Leaf Type: Fruit/Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Chai Diaries
The first thing you’ll notice about this holiday blend is the color: a vibrant amaranth red that grabs you by the lapels and demands your attention. Then the aroma: enticing vanilla, sophisticated orange peel, hints of rose and lemon all tangle for a share of the stage in this bold elixir. Finally, the first divine sip.
Learn more about this tisane here.
I have to disagree with the above description … the first thing I noticed about this Blood Orange Tisane from Chai Diaries is not the color. What I noticed is that this is not a one with an overload of hibiscus! Yes, there is hibiscus in it, but, after steeping for six minutes, the tisane is not heavy, thick or syrupy the way a tisane with too much hibiscus would be.
The fact that the hibiscus is not overdone gets bonus points from this reviewer … because as you are probably aware (if you’ve read very many of my tisane reviews!) I don’t like hibiscus! In small amounts, hibiscus can be beneficial to a tisane. It adds a little bit of body and color to the brewed cup, as well as a distinct flavor – tartness! – not to mention significant health benefits. But too much hibiscus can mean a very tart, syrup-like thickness to the brewed tisane. Not very appealing, at least, not to me!
This tisane, on the other hand, is very appealing because the hibiscus is done the right way … as are the other components to this tisane. It is sweet with enough tartness to keep it interesting. The vanilla in this adds a very enjoyable creamy note to the cup, tasting a bit like a one of those creamsicle frozen treats!
While it is good served hot, I found that I preferred it iced! I recommend brewing it stronger when you want this one iced, because the flavor softens a bit as it cools. And brewing it stronger means adding more dry leaf to the teapot … not steeping it longer. Keep the steep time to 5 – 7 minutes to minimize the hibiscus’s impact on the final product.
This is sweet enough that it doesn’t need any sweetener – and this would be a fantastic alternative to overly sugared sodas for the kids (and adults!) in the summer!