What is rooibos tea?Rooibos or red bush tea is herbal tea made from dried leaves and stems of Aspalathus linearis plant. It can be fermented and non-fermented, just like green and black tea. Nonfermented rooibos is green and has a light, slightly sweet and slightly earthy, refreshing flavor with no bitterness. Fermented rooibos is red and has a stronger, more earthy and sweet flavor, also with no bitterness. Both red and green rooibos tea are naturally caffeine free.
Blood Orange rooibos tea
Why is rooibos tea popular?Rooibos gained popularity for two major reasons. It has a delicious refreshing flavor with no caffeine and may provide many potential health benefits. But there’s one more characteristic that makes it unique. Rooibos, both green and red, blend amazingly well with other ingredients. This makes them a perfect herbal base for caffeine-free blends. Some rooibos teas are stronger, some are lighter, some have a stronger sweet note, while others are more earthy. Unlike real teas made from Camellia sinensis plant, rooibos is very easy to brew. You can’t over-brew rooibos. In fact, it will still taste delicious even if you forget about your brewed cup for a couple of hours. Brew rooibos for 3-10 minutes in boiling water, strain and serve. You can drink it with honey, sugar or pure. It tastes great served over ice. The only disadvantage of rooibos tea is the size of the leaf particles. Particles are so small that you will need to be careful about the choice of teapot or strainer. The best way to brew rooibos is using paper or cotton tea filters, and in teapots that have a very fine mesh strainer.
Rooibos tea brewed in different ways
What qualities should I look for in a rooibos tea?When choosing the best rooibos for your taste and needs, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Which type of tea do you regularly enjoy the most?If you enjoy green teas, green rooibos may be a wonderful choice. It has a similar flavor to lighter non-grassy green teas, and zero bitterness - even if you over-brew it. Green rooibos may even appeal to those tea drinkers that don’t like the flavor of red rooibos. On the other hand, if you love black teas more, red rooibos may be a good choice. However, unlike black tea, red rooibos is not malty or smoky. It has a very unique earthy flavor.
2. How will you drink your tea?If you drink tea with milk, red rooibos is a better choice than green rooibos. If you like it iced, both are wonderful. Fruity rooibos blends are delicious iced. If you love making lattes, creamy and chocolaty rooibos blends are amazingly tasty when blended with milk. And if you want to make a tea concentrate or a tea syrup, red rooibos is a better choice. It’s strong enough to flavor to many dishes, cocktails and desserts. In fact, because of its versatility, it’s one of the best herbal teas to have in your kitchen cupboard.
Rooibos iced tea
3. What kind of flavors you like?Rooibos is probably the most versatile herbal tea in the world. It can be blended with any imaginable ingredient–from sour hibiscus to soothing roses. Rooibos blends often have a lighter earthy flavor than pure rooibos tea. Chocolate and vanilla notes may highlight the natural sweetness of a red bush tea. Therefore, vanilla blends are likely to be the closer in flavor to pure red rooibos than zesty and sour blends. When choosing the best loose leaf tea, look for the ingredients list. Today, both organic and non-organic rooibos tea leaves are available on the market. Red rooibos tea should always be fresh and have tea leaves with a vivid brownish-red or yellowish-red color. Keep your tea away from direct sunlight, sources of heat, moisture or mold. Keep it in an airtight container.
What are the potential benefits of rooibos tea?One of the reasons rooibos is gaining popularity world-wide is a wide range of potential health benefits. It contains antioxidants and may help boost immune system, fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Rooibos may potentially help fight and treat cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and help lower blood lipids and promote weight loss goals. Studies suggest rooibos is also an amazing herbal choice for relaxation. It may help reduce the levels of stress hormone – cortisol. To gain the most benefits, scientists suggest to drink it daily, even up to 6 cups. The good news? It’s caffeine free and is likely to be extremely safe. Therefore, overdose on rooibos is very unlikely.
Best Rooibos TeasToday, rooibos there is rarely a loose leaf tea company that doesn’t offer rooibos tea. While pure red rooibos may always have a recognizable flavor, rooibos blends are all unique. Here are our top choices if you really want to understand the versatility and wide range of flavors this tea can have.
Simple Rooibos HerbalSimple Rooibos is a pure red rooibos tea. It’s great for making your own tea blends, simple rooibos tea syrups, or simple rooibos lattes. You can add any flavor you want – from creamy chocolate drops to zesty orange slices. Perfect for those that love the original pure rooibos flavor.
Bengal Chai herbal tea with rooibos
Seven herbal tea with licorice, ginseng, peppermint, echinacea, rooibos, sasparilla root and cinnamon
African Rose herbal tea with rooibos
Apple Cinnamon Herbal rooibos blend
Key West Herbal rooibos blend
Banana Delight herbal tea with freeze-dried banana
Blood Orange herbal tea with rooibos
Rusty Roots - green rooibos tea blend
New to Rooibos? Learn More!Want to learn more about this amazing herbal tea? Check out the following articles:
- 5 Pure Red Rooibos Tea Recipes
- What does Rooibos Tea Taste like?
- What is Green Rooibos Tea? Health Benefits & How to Brew
- How to Make Rooibos Tea: 6 Ways to Ice and Brew
- 7 Reasons Why Rooibos is the Best Herbal Tea
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person is different and may react to different herbs and teas differently. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own. Always seek professional medical advice before choosing home remedies.