Yes, it’s nearing the end of September… but that just means we’re less than 100 days away from Christmas! I can’t bring myself to feel guilty about reviewing this festive English Tea Shop rooibos blend (although I won’t be playing the Christmas tunes for another two months, for sure).
English Tea Shop Chocolate, Rooibos and Vanilla tea is self-explanatory – it contains only the ingredients listed in the name of the tea. What really caught my eye with this tea is that there are no spices!
At Christmas time, the usual spices (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg…) are in everything except this tea. It’s a great way to take a break but remain festive.
English Tea Shop Rooibos Festive Blend at a Glance
- Blend: Rooibos tea with cocoa nibs and vanilla pods
- Flavour: Smooth vanilla notes and nutty honey rooibos
This tea is super pleasant! It’s silky smooth with those typical honey nut notes from the rooibos and vanilla sweetness. There is a little medicinal note to it, and not enough chocolate, but it’s still not bad.
Full Review – Caffeine-Free Rooibos Tea
- Type: Tagged biodegradable pyramid teabag
- Tea: Organic rooibos
- Additives: Cocoa nibs, vanilla pods, natural flavourings
- Flavour Notes: Vanilla, rooibos, medicinal, nutty, honey
- Aroma: Honey, medicinal, dark cocoa powder, hot chocolate, nuts, tannins
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: Amazon UK
I love the packaging for this tea! Each tea sachet is in a cardboard (plastic-free) Christmas tree hanging decoration. This one smells of honey and dark cocoa powder as soon as you open it up. The rooibos adds a slight medicinal note but it’s not too bad. Overall, it smells like a honeyed, rich hot chocolate. Oh yeah!
English Tea Shop Rooibos, Vanilla and Chocolate brews into a dark amber brown tea with a honeyed hint. The aroma from the brewed tea is a mixture of honey, nuts (maybe macadamias), and tannins. This is why rooibos is often used as an alternative for black tea – it has that richness and depth we all love.
As for the flavour, it’s a tad disappointing because there’s no chocolate notes to it. Nonetheless, the vanilla and honey rooibos flavours work very well together and the silky, slightly thick texture goes down a treat.
Yep, there’s a slight medicinal flavour too. But that’s hard to avoid with rooibos so I can’t be too hard on English Tea Shop about it.
How to Brew Rooibos Herbal Tea
Rooibos tea is a herbal blend, so you don’t really need to reduce the water temperature to brew it. Use a single 2g pyramid sachet per mug, pour over freshly boiled water, then leave it to steep for at least 5 minutes.
I don’t like milk with my rooibos but you can add some if you life.
As mentioned, the tea is lacking those delicious chocolate notes so I think chocolate biscuits are a good food pairing. Bourbon biscuits are my favourite, but a chocolate-covered hobknob or digestive wouldn’t go amiss either.
Why English Tea Shop Organic Rooibos?
I really like English Tea Shop because they care about their ingredients and their impact on the planet. To start with, plastic is kept to the absolute minimum, even though this is a Christmas gift which usually means a tonne of plastic is required to make it sparkle.
The ingredients within the tea are great too. The rooibos, cocoa nibs and vanilla pods are all organic, plus the flavourings added are natural. Furthermore, English Tea Shop have a Soil Association certification on the box, which means all these organic and natural claims have been checked and tested.
Looking at the loose herbal tea ingredients, the size and quality of the rooibos is pretty standard. I would have preferred to have seen large cocoa pieces and vanilla pod chunks, but the scent confirms that they’re hidden in there somewhere.
Overall, this tea is pleasant but not the most amazing. I still believe it’s worth buying at Christmastime because it gives you a great break from all the Christmas spiced teas. Tea brands put cinnamon in everything at this time of year so it’s good to have a sweet tea without it.
Looking for something simple to contrast with all the heavy autumn chai teas and Christmas teas that are coming up? Check out T2 Just Peppermint. Like an After Eight, it refreshes your palate after a heavy meal… but without the calories. I highly recommend it.