Years ago, I was not a big fan of rooibos (pronounced "ROY-boss"). Initially, I didn't enjoy the taste in its original form, but rooibos tea has come a long way. It is the base for some lovely teas like "Organic Rejuvenate Rooibos."
Organic Rejuvenate Rooibos is one of my custom-blends made just for us here at Uptown Tea Shop. An exclusive, if you will.
Organic Rejuvenate Rooibos is an organic green rooibos with organic lemon myrtle and organic orange peel. It is absolutely delicious. I enjoy this tea frequently for both its flavor and health benefits. As a bonus, it is excellent both hot or over ice — so it can be enjoyed all year long.
Some background in case you're not familiar with rooibos tea. While rooibos, meaning "red bush," is called a "tea," it is not a traditional tea in the way we're familiar with black and green teas. Instead, it is naturally caffeine-free and therefore is actually an herbal tea. Rooibos comes from a plant grown only in South Africa's mountainous region of Cederberg, around 80 miles north of Cape Town. For more information, please read my article "Rooibos - Full Flavored and Healthy."
There are two types of rooibos, red and green. I carry both kinds in some exquisite flavors. Like traditional tea, they both come from the same plant. The difference between the two is in the processing. Red rooibos is oxidized (exposed to oxygen), green rooibos is not. Due to the lack of oxidation, green rooibos is also supposed to have higher levels of antioxidants than red rooibos.
South Africans have been harvesting and drying the leaves and stalks of red rooibos for over 300 years.
In comparison, green rooibos is a much newer drink. Because it is dried right after harvest, green rooibos retains its natural color, taste, and antioxidants. It is also less earthy in flavor, lighter, and has a lovely delicate sweetness with no bitterness. Red rooibos, on the other hand, is more earthy but still lightly sweet.
I've found that red rooibos can handle milk or cream, while green rooibos is best enjoyed pure. And because life happens, if you steep rooibos tea too long, it won't become bitter.