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Friday, June 11, 2010

Samovar Loose Leaf Honeybush Tea 'Honeybush'

Tea Information:
Tea: Honeybush
Type: Honeybush Tea
Packaging: Loose Leaf
Company: Samovar
Purchase: Here
Origin: South Africa
Flavor Profile: This cousin of Rooibos is named “Honeybush” for good reason – it’s incredibly honey-sweet and with deliciously smooth woody notes.
Tea Story: A cousin of the more famous Rooibos, Honeybush is quickly gaining recognition as a mineral-abundant, antioxidant-rich, caffeine-free tisane with an addictive flavor.

It is made of the leaves of a flowering legume shrub that only grows in select regions of South Africa. The leaves are selectively harvested, cut into manageable pieces, bruised with rollers and then oxidized in the sun. Afterward, the dried leaves are sifted according to size.

Our grade is the largest, making it ideal for loose-leaf brewing. Its dry aroma is intensely sweet, with notes of cedar, orange blossom honey, candied orange peel and dried raspberries. It brews into a deep, reddish amber, like the color of dark brown leather, and has a brewed aroma of lots of honey and cedar with hints of raspberry and tannins.

The taste is almost absurdly smooth, with outdoorsy notes of cedar shavings, wildflowers and gravel, and a sweet-citrus-tannin flavor akin to mulled Russian Tea. The aftertaste is sweet, mellow and abiding.

Ingredients: Organic Honeybush

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 tsp
Water: 8 ounces filtered boiling water
Tool: Adagio IngenuiTEA 16 oz
Steep Time: a little over 5 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: honey, wood
Steeped Tea Smell: sweet wood
Flavor: smooth, sweet
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: woody
Liquor: dark orange brown

I got a small sample pack from Samovar since everyone always sounds so pleased with their teas. I also could not recall having a plain honeybush and wanted to try it unflavored.

It is not something amazing, but I can see how it acts as a wonderful base for so many flavored teas.

There was a fine dust sludge in the bottom of my teacup when I was nearly done.

Resteep: 7+ minutes, lighter translucent orange-brown color, light taste, weak

I am disappointed in the resteep.

Rating: 2/4 leaves

Leaf system:
1=Bleh! not again if it were free
2=Acceptable, if it were free or there were limited other tea options
3=I might purchase this tea from time to time, or select it while out
4=A staple in our cupboard from now on, I will purchase and keep purchasing

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