Questions about the selection and preparation of tea leaves and beverages.

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Why is my sassafrass root bark tea always so bitter?

I've been on a quest for a while now to make my own root beer. I've tried all sorts of recipes using all sorts of ingredients, and I now have this huge collection of spices and roots and leaves... but ...
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Why does Rooibos tea smell like olives?

I think rooibos tea smells like olives. I've found a couple of posts online of others that think the same: rooibos smells like kalamata olives. Is there a scientific explanation?