|"An unusual taste for Rooibos. Great packaging make it stand out even more."|
It isn't often that a for-profit company gives me a warm-cozy feeling inside. But Shepherd's Garden Tea has managed to do it. Their website, the motif on their boxes, their prices, and their flavors all emit an old-fashioned, "at your Grandma's House" sort of vibe. Bible verses on the tea tags, like fortunes inside a cookie, are a fun addition to tea time. My friend and I both gushed, "What does your say?" as we sat down over a cup of their Organic Cranberry Orange Rooibos.
Real tea, for me, is black. Assam. Irish Breakfast. Black Currant. Give it to me straight. Give it to me strong. Its only when my stomach or my bedtime announce that I've had enough of the good stuff, that I'll reach for a cup of Rooibos, preferably green. Most red Rooibos teas are cloying, pungent and almost vinegar- like to my nose and mouth. But with the Holidays approaching, I was intrigued by a blend that used ingredients that I put in my Thanksgiving relishes.
Boy am I glad I tried this tea! It smells very much like my homemade cranberry sauce: citrus-y with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. The tea bags look smaller than the pyramid types I usually use, so I dropped it into a six oz. tea cup with saucer, instead of my usual 10 oz. mug. Rooibos experts say this redbush tea brews best in boiling water, so that's what I did, for three minutes. I wasn't expecting much of the taste, of course, but it utterly pleased and surprised me. It was tart. It was strong. It almost had a tannin taste...that wonderful, grassy substance so obvious in real (camellia sinensis) tea, which is why I love it so much, and why I'm not so crazy about herbal teas like Rooibos. But this one was different. What is in it, I wondered, that makes is so?
"Organic Rooibos Tea, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Strawberry Leaf, Organic Hibiscus, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Rosehips, Organic Licorice, Organic Ginger Root, Natural Orange Flavor, and Natural Cranberry Flavor," says the website.
It must be the strawberry leaf! I've tried many an herbal brew featuring all the other ingredients listed above. None of them tasted like this. I lift my china cup to Shepherd's Garden for creating this poetic mixture of flavors. I will definitely add this tisane to my collection of nighttime elixirs. Not only is it caffeine free and cozy , it provides me with a tiny little bedtime Bible story:
In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15
Good night Shepherd's Garden Cranberry Orange Rooibos! I give you a 9!
— To purchase Shepherd’s Tea Cranberry Orange Rooibos Organic Bible 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.
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