Starbucks "African Red Bush" tea? Is it Rooibos?


The past two times I've been at a Starbucks in Canada, I've ordered a cup of "African Red Bush" tea, which is a new addition to their teabag keyring. It's a new option in their selection of non-tea teas (i.e. herbals).
The name gave me confidence it was Rooibos. It even looked like Rooibos in the bag; the color was the same, etc. But it tasted absolutely horrible and so unsettling that I thought there's no way it could be Rooibos.
But upon reflection, I think it might be lemon-flavoured Rooibos. Overly lemon-flavoured. It was like drinking pure acid. Now, I know a lot of people like any kind of tea with lemon in it (read: idiots), but this was beyond the pale. It was like drinking a gobstopper or sour patch kid candy.
I just wanted to ask because maybe some of you actually drink Lemon Rooibos on purpose, and you could tell me if the Starbucks monstrosity is in fact that. Otherwise, what on earth could "African Red Bush" possibly be?
I just can't get my head around it -- it didn't have that flavourful Rooibos aftertaste at all. It tasted like coloured water with half a gallon of lemon juice in it.
Reply to
calculon

My wife and I go into a Starbucks yesterday to redeem a holiday gift card with a given balance. I read the fine print. It said no cash refund. We ordered Tazo Chai tea which was a buck more than Chai tea latte. It didn' taste like tea, chai or the more expensive cream for that matter. I probably saw more business in 45 minutes than my local tea shoppe gets all morning. We got the last dirty little table. Two guys at the front of the store in the nice leather chairs both looked like extras from BrokeBack Mtn. Yup pointed boots, pointed hats and enough silver to make a Navajo happy. The Western apparel stores in town can't stock enough colorful coordinated cowboy outfits for the urban professional whose parents told them Midnight Cowboy was the prequel to Deliverance. It wasn't my money.
Jim
PS: The lastest wrinkle in Rooibus is adding flavors just like tea. You don't like the taste just keep adding crap till you do and tell your friends you gave up coffee for something healthier.
Reply to
Space Cowboy

Their coffee doesn't taste like coffee, either.
Starbucks isn't a place to get what you want; it's a place to prove you're swayed by the pure marketing qualities of saturation and popularity.
When they start doing media advertising, the world may end.
--Blair
Reply to
Blair P. Houghton

Ignore for the moment the quality of Starbucks offerings. Why would any right-minded person think Starbucks the shop has cache and style? It's a freaking franchise, no different than Applebees or Olive Garden.
--crymad
Reply to
crymad

Yes, and more importantly... back to the point...
I'm not here to discuss the merits of Starbucks versus classier, independent caffeine houses. I'm just really curious: is this African Red Bush really Rooibos?
I guess the only way to find out is to get them to show me the box, or failing that, to ask them not to put the teabag into the water next time I'm there. I can then take it to my table and rip it open, pour a sample into a ziploc bag, and then drink a tall cup of not-quite-boiling water. I suppose at home I can lay it out on a paper towel and compare it to a sample of real Rooibos.
Rooibos. But that taste was absurd. P.S. I've had Caramel Rooibos and Earl Grey Rooibos before, and although I found them repulsive and undrinkable, they both tasted quite a lot like Rooibos with flavouring on top. I just don't know if lemon plays nice that way, or if it totally obliterates the underlying taste.
Lemon tea drinkers should be able to chime in and tell me. Then again, there probably aren't many lemon tea drinkers on this NG. In fact, I'd be surprised if there was one, in the whole wide world. It would be like Sangria drinkers hanging out on a wine NG.
Reply to
calculon

I don't tell my friends that I "gave up coffee for something healthier" ... I just tell them that I can't remember the last time I had a cup of coffee. I've got some premium coffee in the freezer (from the Vashon Island monastery) and a great Cuisinart coffeemaker, but it's just such a bother to set up (not to mention clean), and I've grown to like the many varieties of tea a lot better than I do coffee.
On rooibos, I've only had the peach-flavored rooibos from Teavana (I like peach flavor in tea). I still don't know what rooibos tastes like by itself, but if it were something I'd find disagreeable, I'm sure I'd taste it through the peach flavoring.
And to answer the OP: I haven't tried it, but I'd bet real money that Starbucks' "African Red Bush Tea" is actually rooibos. I mean, what else could it be ... hibiscus?
Reply to
stePH

Hi,
I was thinking about honeybush, another african bush, but searching through the net i meet this translation: Rooibos = Red Tea - Red Bush Furthermore, the "African Red Bush" is a trademark of the RooibosUsa.com
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Giovanni Vanni
ha scritto nel messaggio news: snipped-for-privacy@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
Reply to
Giovanni Vanni

A little late, but: The name might come from South Africa, a colony of the Netherlands. And it might translate "rooi bos" -> "red bush".
Nils
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Reply to
Nils Lahmann

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