Review: LeafSpa Organic Honeybush Green Tea

Herbal Tea, Honeybush Tea, LeafSpa Organic Tea, Organic Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I expected to love it but ended up liking it. A lot. Green honeybush and I agreed to just be friends. Good friends, though, with occasional conjugal visits by way of cup."
Geoff’s Teaview: 7.9/10
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leafspagreenhoneybushThe existence of this particular type of honeybush came to my attention - and inevitable fancy - as part of a discussion via the Teaviews forum. Originally, the conversation was about green or red rooibos. My contributions to the thread were like the ravings of a village idiot in a state of manic euphoria; expounding upon the wonders of green rooibos. Somehow, someway, the talk segued to mentions of an unfermented version of honeybush. I had tried - and loved - normal red honeybush, but not as much as green rooibos. The possibility of a green honeybush sent my geeky Obsesso-Meter through the roof.

Unfortunately, it was an extremely difficult product to find. Only three or four companies distributed the stuff in the U.S. Of those, only one specialized in selling an organic variety; LeafSpa Organic Tea. The choice was clear. I got a batch a week later.

Comparing green honeybush to its redder kin - by scent alone - was difficult. Their aromas were remarkably similar; a strong honey tone with a leafy after-kick. The big difference was the type of leafy after-kick. Red had a woodier follow-up smell, while green had a somewhat nuttier one. That said, the unfermented honeybush was just a shy sweeter than its darker sister. I was psyched.

Brewing instructions on the LeafSpa site recommended using 205F water and steeping for five minutes. I'd say one could go as high as six, but I wasn't about to question the suggestion. I went with 2 tsp in 16oz of water at the allotted temp and time.

The liquor infused to an incredibly deep gold; deeper than most green teas, and even green rooibos. The mouthpiece fragrance was herbaceous, not much of a honey character to it. This carried over to the taste as well. It lacked what I had hoped it would retain, that strong honey-nut aspect. Even adding a dab of honey didn't bring it out. Not that it wasn't good, mind you. It was a smooth, refreshing herbal with a pleasant enough taste without a "medicinal" quality. The natural sweetness was there as well, if subtle. I would even say it had a mild citrus note to it. I think it would blend well with verbena.

A second infusion at roughly eight minutes yielded a paler liquor, but a deeper taste more in line with the "honeybush" name. The color was a little more muted but not by much, more in line with a deeper white tea. Flavor-wise, it had more of a honey-like punch and crisper feel on the tongue. Given an actual powdered sweetener - like stevia or sugar - it retained it's wonderful taste. I also bet it would ice well.

In summary, I expected to love it but ended up liking it. A lot. Green honeybush and I agreed to just be friends. Good friends, though, with occasional conjugal visits by way of cup. For a deeper honey flavor, go with the red version. For maximum benefits, this still tastes good without tasting good for you. My recommendation upon purchasing would be to ignore the five-minute steep time suggestion and go for a full six. Eight-to-ten for a second steep. More flavor is extracted that way from this otherwise gentle and excellent herb.

— To purchase LeafSpa Organic Honeybush Green Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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