African Red Bush tea, also known as Rooibos (pronounced Roy-Boss), is a tea alternative that originates in South Africa. It is made from the leaves of the Asspalathus linearis plant that grows in the mountainous region of Cederberg. Because it is not related to the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, it has different properties from traditional teas.
Many tea drinkers may find it easier to brew than its Asian counterpart…. with white and green teas, temperature and timing are key. The water cannot be too hot, and the leaves cannot be steeped too long. Rooibos is far more forgiving. Brewing in boiled water does not compromise the flavor and it can be steeped for as long as fifteen minutes without becoming bitter. This makes Rooibos a great beginner tea.
Rooibos is also free of caffeine, which makes it an excellent alternative to black or green teas in the evening. For the health conscious, the red tea boasts an impressive list of health benefits. Rooibos is high in vitamin C and can act as a bronchodilator, which may help asthmatics breathe a little easier. In addition, Rooibos is high in antioxidants, which are beneficial in helping the body combat stress and inflammation.
On its own, Rooibos tastes slightly sweet and malty, and pairs well with fruity flavors. Traditionally it is served hot, but we at MarketSpice have found that it makes an excellent iced tea as well. Please check our bulk herbal tea section and you will find we have several delicious flavors from which to choose. We also have four fabulous flavors in boxes of 24 teabags (Cinnamon Orange (of course!), True Vanilla (slightly sweet with a touch of stevia), Cranberry Mint (lovely in the afternoon) and Pure (no added flavorings but plenty of taste on its own.)
The popularity of Rooibos tea has grown tremendously in the past decade. Once you try this beverage and enjoy it…..you will understand why!