If you have not given rooibos tea a try, here is a primer for you. If you already are a regular rooibos tea lover, even better. I hope, though, that my article contains some new and useful information for you.
But first things first.
How do you pronounce rooibos?
Just ignore the extra o, and you pronounce it as you see it: "ROY-boss".
What is rooibos tea?
Rooibos, meaning "red bush", is a plant indigenous to South Africa's mountainous region of Cederberg, around 80 miles north of Cape Town.
Rooibos tea has been popular in Southern Africa for over 300 years. However, it only took off internationally in the last 20 to 30 years, mostly due to its health benefits and rich flavor, making rooibos tea an ideal alternative to black tea, even coffee, for those trying to reduce their caffeine consumption.
The reddish hallmark of rooibos tea comes from oxidizing/fermenting the leaves. This process also enhances the flavor, giving rooibos tea its characteristic full and rich taste.
Green rooibos is not fermented and produces a light golden color after infusing it for 4 to 5 minutes. It is also supposed to contain even higher amounts of antioxidants than the traditional, fermented kind. I carry six different green rooibos teas in my store.
Rooibos tea is praised for its health benefits
Despite the long list of health benefits rooibos tea is said to have, I love these four:
- As traditional rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free and full-bodied, many use it to replace black tea, green tea, or even coffee. Although rooibos is delicious on its own, it also pairs well with milk or cream. You can also add honey, lemon, or ginger to change things up a bit.
- Rooibos is also known for being rich in powerful antioxidants that may help protect cells from damaging free radicals.
- Compared to black and green teas, rooibos is low in bitter-tasting tannins, which can help your body to absorb iron in your diet.
- In South Africa, rooibos tea is also used for its soothing benefits.
How to make a perfect cup
Use one teaspoon of loose leaf rooibos tea for 8 ounces of filtered water. Let the leaves steep for 4 to 5 minutes at a water temperature of around 212 degrees. You can also infuse it longer. Unlike black or green tea, it won't get bitter, just more robust and flavorful.
I carry 15 different rooibos teas in a variety of mouthwatering flavors to tempt your taste buds. Check them out. I'm sure one, two, or three or more will become favorites.