I don’t know about you, but for me the past week has been absolutely manic. Each day brought a new mountain of work to be climbed and now it’s the weekend. Offblak Down Time tea is on the agenda and I’m about to review it for my usual Monday blog spot.
It’s like the stars have aligned. On the day that I need down time the most, Offblak has sent me a perfect herbal tea to match the mood.
So, let’s see if it really is good for relaxation. Read my full review below.
Offblak Down Time Herbal Tea at a Glance
- Blend: Rooibos with apple, hibiscus, mint and European blueberries (bilberries)
- Flavour: Medicinal sweet rooibos with minty freshness and a hint of blueberry
If you are on the fence about rooibos flavours, this tea will help you decide one way or the other. It’s a very strong rooibos tea with just a hint of minty freshness. The blueberry is a subtle flavour and grows quietly in the aftertaste.
Full Review – Offblak Blueberry & Mint Herbal Tea
- Type: Tagged pyramid sachet
- Tea: Rooibos, apple pieces, hibiscus flower, spearmint, bilberry, flavouring
- Health Benefits: Improve eyesight, memory and relaxation
- Flavour Notes: Rooibos, medicinal, sweet, fresh mint, subtle blueberry
- Aroma: Medicinal, sweet blueberry, rooibos, hint of apple, spearmint
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: Offblak Website or Amazon
Ripping open the packet, you are hit with a very intense aroma of rooibos. If you’ve never smelt rooibos before, it’s best described as medicinal and sweet. A good rooibos has notes of honey and a nutty quality too, but I can’t detect that in either the aroma or flavour of this tea – I think adding other fruity ingredients has enhanced the medicinal sweetness too much. Nonetheless, there is a hint of apple and blueberry in the aroma coming from the pyramid tea bag.
You’ll get a rich sunburnt orange colour from this tea. It’s also interesting how much the aroma can change from dry tea leaves to brewed tea. The rooibos settles a little and there’s a good note of spearmint piercing through. Quite nice!
Unfortunately, the flavour isn’t all that. The rooibos is quite weak and has more high sweetness than body. Yet it somehow still manages to overpower all the other ingredients. The mint makes itself known by adding a fresh quality to the tea… but doesn’t actually impart any significant flavour.
As for the blueberry note, it only makes an appearance in the aftertaste and is quickly washed away when you sip another mouthful. The texture of the tea is quite watery and slick – there’s no thickness to the tea, which can sometimes be pleasant in fruity blends.
Overall, it’s a pretty disappointing experience. It’s certainly drinkable and full-flavoured, but the balance of flavours is awful, and I didn’t find it relaxing.
Well, at least it wasn’t energising!
How to Brew Rooibos Tea
This tea is caffeine free and doesn’t contain any gentle ingredients that need lower brewing temperatures. So, just pop the kettle on and brew to your heart’s content. Offblak recommend 100°C water for 5+ minutes.
I always follow the instructions from the brand first, then brew another cup with an adjusted time or temperature afterwards if necessary. In this case, brewing for 5 minutes enhanced the rooibos but not the other flavours. Usually, I’d recommend brewing for a shorter time frame if you want to reduce the rooibos flavour, but I think that in this case, you really can’t avoid the rooibos no matter how you brew it.
As this is designed as an evening tea to help you unwind, I’d advise against eating any sugary foods with it.
Why Offblak Tea Bags?
I know that the nice colour palette and ‘Generation T’ marketing is going to draw you in, but please focus on the ingredients and quality when judging a tea brand! Offblak have some good things going for them, like being carbon negative. Offblak Down Time was also awarded one star in the 2021 Great Taste awards.
You need to look at the ingredients list. Offblak are relying on flavouring and I’m a little annoyed that they label it as blueberry rather than bilberry. I mean, they’re not technically wrong by saying this, but why not just embrace the bilberry?
Perhaps their market research indicated that bilberry would confuse tea drinkers. For me, however, discovering a new and unusual ingredient is a huge draw. You can see what the tea leaf inside the tea bag looks like in my photos
Down Time Health Benefits
Rooibos, apple, hibiscus, spearmint and bilberry are the main ingredients in this brew. Rooibos accounts for 60% of the ingredients – read my guide to rooibos to learn more about the health benefits of it.
There’s not actually any blueberry in this tea, despite the name. Instead, Offblak use bilberry which is a European plant that’s very similar to blueberry. The flavour is basically the same, but the health benefits are a little different. Spearmint is also singled out by Offblak, so these are the ingredients I am focusing on for health benefits:
- Bilberry: reduces high blood pressure, improves circulation and night vision, and is great for people with diabetes in general, according to WebMD.
- Spearmint: supposedly good for your memory and definitely great for refreshing your palate at the end of the day. WebMD also states that it’s good for digestion.
While herbal teas in general are good for relaxation as they are caffeine-free, Offblak Down Time doesn’t have any ingredients focused on better sleep. It’s simply a nice evening tea blend.
If you go wild for rooibos tea, then Offblak Down Time will be perfect for you. However, don’t go in expecting strong minty blueberry notes because they just aren’t there. If you want to try this tea for yourself, you can find it on Offblak’s official website or Amazon. I think Offblak may be sold in some real-world stores too.
I store my tea in a dark, cool cupboard which helps it stay fresh for as long as possible. While I was digging around to find Offblak Down Time, I stumbled upon one of my last English Tea Shop teabags! Even though White Wonderland was a bit of a let-down, I still enjoyed reminiscing over a cup of it. Why not read that review next?