South Africa’s herbal gift to the world! Rooibos (pronounced “Roy-bus”, meaning red bush) is a caffeine-free bush that only grows in the rugged Cederberg Mountains, north of Cape Town.
It is harvested once a year between January and April, and after being washed and cut to uniform pieces, is dampened and left to ferment in the hot African sun. The fermentation process changes the leaf color from green to its distinct amber-red color and gives rooibos its wonderful sweetness.
A delicious brew all on its own, rooibos has a natural sweetness and subtle vanilla like flavor. It is a healthy addition to your daily routine, for it is boosting with health benefits and is calorie and caffeine free, a great drink the whole family can enjoy anytime of the day. Rooibos is also an excellent base for blended herbal teas, you’ll often find it mixed with other herbs, flowers, fruit and flavors because it is mild, sweet and incredibly complementary.
Rare, and not nearly as well-known as its red counterpart, “green” unoxidized rooibos is much more demanding to produce (similar to the methods of producing green tea) which makes it pricier than traditional red rooibos. It carries a slightly grassy flavor quite different from traditional rooibos.
Recently, red bush tea gained so much popularity- as it should! It has been showing up in fun, trendy drinks such as a “Cape Town Fog”- replacing the earl grey with rooibos in the classic London fog tea latte, or a “red Espresso”- a concentrated shot of red rooibos, which can also be used in lattes or cappuccino style drinks. Give it a try, it deserves the attention it is getting!
Health Benefits of Rooibos
Rooibos is an herbal tea, which means that it is caffeine free, a wonderful option for children and anyone who is sensitive to caffeine. Numerous testing has shown us that rooibos is a high source of zinc, and zinc is an amazing immune boosting mineral, great for flu and fighting colds, and getting rid of cold sores. Its medicinal properties are confirmed by The US Department of Agriculture which has affirmed that red rooibos tea is capable of reducing cancer, heart disease, premature aging and other serious conditions.
We suggest following the specific suggestions on your bag of tea, but here are some guidelines.
1-1.5 tsp of loose tea for every 8oz of water. 205F/95C for 4-4.5 minutes.