Review of Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos (Red Tea)

6 of 104 of 54 of 563 of 100
GoodGoodGood Value

It's hard to rate this product because it doesn't sit still, even though it has just three stated ingredients: rooibos, vanilla flavoring, and vanilla bean. The quality and flavor seemed to vary a lot over time, within a given cup. Overall, it's a decent representative of flavored rooibos, and at times presents itself quite deliciously, if one likes vanilla. Yet like a passionate fling with someone attractive, but of questionable trustworthiness, it can turn you on, then turn on you, fairly fast. Drink it quickly before it does the latter.

The dry bag gave off mostly a rooibos scent, with hints of vanilla; the wet bag is much the same, but of course more humid. In-cup, this tea behaved oddly. At first, when hot and fresh, the vanilla scent was fairly pronounced, while that and rooibos flavors balanced each other out nicely; in that stage, it came across as more of a vanilla tea than rooibos, but with a hearty balance. The best part of the experience (and it was very nice) was the first 5-10 sips or so.

However, with time and cooldown, vanilla faded from scent and taste, and the characteristic broom-straw flavor of rooibos became clearly dominant, with vanilla only returning in the aftertaste. I don't think CS uses a high-quality rooibos here, either. By the time I get to the bottom of a cup, it's somewhat musty and not very flavorful at all, with a mildly metallic aftertaste. Overall, I found this much better hot than cold, which doesn't bode well for its potential as an iced tea.

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