This is another sample tea from the mountain of samples I bought recently from Upton Tea Imports. After a long night at the restaurant, and an even longer week, I really wanted some tea, but I didn't want to be kept up from the caffeine. That's where rooibos comes to the rescue.
It isn't really a tea, since it isn't made from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Instead, it is made from the South African red bush plant, and is naturally high in antioxidants, low in tannins, and caffeine free.
This blend, according to Upton Tea's description, contains "hibiscus, rose petals, blue mallow blossoms and sunflower petals." You can see some of the flower petals in the picture above. Isn't it pretty?
Rooibos isn't known as red bush tea for nothing. It tends to produce a warm, red liquor, and this one was a bright, golden mahogany. The dry tea smelt citrusy and peppery, but the tea itself had scents of vanilla (rooibos always seems to taste slightly sweet and vanilla-like) and the barest hint of rose. It was also warm, smooth and round, and incredibly comforting. I think this is a perfect herbal tisane for fall and winter enjoyment.