Chocolate Butterscotch Rooibos
"TeaCo's Rooibos Tea is made from the leaves of the Red Bush plant which is grown in South Africa. It is not derived from the traditional Camillia sinensis plant like most other teas, therefore it is considered as an herbal drink. It is traditionally drank with sugar and milk, though many drinkers today prefer it plain or with a bit of honey.
Rooibos tea is high in anti-oxidants and many minerals. It is also caffeine free. Studies have shown Rooibos tea to help prevent cancer, increase immune functions, and reduces headaches, insomnia, and irritability.
Ingredients: Rooibos tea, Chocolate chips, Butterscotch chips, and Natural flavorings." -TeaCo
Once again, I would like to point out that while I
believe in the health benefits of tea, most of the studies done are not 'proven' or done in a controlled setting/environment. The health benefits of teas are things that I prefer to think of as 'home remedies'. Yes, it is high in anti-oxidants, but depending on your diet, activity, and life style...drinking a cup of tea a day while sitting around eating nothing but pizza and candy, the tea isn't going to help. For me, tea is a light feeling drink. It makes you feel warm and happy and makes it easy to jump up and move around or sit back and relax.
Now, while tea may be good for you and better for you than most drinks...don't force yourself to drink it. It's not medicine. Don't chug it down while holding your nose like you would for nasty tasting cough syrup just to get the good benefits of it. All, natural, teas have anti-oxidants. So if you're going to drink it for that, find a flavor and type you like.
Remember, Rooibos is naturally caffeine free! The next step up from this tea type for caffeine is white tea.
Anyway, today I have brewed myself a cup of TeaCo's Choco-Butterscotch Rooibos. Since I've already discussed the importance of using a tea ball for loose leaf tea, let's discuss when a tea ball fails. I posted how to make your own tea bag for a reason. Rooibos is a 'broom' like plant. This basically means that the 'leafs' are thin and almost needle like. When dried out and made to be used for tea they became like tiny, little splinters that seep through every little opening...even that of a mesh tea ball. They slip through the crease of the two ball parts and even through the mesh itself. I'm sure not all Rooibos does this, but this one sure does.
After a few little experiments, I find the best thing to do is to make a tea bag or empty one and fill it up with the tea, the stuff that into the tea ball. That should prevent any tea leaves from seeping out. On the other hand, you can forgo the tea ball and bag all together and use a French Press or Infuser. Both of which would work wonderfully for this kind of fine leaf tea.
Unlike green tea, Rooibos takes a 5-7 minute seeping. The longer it seeps, the darker the color and richer the taste. Over seeping (more than 10 minutes) will leave you with bitter, cold tea. So watch the clock or set a timer. This specific blend has chocolate and butterscotch chips in it. I recommend either using very hot water or just putting the chips in the bottom of your cup. I put them in the bottom of my cup and just stirred till they melted. Doing as I do tends to leave the water looking a little cloudy rather than that clear, red color that Rooibos gives, but it doesn't hurt the flavor one bit.
As for the color, when not putting the chips in the bottom of the cup, it should be a rich, deep rusty color or a beautiful, dark amber color. It really is one of the most beautiful colored teas I've ever seen. The chocolate/butterscotch chips even give it a 'shine' and makes it almost glitter. It's really amazing. I took a picture of it yesterday for you all and posted it. Just like the Pom-Green Tea from before, you may need to bob the tea ball or bag a little to get the color to mix with the water.
The taste is almost as wonderful as it looks. It's rich and smooth. Naturally sweet and warm. Not a bit of bitterness in it at all. It's almost creamy and buttery. I don't know how it would taste iced, but I wouldn't dare put ice in it. It really does taste perfect at a lukewarm temperature. Even the smell is nice. Before putting the chocolate/butterscotch chips in, you should dunk just the tea in with the hot water and take a good smell. It's hard to describe, but it smells warm, buttery, and just made me smile. While you can really smell the butterscotch just from opening the canister, you can't really smell it once it's mixed in the water. The Rooibos itself smells fantastic. It's dusty and deep.
As I've said before, I don't really add anything to my teas other than what is in the bag/canister...but yes, traditionally it is drank with milk, honey, and lemon. I don't like adding milk to tea, I think it tastes funny and sour. But I do like honey with plain green tea and lemon in nearly anything. While I don't think this blend needs anything added, I can see lemon giving it a nice tang to balance out the sweetness.
Overall, this is a wonderful tea experience. The flavor is deep without being over powering. It doesn't leave any kind of 'weird' after taste. While I still think green tea is a good starter for people just starting to drink tea, this would not be a bad start either.
Now, while the Loose Leaf Chocolate Butterscotch Rooibos is wonderful and I do prefer it...there are Bagged Tea options that are just as good (though none that add butterscotch that I could find):Belgian Chocolate Rooibos SampleWhite Chocolate RooibosAztec Chocolate Rooibos
If you don't live near a TeaCo store, you can purchase this tea from their site: TeaCo Chocolate Butterscotch Rooibos Tea