Today’s weather is a perfect example of why I love living in the Pacific Northwest. The sky is gray – so covered in clouds that there really doesn’t appear to be clouds. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had blue skies where now there is nothing but a cast of gray. The temperature is also distinctively cooler as well, with a crisp feel and a rainy smell to the air. I love it when it’s like this!
And this tea is a perfect choice for the cooler weather. The scent is amazing – beautiful orange notes blended with the tropical essence of guava, with hints of cinnamon and pepper and a whisper of coconut. It is a decidedly tropical aroma, but a very unexpected and not-so-typical tropical aroma, because the cinnamon and chili peppers add a Latin twist to it.
The blend is gorgeous to look at too – tiny, needle-like red rooibos leaves tossed with dried orange peel, bits of coconut and pepper flakes, small chunks of cinnamon and little pink peppercorns.
The flavor of this rooibos tea is so interestingly complex and has a powerful, spicy kick to it. The warm cinnamon does not overpower the other flavors in this blend (as cinnamon sometimes can do), but instead adds to the appealing warmth of it. The fruit flavors are mild and are accented with the natural sweetness of the red rooibos. The fruit is slightly sweet, with a mere intimation of tart.
The main flavor profile to this blend is definitely the spicy notes. The pepper thrusts itself onto the palate and lingers in the finish, making this a perfect tea to enjoy with something sweet, and preferably chocolate!
Hina’s Tea describes this tea as
A guava chili taste! A very interesting flavor combination.
Want to try something totally different? How about adding orange peel, cinnamon, coconut, chili bits, red pepper? If you have problems imagining how this “concoction” will taste we can assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised. What a flavor combination. You will not find anything like it.
I drank this tea hot, and I’m not entirely sure that it would be as enjoyable served chilled. It definitely needs a little sweetener (agave nectar for me!) to help define some of the less pronounced flavors in this blend. On my last hot, steaming cup, I dropped a couple of white chocolate chips into the cup and allowed them to melt, and it added a very dreamy contrast to the tea. The sweet and the spicy really play very nicely together.
This tea reminds me of the Hispanic culture where I grew up in Southern California, so it is appropriately named. It is a remarkably delicious rooibos blend, and quite different from others that I’ve tried. If you like things a little on the spicy side, this tea should definitely be a must try!