taste. Its a blend of organic ingredients, including rooibos, hibiscus, honey bush, lemongrass, schizandra berries (a new one on me), rosehips, licorice root, orange peel, natural passion fruit flavor, natural essential oils of orange, tangerine and clove, and natural mango flavor (sheesh). The overall aroma and taste of this one tends toward citrus and it's very nice.

But it's the Blueberry Rooibos that made me sit up and take notice. These Rishi guys are on to something with this one. It's a blend of rooibos, blueberries, schizandra berries, hibiscus, natural blueberry and strawberry flavors. The interesting touch here is that the blueberries are real or, as the packaging puts it - "real wild blueberries."

As a result, the aroma is so strong that you could actually use it as potpourri if you didn't care to drink it. Or you could do both. I made some into a batch of iced tea and the smell permeated the entire apartment. Oh, and it tastes good too.

Recommended on both counts, with a very high recommendation for the Blueberry Rooibos.

Image: Rishi Tea

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