Brand: English Tea Store
Type: Herbal tisane, honeybush
Form: Loose leaf
Review: Unlike many tea people, I’m actually a huge fan of rooibos, honeybush and other herbals. The trouble is that many tea companies give these tisanes short shrift, pawing inferior grade products off on an unsuspecting public. Fortunately, our friends at the English Tea Store source some tasty herbals for its customers, and their honeybush is no exception.
Honeybush looks similar to rooibos both as a dry leaf as well as after infusion (a pretty, bright orange cup). While there are some similarities in their flavors, there are also some significant differences: Honeybush is sweeter and has a slightly fruity taste, whereas rooibos can often have a slightly musky quality. English Tea Store’s honeybush is slightly tart, but with a rich honey-sweetness that negates any need for additional flavoring.
Preparation Suggestions: Like rooibos, another South African herb, honeybush doesn’t get bitter after a long steep, so let this brew for five to eight minutes to draw out the full flavor of the tisane. The leaf particle size is very small so it is important to use a tea strainer with a very fine mesh so as to avoid a silt in your cup. Another option, and probably even more effective than even the finest mesh infuser is a T-Sac. Honeybush leaves don’t expand during brewing, so you won’t compromise the flavor of this tisane by using a small infuser or DIY teabags. Always use boiling water to brew: It extracts the full flavor of the herb. Finally, honeybush can make a lovely caffeine-free iced beverage: Give it a try!
Serving Suggestions: Honeybush is great on its own and is awesome as a comforting evening beverage. It works well with food, too, so you may want to try serving it as an alternative to tea.
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