Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Shanti Tea
A light, fresh tasting Rooibos which is quickly withered and steamed to prevent oxidation. This allows it to retain its green color. It has a grassy aroma similar to sencha, and tastes mildly sweet. Studies have shown that green rooibos has more anti-oxidants than red rooibos, bringing closer in line with green tea.
Learn more about this tisane here.
As most of you are aware (and as I’ve said many times here) I’m not particularly fond of red rooibos, although I do find quite a few blends containing red rooibos that are quite tasty. Green rooibos is another matter entirely, and I can’t think of a green rooibos blend that I’ve disliked. Pure green rooibos though, like this one from Shanti Tea … well, I had my doubts.
So let me start by saying this: It isn’t bad. Not my favorite tisane, but it’s tasty. It has a light, somewhat fruity taste with hints of grassy tones to it, but a little different from the “grassy” taste you might expect from a green tea. This is more like a grassy/woody/nutty flavor with a touch of sunshine and fruit mixed in. Reading that back I realize that sounds kind of hokey, like a commercial describing corn flakes or something.
I don’t mean it that way.
What I mean is … you know that certain sweetness that comes from fruit that you only get when you’ve picked it fresh from the tree when it’s perfectly ripe? That kind of sweetness you can only get when the fruit has had time to reach maturity in the summer sun. That’s the kind of fruit sweetness I taste here, melding with the vegetal tone to create this unique grassy kind of flavor that seems to sparkle on the palate.
Overall, the flavor is light, with a background of nutty wood tones and a foreground of the aforementioned sunny/grassy/fruit taste. It is sweet, but it is a light sweetness to match the overall lightness of the cup. It doesn’t have that almost-artificial-tasting sweetness to it the way I notice in many red rooibos tisanes. The flavor here is very natural and pure.
It’s a pleasant tasting, enjoyable cup, reminding me once again why I prefer green rooibos over the red variety.