Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Persimmon Tree, Herbal Grey

The Persimmon Tree Description:
This caffeine-free herbal alternative to Earl Grey black tea comprises fragrant bergamot essential oil and hand-crafted organic fair trade rooibos, delivering a sweet, deep red infusion with fruity and floral notes. This delicious herbal tea is a real treat with milk and rock sugar, and can be enjoyed any time of day.

Sample provided by The Persimmon Tree

My Review:
Hello from space - the final frontier! I finally have my internet woes sorted out. We went with satellite internet. It is not cheap and you can't game with it, but that is the price of living out in the boondocks.

So today I have chosen an herbal to review. This one is a South African rooibos flavoured with bergamot oil. You know me, if there is any association with my beloved Earl Grey, I must try it. This also happens to be a decaffeinated herbal, so no worries about late evening or night time sipping keeping me awake.

Upon opening the tin I immediately catch gentle notes of bergamot before I even get the lid completely removed.  It is a light, yet natural and pleasant, citrus scent. The leaf (bark, stalk?) always reminds me of finely chipped cedar. This seems extra shiny to me.

I heated to water to the recommended 200 F. This was steeped in my Republic of Tea mug with a stainless filter basket. I prefer a Finum basket as the mesh is much finer on those. Since my wife is using both (both!) of the ones we own, that leaves me little choice.  I'll survive.

I steeped for about 4 minutes with the lid on the mug. Removing the lid reveals a dark orange red brew. There are some tiny bits of rooibos floating on the surface. This is the issue with using this mug. Rooibos requires a very fine mesh filter to avoid floaters. Again, I'll survive.

The scent is pretty absent of bergamot. Brewed this has a mellow aroma of rooibos. I do attribute the mellowness to the bergamot. Straight rooibos often has a sharp scratchy aroma and taste. This does not.

When the cup is hot, I taste only the tamed rooibos. I like it well enough, however it is not what I was expecting.

As the cup cools I begin to catch more and more of the wonderful citrus I crave. It is still light but obvious.

I guess I can look at this two ways. First, the rooibos is tamed. There is no harshness or scratchy aftertaste. So as a relaxing herbal cup this succeeds. Second, as an Earl Grey alternative this really leaves me wanting. Bergamot and rooibos really do compliment each other, so I want this cranked up several notches.  

If you drink your tea very hot and are expecting a stout Earl Grey, you aren't going to get it. If on the other hand you would like just a touch of bergamot, or simply a way to like the sometimes overwhelming taste of rooibos, then this may well fit your need.

You can find Herbal Grey here.

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