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The Teacup – Provence Vanilla Rooibos

October 19, 2006

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Today’s cup of comfort (and I say that literally, as my week has been quite an ordeal) is an herbal blend that I picked it up at The Teacup when we were in a few weeks ago, and it’s a big hit here at the office. Here’s the description from the web site:

Customer requests have a huge impact on the Teacup’s tea list and this tea is a perfect example. After being asked time and time again for more rooibos teas, the Teacuppers spent months developing what we think is the perfect vanilla-scented rooibos blend. Blended with not only the famous red leaf from South Africa and vanilla, but touches of lavender and chamomile and just a hint of hazelnut. We think you’ll find this the smoothest, most pleasing cup of rooibus tea you have ever had. A Teacup special, dedicated to all our customers that take the time to let us know what they are looking for.

When he opened the canister, I had a wave of spicy vanilla wash over me – with another pleasant, familiar note next to it, the source of which eluded me. After talking with Brett, we identified it as the hazelnut, which makes this blend especially decadent and warm. Brewing produces a deep mahogany color, and the smell remains intoxicating.

The taste is obviously not as sweet as the scent, but still rich and smooth. Though it’s not necessary, the slightest touch of sweetener really brings out the vanilla if that’s what you seek. The sprinkling of lavender is perfect, and that’s not an easy balance to reach since that tiny purple flower can have a loud, sharp voice. The rooibos is a strong, semisweet undercurrent that ties everything else together perfectly.

This one is especially amazing in cool weather, but I can see it bringing much joy on a summer evening. It’s naturally decaffeinated, which makes it great for a late night treat.

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