Friday, December 8, 2006

Good Hope Vanilla Rooibos by Republic of Tea

Scent: Not much, a hint of vanilla.
Brewing method: Signature round unbleached tea bag
Steeping: 5 min. @ 212 degrees
Cup: 12 oz. porcelain mug

I’m generally a big fan of tea from The Republic. The flavors are robust, the blends excellent, and while it is a little pricy, the decorative artwork aptly characterizes the tea and adds to the drinking atmosphere, in my opinion. Many tea connoisseurs thumb their nose at The Republic, but personally, I’m a customer for life, especially with regards to the black flavored blends.

I received a sample teabag of the Good Hope Vanilla Rooibos with my latest catalog (who doesn’t love a free sample?), and this morning after a good cup of Chestnut to wake up with, I decided it was time to try it. Generally with flavored rooibos, I either love it or hate it, so it’s always a toss up for me as to whether or not I’m “in the mood” for it. I was a bit disappointed that the scent of the rooibos wasn’t stronger, but tossed the bag into my cup and boiled up some water. With Rooibos, I can’t imagine it makes much different whether it’s loose or bagged, since it doesn’t really “unfurl” like a real tea.

When I poured the water over it, the scent started coming through immediately. The tobacco scent was not very strong, equally balanced with the vanilla cream scent. It was very smooth on the tongue, creamy and rich with that hint of tobacco flavor that I find myself craving from time to time. Very tasty and enjoyable, and it left me wanting more.

My only concern is the amount of tea doesn’t seem like enough for a large cup like mine. The tea was a bit weaker than I like, and I would either leave it in longer next time, or use two bags instead. Otherwise a good tea – one I’ll consider adding to my next order.

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