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Rhubarb

Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom from BlendBee

 

My family made a lot of strawberry rhubarb pies in the summertime, and each time I was tasked with washing and chopping the rhubarb from our garden. I was warned that the leaves were poisonous, and only the stems were okay to go in the pie. That dietary fact always made the bowl of chopped rhubarb and eggs and sugar all bubbling together seem like some questionable witches brew. But the resulting pie was always worth the danger, especially with all the pink strawberries in the mix.

Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom from Blend Bee works to recreate this strawberry rhubarb combination. The dry leaf smells strong and sweet, a bit like artificial strawberry candy. A good dose of hibiscus ensures that this tea brews up bright pink, and brings a blast of tart, fruity flavors. Beneath all the sweet and sour, there is a gentle green, vegetal note, perhaps from the rhubarb or the oolong, and it adds a nice freshness to the tea.
Depending on your love of strawberries, you might really enjoy this tea for the berry sweetness. For me, the strawberry flavoring is very forward, so I would to argue for more rhubarb next time. Though, to be fair, I’m not sure that I would want a full-on rhubarb-only tea.  Rhubarb is achingly sour on its own, and needs strawberries and sugar to truly be palatable. There’s a reason rhubarb and strawberries are so often paired together and this tea is true to that classic strawberry rhubarb pie flavor.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Blend Bee
Description:

Juicy and refreshing, this blend has just a hint of sweetness and is rounded out with bold red fruit flavors. You will long for Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rooibush Panna Cotta Rhubarb Cream from TeaGschwendner

Rooibush Panna Cotta Rhubarb CreamTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy: TeaGschwendner

Tea Description:

Dessert in a teacup! The dazzling combination of Italian Panna Cotta, tart rhubarb and sweet cream combine for a flavor as delicious as the aroma.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Rooibush Panna Cotta Rhubarb Cream is probably the longest tea blend name ever…

Well, not really. It is pretty lengthy, though. And tacking on the “TeaGshwendner” certainly doesn’t help.

Ok; starting off with a confession: Not only have I never had Panna Cotta, but prior to trying this tea I didn’t know what it was either. I most certainly had to do an internet search, but now that I do know what it is I’m actually kind of embarrassed I didn’t. What originally caught my attention with this one was absolutely the rhubarb; I’ve been on a bit of a personal rhubarb kick lately: beer, pie, jam, yogurt and of course tea.

Dry, there isn’t a whole lot to this tea. It has a very, very mildly fruity scent but nothing super characteristic of rooibos and apart from one small little piece of cube shaped rhubarb my measured out leaf is all fine pieces of rooibos. As the tea was steeping, it started to smell a little bit stronger but still mostly maintained a predominantly rooibos only sort of scent.

The taste thankfully delivers some flavour although not nearly as much as I’m wanting. The whole front end of the sip is straight rooibos – albeit a pretty good one without any medicinal or woodchip kind of notes present. That said, people who dislike the taste of rooibos, good or bad, will want to steer clear of this one: trust me, you’re going to taste a lot of it. The other flavour kicks in the end of the sip and the aftertaste. And it’s pretty subtle; a bit of sweetness and a little bit of tang similar to the natural tartness of rhubarb. It’s also a little bit apple-y. I’m struggling a little bit to pick up the cream/custard of the ‘Panna Cotta’ but there is something about the tartness of the rhubarb that reminds me a little bit of Greek Yogurt, so perhaps that’s more derived from the panna cotta.

I don’t sweeten my teas, but I could possibly be inclined to add the tiniest pinch of sugar to this one because I just have that gut feeling that it’d make a world of difference. However, without the sugar the flavour of this one is definitely lacking. However, this could be a winner for someone who doesn’t mind rooibos and who is looking for something subtly flavoured.

Rhubarb + Custard Rooibos Blend from Bluebird Tea Co.

rhubarb_custardTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Bluebird Tea Co.

Tisane Description:

Hardy British super fruit, much loved vintage cartoon characters, top boiled sweet and crumble of the gods… Rhubarb + Custard really is a pairing made in heaven. This naturally caffeine free, antioxidant rich rooibos tea blend will satisfy your sweet tooth with less than 1 calorie p/cup! Sounds like a super sweet deal to us!

Ingredients: Rooibos, Rhubarb pieces, Calendula, Stevia.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I am sure I’ve probably mentioned this before with previous “rhubarb” teas, but I have never actually eaten rhubarb.  At least, not that I can remember.  But I’ve had rhubarb flavor in a couple of different teas and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve tasted.

To brew this tisane, I put 1 bamboo scoop of tisane into the basket of my Kati Tumbler and then filled it (12 ounces) with water heated to 195°.  Then, because it’s a rooibos tisane (with no hibiscus in it, yay!) I steeped it for 10 minutes.

The aroma:  I definitely smell the custard!  As I’m not very familiar with rhubarb, I don’t know if I smell it or not.  I do smell vague notes of rooibos, but mostly what I smell is custard!

