|"The tea delightfully delivers on the not so common flavours of cranberry and blood orange with a refreshing brightness that merges with the candid reedy notes of the rooibos to lend a pleasant fruit punch kind of flavour to this blend. "|
Plus, I adore blood oranges. Just like a sunset, their opulence and unusual tang easily won my affections but finding blood orange flavoured things is not so common. Thus, I was ever so excited to find Boston Tea Company’s Cranberry Blood Orange Rooibos. Although blood oranges are kind of like a cranberry orange combination themselves, showcasing this pair with rooibos seemed like it would be a complementary fit as citrus flavoured rooibos blends are quite popular and tasty.
The tea is under the Boston Tea Company’s Bentley brand and thus, it is a bagged tea. None of the actual ingredients are listed on the Boston Tea Company’s website but the content of the bags reveals one to two millimeter tobacco like rooibos leaves with no visible additives, thus the blood orange probably comes from natural flavours. Although there isn’t any trace of the beautiful hues of the blood orange or cranberry to ogle from the white paper bags, they are easily brewed. A medium scent of reedy rooibos comes first, touched with green olives and a bit of taffy sweetness as the smell of cranberry and orange emerge from the rooibos with a freshening brightness. The vibrant cranberry and orange scents remind me a bit of gatorade or freshie mix so it preserves a nicely balanced fruity tartness that gives it some lift and thirst quenching appeal. Plus, it is enchanting that the smell actually delivers blood orange or cranberry orange nuances. The cranberry and orange notes play to the hay fruitiness of the rooibos rather than drawing out maple or nuttier notes to lend a fruit punch type of aroma.
Without any suggested brewing tips from Boston Tea Company, I brewed the tea with freshly boiled water for five minutes. The colour of the cup gleamed with cranberry and orange hues from its sumptuous deep red mahogany depths. Not quite bright, but clear, the cup brought a light to medium scent similar to the dry leaves, with a tinge of olives to the characteristic conifer-like rooibos aroma. The rooibos greets the nose first as a burst of cranberry orange fruitiness then playfully entices.
The light rooibos character is the most prominent flavour to the light body that tastes a bit of cooked green pepper or slightly medicinal amidst it’s roasty reed like flavours while the tea is slightly numbing on the tongue. The reedy nature and lightness of the rooibos base isn’t as sweet or rich as some rooibos teas but the candid base blends well with the gently vibrant finish of blood orange or cranberry orange. The citrus berry flavour tastes similar to the aroma likely from the flavouring used, so it delightfully does have an essence of blood orange or cranberry orange, rather than just cranberry or orange to bring some cheer to this blend. However, it is so interwoven with the rooibos that it doesn’t jump out at you, without a fruity intensity or pep, reminding me a little of fruit flavoured fluoride. As nice as the blood orange flavour is though I find myself looking for a bit more pop, to back up the fruitiness or lend additional vigor to the rooibos base. Yet together the rooibos’s roast and the splash of blood orange do yield a pleasant fruit punch flavour. Without any bitterness or dryness, the tea is a smooth sip, bluntly finishing with a wonderful but light cranberry orange briefly resting at the tip and top of the tongue.
The tea continues to celebrate the blood orange’s beauty upon re-steeping with the dark orange luster of the second cup. While the rooibos flavour wans, remaining softly endearing with reed notes, the cranberry blood orange retains some flourish as it lightly echos in each sip. I tried brewing the tea for shorter amounts of time and found the five minute steeping enhanced the colour more than adding significantly more to the flavour but it could be brewed even longer without any worry of the tea becoming bitter. Plus, increasing the brewing time upon re-steeping did bring more heartiness to the cup. A third steeping for 10 minutes still had some fruitiness but there was very little left of the rooibos thus it may be better to stop at two steepings.
Given the amiable vibe of this blend, it would seem better suited for day time drinking and a rightly fit for an afternoon non-caffeinated refreshment, perhaps after too many coffees. Since it isn’t overly sweet, it could also give one’s regular rooibos some added flair. It could make a fabulous mixer, spiked with juice to play up the fruitiness for kids or adults alike but for an adult only drink, I imagine it would be just as delicious with a dash of triple sec, or an orange or cranberry flavoured vodka.
Although you may not be inviting Dracula or a turkey for tea, the buoyant fruitiness of Boston Tea’s Company Blood orange rooibos could bring a festive splash to a tea party or one’s daily cup.
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