Tag Archives: tisane

Turkish Apple & Cinnamon Instant Tisane

Turkish Apple & Cinnamon Instant Tisane

Awful. Hurts teeth and wallet alike.
Tisane, ★

Apple & Cinnamon Instant Tisane is mostly sugar, but at $28 per 500g, it’s 37 times more expensive than sugar. The extortionate price perplexes me because the colours and flavours inside are neither attractive nor expensive to buy. It tastes sweet (that’s the sugar), a little gloopy (that’s the maltodextrin), and hurts my wallet (that’s the ridiculous price tag). Whether it’s cheating customers or treating them like fools, I think this product should be withdrawn from sale. Check the ingredients and I think you’ll agree:

Sugar, citric acid, maltodextrine, vitamin C, anticaking agent, colour, flavour.

I’m happy I didn’t pay any money for this flavoured, coloured sugar. I regret drinking it even though it was free.

Make compote instead. Take eight apples, peel them and chop them into half-inch pieces. Place them into a baking tray with a stick of cinnamon (and nothing else: no water, no sugar). Add a tight-fitting lid and bake the apples until they’re soft—this takes about 30 minutes on a medium heat. Mash them further with a fork and leave them to cool. Eat the resulting compote now or store it sterile and airtight in the fridge for up to five days. This recipe costs about $1. Enjoy. ★

Tisane: Rooibos


Sweet and mentholly but doesn’t live up to the hype.

Rooibos is a plant native to South Africa that gives a reddish broth when brewed. This gives rise to its technically incorrect English pseudonym of “red tea”. Other than being a plant (specifically a eudicot), it is of no relation to tea whatsoever (Carmellia sinensis).

Brewed, it tastes like muffled black tea with an aroma of menthol. I say ‘muffled’ because rooibos lacks the feeling of tea (茶气 in Chinese), which would have either warmed, cooled, excited or relaxed me, and invariably increased my clarity and focus. Rooibos does none of that, possibly because, unlike tea, it lacks caffeine, catechins and tannin. But the fact that rooibos shares the same woody undertones, light taste and clean mouthfeel found in many popular black teas probably makes it a hit.

Rooibos has been added to the ‘superfood’ bandwagon recently by clever lobbyists. Rumours that rooibos can cure EVERYTHING are rife on the Internet, in the Daily Mail and on supermarket labels. Personally, I think it’s just clever advertising. If only Apple advertised real books. I think ALL foods are “healthy” and could be justifiably labelled as “superfoods” if a decent advertising agency was paid handsomely enough.

I was disappointed by rooibos. I expected something magical after all that hype. Yes, rooibos makes a pleasant tisane, but so do many other herbs. It might as well have been cinnamon. 不怎么样. ★★

Readers: Have you tried Rooibos? Do you love it? Hate it? Why?