The taste:  I definitely taste rooibos.  I am tasting that honeyed, nutty flavor from the rooibos.  The stevia adds a little bit of sweetness and I’m finding that I am not minding the presence of the stevia as much as I normally do in teas/tisanes where stevia is an ingredient.  For those of you who read my reviews regularly, you’re probably aware that I don’t like it when tea companies add stevia or other sweetener to the tea because I like to decide how much – if any! – sweetener I’m going to add to my tea.  But here, I don’t taste a distinct stevia taste and the sweetness is gentle and seems to be curbing some of the rhubarb’s tartness so I’m not minding that the stevia is there.

I can taste the rhubarb here.  My first few sips, I didn’t really recognize the tartness of the rhubarb, but as I continued to sip, the flavor of the rhubarb developed.  It is especially noteworthy in the aftertaste where I’m experiencing that tingly, tarty sensation on my tongue.

And I can taste the custard!  It is sweet and creamy and it (together with the stevia) softens the rhubarb’s tart.

This is actually quite a tasty treat.  At first, (about my first 1/3 of the cup, really), I wasn’t really sure what I was tasting but I was enjoying it.  Now that the tartness of the rhubarb has become identifiable and the custard notes have become more noticeable, I’m really enjoying this custard-y, rhubarb-y tisane.

Another winner from Bluebird!

Jardin Bleu from Dammann Freres

Jardin Bleu from Dammann Freres
Jardin Bleu from Dammann Freres

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Dammann Freres

Tea Description:

 

This blend of black teas from China and Ceylon; flavoured with rhubarb and wild strawberry and scattered with cornflower and sunflower petals gives a fruity note to the infusion. It can be savoured iced too. Brewing time : 4 to 5 minutes

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Jardin Bleu from Dammann Freres is fruity but light, not overpowering with artificial flavors. Quite smooth, and a wonderful strawberry flavor with a tangy zest. Second steep is also delicious!

The aroma is scrumptious! It smells exactly of sweet juicy strawberries and tart rhubarb. Yet it is not puckering tart at all.

Jardin Bleu also has the perfect touch of sweetness, no additives necessary, although a splash of milk does make it develop into a creamy dessert tea!

I am very thankful to have received a generous sample from a Steepster friend.

There is a resemblance to bubble gum both in the flavor and aroma of this tea, even more so when it cools, but its just so wonderful to sip on as an afternoon tea.

Jardin Bleu reminds me of a “ladies” tea and I can imagine sitting around a big linen clothed table with an assortment of fine china filled with yummy tarts, cakes, and scones sipping politely – although I would be the one with sugar paste all over my face dribbling tea on my fancy dress.

Love Affair Rooibos Blend from Defthlesen & Balk

Love-AffairTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Amoda Teas

Tisane Description:

Maybe it’s the unusual addition of rhubarb, maybe it’s the cute little candy hearts… but there is something making this a chocolate and strawberries blend like no other. It’s creamy, chocolate-y, fruity and honeyed without being overly sweet. You could sip this with your V-day dessert and not go into a sugar coma.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Learn how to subscribe to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

This is the second of the three teas/tisanes that I received in this month’s Tea Tasting Box from Amoda Teas.  (Have you subscribed yet?  You can do so with the link above, and you really should!  It’s really fun to receive a package form Amoda Teas!)

I admit to finding myself a wee bit disappointed by this Love Affair Rooibos Blend from Defthlesen & Balk.  Oh, it tastes alright, but, it’s not quite as good as I hoped for.  When I see “Chocolate and Strawberries” in the description, I’m hoping for some seriously yummy tea.  You know what I mean?

And I must confess that I am a little spoiled, because for Valentine’s Day this year, my hubby bought me a dozen chocolate covered strawberries.  So, my tasting of this tisane comes off of indulging in juicy, ripe strawberries that had been generously coated in various types of chocolate (some were dark chocolate, others were milk chocolate and some had white chocolate drizzle) … and they were just sinfully decadent.

And … unfortunately, this tisane just isn’t nearly as decadent.  The rooibos blend tastes mostly of strawberries and rooibos, and the result is a nutty, sweet, fruity, tisane with hints of chocolate.  The strawberry tastes sweet with a tartness that reveals itself in the aftertaste … the tart notes are further accentuated with the rhubarb … even so, this is definitely more sweet than tart.  (That is a good thing in my opinion!)

The chocolate is rather subtle, and a bit too subtle in the opinion of this chocoholic.  If someone says chocolate … I want CHOCOLATE.  I don’t want hints of chocolate.  I don’t want a subdued undertone of chocolate.  I want CHOCOLATE.  And I’m not getting that here.  As the tisane continues to cool, I notice the chocolate a little more, but it never becomes a strong enough flavor to please my chocoholic palate.

The rose presents a very gentle floral note, and I do like that … it’s a nice contrast to the sweet and fruity notes.  Overall, a pleasant enough cup, it just doesn’t live up to my expectations.