First of all, I really like honeybush. I prefer it over Rooibos because the flavor is milder, and I prefer the sweetness of the honeybush, which is much more “honey-like” (hence its name), over the sweetness of rooibos, which often tastes very sweet in the way an artificial sweetener does to me, much like saccharine (and maybe one of these days I’ll tell you my horror story associated with saccharine).
However, because rooibos is a bit more popular than honeybush, you’re more likely to find more interesting rooibos flavors than honeybush. So when I find a honeybush flavor that sounds enticing, I’m very tempted to order some immediately – which is what I did with this flavor of the week (from the week of February 1, 2010) as soon as I learned of it.
The flavor is strong in this blend – the raspberry essence is fresh and juicy tasting, and there is a taste in there that is definitely like cream cheese! It has that subtle little cheese-like tang in there, with a very creamy sweetness.
And although the flavors are strong here, the honeybush is not at all overpowered in this blend, and its delicious honey-like sweetness comes through well in the cup. What is really nice about this particular blend is that because it is a honeybush blend (and not a tea leaf blend), you can infuse it for a longer period of time without worrying about bitterness. Doing so will reward you with a very intensely flavored cup of deliciousness!
52Teas describes this honeybush blend as
Our caffeine-free African honeybush blended with real freeze dried raspberries and all natural flavors. This blend is the complete danish in a cup: raspberries, cream cheese, even a hint of icing thrown in there. If you don’t believe me, you’ll just have to try it for yourself, but don’t take too long deciding, this one is going to go fast!
Even though I usually associate danish enjoyment with breakfast time, this is not a tea that I would suggest for early morning – unless you’re trying to limit your caffeine intake. Since honeybush is naturally caffeine-free, it will not give you a sense of wakefulness that you might desire from your morning cuppa. But it does make a very charming after meal treat. Who needs dessert when you’ve got a cup of tea as sweet and delicious as this?
I do recommend adding some sweetener (I added raw sugar) to enhance the flavors of the cup. It does have a bit of sweetness on its own, so taste it first, and then add lightly, so as not to overdo it!