ROOIBOS has come a long way, and Carmién Tea in particular has an incredible range of rooibos products from, yes, salad dressings to gin.
Currently I am working my way through a selection of flavoured infusions which arrived just before Christmas. There’s the good old “ordinary” organic rooibos, which is caffeine-free and an easy go-to any time of the day. It’s part of the pyramid range, which are those lovely little triangular silky bags. They have a nice long string which means it falls into the cup less often when pouring in the water.
I have three green rooibos flavours: Turkish Delight with rose petals which goes beautifully with a shortbread biscuit in the afternoon, Creamy Mint with a touch of vanilla to take the edge off (mint can be so overpowering), and Orange Camomile with touches of bergamot and vanilla for a soothing sleepy time drink.
Tropical Burst has hints of mango (all the ingredients are listed on the box by the way) and is recommended for an ice tea. Fun fact: Iced tea refers to hot tea that has been poured over ice. Ice tea is tea that has either been brewed cold or has been cooled down before serving. For the longest time I’ve made my own ice tea with various flavoured brews by boiling the water first. Carmién’s teas in this range can be hot or cold brewed, which is rather useful when it’s hot and you’re in a hurry. I also have the Floral Berry, which contains a lot of, well, flowers; and the Citrus Chai. The box says it’s an “excellent tea to serve with wine and food” but I find that confusing. It’s a very nice tea though.
Then there are the Focus, Restore and Revive teas. They contain, respectively, masala chai spices and turmeric, lemongrass and ginger, and green rooibos with ginger and chilli. I haven’t tried these yet because it’s only the first week back at work and I’m not feeling the need for any of those effects yet, although now I think of it, I could do with a bit of reviving to get back into the swing of things.
Fun fact: True teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is found in tropical and subtropical locations. On the other hand, tisanes come from a water-based infusion of herbs, spices, flowers, leaves, etc. Essentially, an herbal infusion, or tisane is any plant-derived drink other than true tea. So although we call rooibos “tea”, it is correctly, a tisane. It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue the same way though.
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