Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kalahari’s Cherry Vanilla Review

Type: Rooibos
Origin: South Africa
Price: Free Sample (regular price - $4.99 for 16 Pouches)
Vendor: Kalahari
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teabag, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 180°F, steeped for 3 - 5 minutes
Overall Score: 4.1 out of 5

Cherry Vanilla is a rooibos base blend of dark roasted cacao, cinnamon, licorice, chicory, cardamom, ginger, cloves, vanilla, and natural cherry flavor. As soon as I made the first rip on the foil wrapper I could smell the overwhelming sweet scent of the chocolate, cherry, and vanilla flavors. From what I can see through the tea bag, there are white specs of something among the dark rooibos.

The vanilla aroma comes out a lot more as the tea is steeping. In fact, the cherry and chocolate aromas that I could detect in the dry leaves are almost gone. The liquor is a dark copper color.

Wow, there is quite a bit of flavor from that tiny tea bag! The overall sweetness of this blend knocked me back a bit. The cherry and vanilla flavors come together to create a creamy/fruity flavor which is kind of like putting whipped cream on a cherry and eating it.

There is also a bite that builds after a few sips. I am assuming that is from the cinnamon, licorice, and chicory as it has a woody/burning after taste. I don’t look at this as a bad thing… it gives the tea a little kick at the end, basically. Although, I lost the chocolate aroma and flavor completely.

Don’t even think about adding any sweeteners. There is no bitterness or astringency to this tea. I think these ingredients provide a nice balance of sweet and savory… which is something I have never tasted in a tea.