Hibiscus Flowers, Rose Hips, Chicory Root, Chamomile Flowers, N/A Strawberry and Mango Flavours
This tea strongly (and pleasantly) reminds me of hot lemon and water, except for the bright, garnet red colour. It's the hibiscus and rose hips, of course, in all their tart red glory.
It smells of warm red berries and has hints of mulled wine lurking in the aftertaste, but you do have to search for it. Some would probably find this tea too tart or too sour, although an iced, sweetened version would make a colourful lemonade substitute. Another easy use for this would be as a spiced, hot drink in winter; a stick of cinnamon, bits of ginger or orange, perhaps a bit of honey, and you have a custom alternative to apple cider!
Still, although I can easily imagine a lot of ways to drink this versatile tea, I like it best when it is plain. It's a very good after-meal digestive, it's wonderful with a cookie or piece of chocolate, and to top it all, it's full of Vitamin C. Good for cold season, and just plain tasty.
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The first time I tried chai was in the kitchen of my parent’s house, and served by my younger sister. “You have to taste this—” she insisted, pushing a mug across the countertop to me. She refused to elaborate on its contents. The flavors, she said, would speak for themselves.
The quality of water affects the taste of your tea; this is beyond dispute. The relative quantities of mineral salts, oxygen and trace elements determine the relative "liveliness" or "flatness" of a particular cup. To that simple substance we add the basic flavor of the leaf itself or an herbal substitute.