Sunday, December 7, 2014

Winter Wonderland Rooibos by Simpson & Vail

Seller Description"A wonderful blend of green rooibos with cacao and cinnamon and flavored with Bavarian chocolate, cinnamon and hazelnuts. When we sampled this in our store we heard "Best rooibos ever!", "A new favorite", "Great everyday tea". It brews to a golden cup with the delicious aroma and taste of cinnamon baked goodies (we were reminded of apple fritters). Smooth and warming, this blend has the more pronounced taste of cinnamon and hazelnuts, while the Bavarian chocolate is an underlying taste that rounds out the other flavors. Delicious in every season!"
Ingredients: Organic green rooibos, organic cacao nibs, organic cinnamon pieces, flavoring, white and blue cornflower petals.
Website: Winter Wonderland Rooibos by Simpson & Vail
Sample source: Provided

Teaware: 16oz glass infuser mug
Measured dry: 3 teaspoons
Water Temperature: 212º F
Steeping Time: 5 minutes
Additives: 3 teaspoons of raw sugar

When I first read over the notes about this tea, I thought I was in for a completely different experience. Nothing says "Nutella" to me like chocolate and hazelnut, but while this blend does have some slight cocoa notes, it hearkens more to the sweet breads of the season.

When I taste it, I'm transported back to Grandma's kitchen, enjoying warm stollen while Mom, my aunts, and grandma bustled around preparing Christmas dinner. Every year it was the same: A sweet bread with raisins topped with white icing, candied fruits, and nuts in pretty floral designs.

I can definitely see how some reviewers liken it to apple fritters (It's the closest I've gotten since I developed my apple allergy!) but it just seems like more to me. The nuttiness of the hazelnuts and the slight fruity elements combined with the flavor of that sweet, drippy icing just shout stollen to me... and makes it that much more special.

Now please excuse me while I go pull out Grandma's recipe and make some of my own!

Prominent Notes: Buttery flour with nutty and fruity elements
Aftertaste: Sugary icing with a slightly caramel, buttery element
Overall: A wonderful cup full of memories of the season