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Effects of different factors on sensory attributes, overall acceptance and preference of Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) tea

Effects of serving size, gender, age, tea type, tea-making technique and water quality on the sensory attributes (appearance, aroma and taste), overall acceptability and preference of Rooibos tea were investigated. In general, there were significant effects of age and main factor interactions on the attributes and product acceptability (P <= 0.05). The interaction of serving size, gender and age affected the acceptability of Rooibos (P <= 0.05). Although there was significant difference between natural and vanilla-flavored tea in terms of color, clarity, odor and taste (P <= 0.05), no difference was observed in the product acceptability (P > 0.05). The tea-making technique only affected the odor with traditionally brewed tea having lower intensity scores than the infused tea. The tea prepared using natural spring water was found to be clearer and had higher acceptability, scores than the tea prepared using tap water (P > 0.05). There was no existing significant preference for the natural Rooibos over the vanilla-flavored one, and the traditionally brewed tea over the infused one; however the tea prepared using the spring water was preferred over the one prepared using tap water.