This tea had a wonderful aroma as soon as I opened it. Although the only ingredients are black tea and rosebuds, there was such a chocolate-y aroma as well that I could almost believe there was chocolate hidden in there somewhere.
When I brewed the leaves, the chocolate aroma remained along with the roses – I’d have to say that the accidental chocolate note to it would make this perfect for Valentine’s Day, since the rosebuds look beautiful, the tea tastes wonderful, and that aroma certainly conveys a sense of romance.
The instructions that come with the tea suggest using bottled spring water to brew it, but I have to admit that I used my tap water – Maryland has very good tap water, and I have never found that it makes bad tea. Oddly, the instructions say to heat the water to only 85 degrees C (185 degrees F) for black tea, rather than to boiling. I went ahead and followed that suggestion, and found that it made a good cup of tea despite not being at boiling.
The tea tasted as good as it smelled, with a smooth tea flavor and a lovely natural sweetness from the roses. I didn’t feel that it needed any sweetener at all, but if you add some, it will taste all the sweeter for the combined effect of sweetener and roses. I didn’t want to add any milk; I feel as though it would mute the natural flavors, but the tea is strong enough to add milk if you wish to.
One nice thing about steeping the tea in lower-temperature water rather than boiling is that it remains quite good for a second steeping. Although the chocolate note was much fainter on the second steeping, the rose aroma and taste were just as strong as on the first steeping. Since second steepings are somewhat lower in caffeine than first steepings, that makes for a wonderful late-afternoon tea.
In Nature says about this tea:
This exquisite blend is a mild and sweet black tea from the Zhejian region with the aroma of red roses and flower teas from the Jiansu region – truly a match made in heaven! The taste is very mild, soothing and still with a deep floral fragrance.
The Red Rose is the perfect tea for the colder months, and can be enjoyed with milk, cream and sugar.
The rosebuds in the tea include the hip, so the tea probably contains some vitamin C as well – another thing that makes it a good winter tea.
The tea comes in a metallic plastic bag, which is inside a foil-lined cardboard “tin” with a deep lid; the tea should keep quite well in this combination, and you could probably reuse the cardboard box for other teas later on.