Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Tea Review 1 - Twinings Red Bush

No, it's not a misprint. This is actually our first tea review, as it appeared at the site nearly seven years ago. I thought I'd dig it out of the archive and present it again just for the fun of it.

Tea Review 1 - Twinings Red Bush
Red Bush Herb Tea
Twinings of London

Nothing can take the place of tea. Tea, in this case, meaning a beverage made by steeping the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant - in it's black, green, white or yellow formulations - in hot water.

A problem for some tea lovers - present company included - is that tea contains caffeine. For those of us who have a sensitivity to this substance, the pleasures of the tea are somewhat negatively affected. Yes, I know there are various and sundry decaffeinated teas, but I have yet to discover one that doesn't strip out much of the flavor when it removes the caffeine.

Which is where red bush, also known as rooibos, comes into the picture. While it's not quite a caffeine free substitute for black tea, it's close enough to fit the bill until something better comes along.

Rooibos is derived from the Aspalathus linearis plant, which is grown only in the Cedarberg region of South Africa. When brewed it makes a "tea" with a dark tan/reddish color not unlike some varieties of black tea, though with a sweeter and mellower taste.

Twinings of London, one of the bastions of the English tea trade, has been doing their thing since 1706, but only introduced their brand of rooibos in recent years. Unlike so many so-called herbal teas, Twinings' brand of red bush consists of one and only one ingredient - rooibos.

Twinings Red Bush is good for drinking as a hot tea. It has a nice, smooth taste and doesn't suffer from being steeped for longer than the recommended three to five minutes. It also makes a nice iced tea and is especially good when mixed with another type of herbal tea, preferably something fruity. I've found that peach works quite nicely in a ratio of two parts to one part red bush and I usually toss in some loose green tea to spice things up a bit.

Contents: 20 tea bags per box
I paid: $2.50 (sale price)

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

I notice that Twinings has changed the name of this particular tea, and may have different names in different markets.

I've seen it sold, some time ago, as "African Rooibos Red Tea" and also, more recently, listed on their website as "Pure Rooibos Red Tea".

I also was impressed with this particular rooibos. When I reviewed it some time ago, I noted it as being the best pure rooibos I've had in tea bags, excepting brands that sold pricier pyramid sachets. I prefered it even to a native South African brand that someone brought me back fresh from South Africa. I still have not tried any brands of rooibos in basic tea bags that I prefer.

Good stuff. I also made iced tea from this and it produced very good results.