|"Though Ruby Red, I'd think pink with a surprisingly delicious combination, just like pink grapefruit cocktail."|
Although the tea isn’t quite as colourful as the photo, it is an interesting mix of colours, shapes and sizes. The yellows and pale oranges of the dried fruit cubes are neat, the dark round black carrot pearls are like sticky balls of blackberry jam which is a bit weird but they’re cute. The petals are a peachy tan and the rose buds are just funny. More beigey yellow than pink, they just seem so large at about three quarters of an inch, yet, everything together adds lots of interest to the very striking mahoghany sheen of the rooibos needles. The rooibos is actually the nicest part as its shiny, even needles seem on the longer side at almost a quarter inch.
Digging in, the ingredients truly begin to sparkle with a sweet vitality from the zingy freshness of the tea’s bouquet. Both the fruity excitement and the rooibos burst out with a concentrated depth in a good balance. The fruitiness draws in the natural fun of the pineapple and papaya with a tangy brightness of a mixed citrus with a dried fruit sweetness. These permeate the rooibos’s own fruitiness that I liken to pickled red peppers and olives strung together with nutty suede. While the buoyant, aromatic scent is ever so enticing, it does have a wave of acidic fumes that can tinge at one’s eyes.
Set for a brew, Joy’s Teaspoon advises an 8-10 minute steep with one to two teaspoons per six ounce cup. I opted for a heaped teaspoon which would make out the 12-15 cups per one ounce of tea they mention on their website. After eight minutes, the cup is a medium dark orange mahogany that looks almost burgundy from above. Not quite the colour of a pink grapefruit’s pulp but it seems fitting for the rooibos fusion. The bouquet is quite evocative of pink grapefruit cocktail. It has a refreshing citrus perk from a sweet sour, where the sweet is the winner amidst glimmers of tart grapefruit rind. Yet, what sells the pink grapefruit is the combination of the full rooibos and sweet papaya that brings the pink to the grapefruit with a red pepper, leather-like nuttiness that’s also like aged cut watermelon. As playful and inviting the bouquet is, the taste is the best part. It’s also where the ruby of Ruby Red truly shines and reminds me most of pink grapefruit cocktail. Similar to the aroma, the interplay of rooibos with the papaya grapefruit flavour does pink grapefruit well. As such, the rooibos is more fruity leather flavoured than rich. But the tea also has a refreshing zeal to the fruitiness from a great balance of sweet and tang which is particularly good for the tea's movement without the help of caffeine. With a bit of a thin feel, the tea finishes with a medium aftertaste glowing with grapefruit rind and persimmon. Sweet and delightful although it leaves one’s mouth slightly dry between sips.
With such sassiness in the first cup, it’s hard not to try for a second even though the long infusion time didn’t instill much hope there would be much left. However, a second nine minute infusion, despite a radical fade in hue, maintains a lively bouquet, sweet and fruity with a slight shift in the balance as the rooibos rises with more of a tropical vibe. The flavour continues to amuse with a fresh quench in the light to medium body. It is weaker but still sweetly pink grapefruit across the rooibos’s woodiness for a unified flavour with enough tartness to add lift. While it doesn’t have an acidic tang, there’s almost a slight astringency to the feel, as the tea builds, that coats one’s mouth between sips. Yet the tea continues to shine in a medium aftertaste on one’s tongue of grapefruit and pineapple.
With not a whole bunch of grapefruit blends out there, the combination of rooibos and tropical boosted grapefruit in Joy's Teaspoon's Ruby Red could easily make one wonder why not. Its sweet, lively aroma and flavour unifies all of the elements so well that it is bound to delight grapefruit and rooibos lovers alike while also having enough fruity enthusiasm to win over new fans of both.
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