Friday, December 16, 2011

A Disappointingly Weak Red, Twinings African Rooibos Red Tea Smells Good, But Disappoints

The Good: Nothing detrimental in the nutrition department, Organic
The Bad: VERY weak taste, superfluous papers and strings, no caffeine
The Basics: Twinings flops with its African Rooibos Red tea, which is pretty much just good-smelling water.

Oftentimes, I strive for a level of thoroughness in my reviews of tea that is uncommon in tea reviews. Today, though, I just cannot muster up a lot of enthusiasm to write about Twinings African Rooibos Red tea. So, I’m not even going to try. This is an exceptionally weak tea and it is not worth the time and attention of a serious tea drinker.


African Rooibos Red Tea is a red tea from Twinings of London. Red tea is not, technically, a tea at all as it is made from rooibos roots, not tea plants. Twinings recently released its African Rooibos Red tea and it is still finding its way to the marketplace (I know some of my local stores do not yet carry it).

African Rooibos Red comes in Twinings' standard tea bags, which are individually paper wrapped and have a five inch string. The string is attached to a paper tab that is independent of the wax paper wrapper. The string attaches to the tea bag through a knot, so there is no chance of metallic taste from a staple with this flavor! A box of African Rooibos Red tea comes with 20 individual paper-wrapped tea bags. After years of drinking only Celestial Seasonings' tea, this seems remarkably wasteful now to have so much waste as far as paper and strings.

Ease Of Preparation

As a black tea, African Rooibos Red is ridiculously easy to prepare. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea and could be reused and cannot make a second cup that could be credibly called African Rooibos Red. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, though in this method, the second brewing is about 1/8 strength.

To prepare African Rooibos Red tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags. For African Rooibos Red, roaring boil is just fine! This tea takes three to five minutes to steep according to the directions. In my experience, it gets no stronger after five minutes, which is a bit of a disappointment.


Twinings African Rooibos Red Tea smells incredibly good. The aroma of this tea is like wheat and cinnamon. The scent is pleasant and inviting and hints at a fairly strong tea.

Unfortunately, African Rooibos Red is surprisingly bland. While most Rooibos teas I have had taste like cinnamon or nutmeg, this tastes very much like a grain and a weak one at that. The flavor is watery and tastes surprisingly mild. In fact, this is an almost flavorless tea, especially as it cools.

With sugar, the flavor is sublimated even more. Sugar drowns out what flavor the rooibos tea did possess,


The ingredients in this tea are ridiculously simple. It is made up entirely of rooibos. That’s it.

In terms of nutrition, this tea is devoid of it. One 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar, which I do not recommend), no fat, sodium, or protein. There is no caffeine, either.


African Rooibos Red tea is very easy to clean up after, provided one does not get it on fabric. The tea bags may be disposed in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. If composting, though, one must remove the paper tag and string, which is just a tedious extra step. The tea itself is a very faint red and will only stain the lightest fabrics.


Twinings Premium African Rooibos Red Tea is a truly disappointing tea that does not hold a candle to . . . well, any other rooibos tea I have ever reviewed!

For other Twinings teas reviewed by me, please check out:
Pumpkin Spice Chai
Pure Mint Premium Black Tea
Earl Grey


For other tea reviews, please visit my index page for a complete list!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment