This was my brother’s first ever loose leaf tea purchase, which we bought at the Teavana located in Glendale, CA. It’s actually a blend of their zingiber ginger coconut rooibos and their honeybush vanilla herbal, so this review would be more accurate had I also included the latter in the title… As it stands, I feel that by including it under this tea the steeping community here on Lunch would have a higher chance at coming across my opinion, even if it’s a blended one. ;P
The blend itself was more honeybush vanilla, less rooibos. Consequently, I’m sure most of the flavor is coming from the herbal side of the blend with touches of the rooibos coming through. But regardless of the ratio, this tea blend smells AMAZING. The first time Ryan and I cracked open the tin, our olfactory senses were bombarded with a sweep of gingery vanilla that pleasantly reminded me of Starbucks’ Tazo Vanilla Rooibos latte. I honestly didn’t wanna stop sniffing this tea. Interestingly enough, the vanilla plays largely a scented role… A lot of the sweetness is involved in the smell of this tea blend, of which I suspect the almond/honey/vanilla combination is responsible for.
But after steeping this tea for five minutes and giving it a sip, much of the sweetness has surprisingly subsided, making way for the flavors present in the rooibos side of the blend: apples, cinnamon, & ginger all swirling together with the red rooibos to form a nutty taste that isn’t actually as sweet as it smells. This is great because it still FEELS sweet; you’re smelling the blend while tasting it at the same time, so the vanilla and ginger eventually come together for a one-two punch that will certainly send you stumbling for more.
I can’t really hunt down the coconut in all of this, but I’m sure it just gets lost somewhere between the sweet honey-vanillas and the almond-cinnamon bits. The next time I steep a cup of this blend, I’ll log it under Teavana’s Honeybush Vanilla so as to spread the love evenly. That said, this tea is a delightfully tasty blend that smells better than it tastes. It’s not that knockout in round 2 that you were hoping for, but the zingiber ginger coconut & honeybush vanilla sure make for a great match nonetheless.