Rooibos, also called Redbush, is a caffeine-free herbal tea grown mainly in Cederberg mountains, situated in the north of Cape Town in South Africa, although the production has been extended to other parts of South Africa these days. South Africa is the only producer of Rooibos globally and approx. 7 tons are exported to 30 different countries. Besides South Africa, main countries consuming Rooibos are United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and the United States.
Seeds are planted in February or March and the first harvest can be made 18 months later when the branches grow between 30-40 cm. The leaves are processed similar to camelia Sinensis tea plants. During this process, the leaves are being cut and bruised to help the oxidation process. It is at this moment that the leaves turn red colour. There is another version which is less oxidized, called Green Rooibos. This version has more minerally and grassy notes.
In general, red rooibos has a sweet, honey aroma with malty, tobacco flavours and dried cherries, vanilla notes. It has a low level of tannin, so doesn’t have the bitter taste that you can find in teas made from Camelia Sinensis tea plants.
As it offers quite a rich flavour with full-body, rooibos is often consumed with milk in South Africa, as a non-caffeine alternative of English Breakfast.
Rooibos tea is free from caffeine, therefore it is an ideal drink for people having problems sleeping or sensitive to caffeine. It is also known to contain calcium and magnesium which help fighting against insomnia.
Rooibos contains an antioxidant which could help prevent many diseases such as diabetes, cancer or heart diseases. It can help with weight loss, as it contains zero calories and tastes naturally sweet. Rooibos tea also has an anti-inflammatory property, which might help aches or pains.
Visit our blog page to learn more about the health benefits of tea and herbal tea.
Rooibos can help to improve skin appearance and slow down the development of wrinkles. It contains Zinc, which apparently helps reduce acne or eczema. Another component, the superoxide dismutase, has anti-ageing properties.
As Rooibos doesn't have any calorie and it tastes naturally sweet, it can be easily consumed without sugar, unlike English Breakfast, which is often drunk with milk and sugar. Therefore, Rooibos may well be a good alternative for English Breakfast for those who are trying to loose weight by lowering down the sugar intake.
We recommend taking one teaspoon of rooibos (2 grams) for every 200ML of water. It will be approximately two teaspoons of rooibos for a medium size teapot to brew.
The quality of the water is an essential part of getting the best brew. We always recommend using filtered water or water containing fewer minerals. Ideally, the mineral content should be below 100 ppm.
Rooibos can be steeped longer than Tea from camelia sinensis, as it doesn’t get bitter. In general, we recommend brewing rooibos leaves for 3 - 5 minutes, according to your preferred strength. Once it is brewed, pour the rooibos infusion from your teapot to a mug and enjoy. We enjoy the naturally calming flavour of rooibos on its own, but feel free to add milk, honey or sugar, milk or honey according to your preference.
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