Green Rooibos from Shanti Tea

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Shanti Tea

Tea Description:

A light, fresh tasting Rooibos which is quickly withered and steamed to prevent oxidation.  This allows it to retain its green color.  It has a grassy aroma similar to sencha, and tastes mildly sweet.  Studies have shown that green rooibos has more anti-oxidants than red rooibos, bringing closer in line with green tea.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

As most of you are aware (and as I’ve said many times here) I’m not particularly fond of red rooibos, although I do find quite a few blends containing red rooibos that are quite tasty.  Green rooibos is another matter entirely, and I can’t think of a green rooibos blend that I’ve disliked.  Pure green rooibos though, like this one from Shanti Tea … well, I had my doubts.

So let me start by saying this:  It isn’t bad.  Not my favorite tisane, but it’s tasty.  It has a light, somewhat fruity taste with hints of grassy tones to it, but a little different from the “grassy” taste you might expect from a green tea.  This is more like a grassy/woody/nutty flavor with a touch of sunshine and fruit mixed in.  Reading that back I realize that sounds kind of hokey, like a commercial describing corn flakes or something.

I don’t mean it that way.

What I mean is … you know that certain sweetness that comes from fruit that you only get when you’ve picked it fresh from the tree when it’s perfectly ripe?  That kind of sweetness you can only get when the fruit has had time to reach maturity in the summer sun.  That’s the kind of fruit sweetness I taste here, melding with the vegetal tone to create this unique grassy kind of flavor that seems to sparkle on the palate.

Overall, the flavor is light, with a background of nutty wood tones and a foreground of the aforementioned sunny/grassy/fruit taste.  It is sweet, but it is a light sweetness to match the overall lightness of the cup.  It doesn’t have that almost-artificial-tasting sweetness to it the way I notice in many red rooibos tisanes.  The flavor here is very natural and pure.

It’s a pleasant tasting, enjoyable cup, reminding me once again why I prefer green rooibos over the red variety.

One thought on “Green Rooibos from Shanti Tea

  1. I could really relate to what you said about green vs. red rooibos. I love green rooibos! It is increasingly easier to find but still nowhere as widespread as the red version. For some time, I liked it much more than the red stuff, although I’ve recently developed a taste for red rooibos and I think I like them both equally now.

    I’ve been sampling some teas lately from Shanti, and have been quite impressed, but I did not get this particular one.

    One comment on the antioxidant activity, one study that I read, A. Von Gadow (1997) found that green rooibos had more antioxidant activity than red, by one measure, but that red outperformed by another…so I try to avoid making any claims that one is better than the other. I’ve also seen some other rationales to prefer red for health reasons, even if green has more antioxidants. But by taste alone I tend to prefer green.

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