A Guide to Rooibos Tea
Originating from South Africa, more specifically the Western Cape province, rooibos tea has been known and loved by the country for decades. It is now becoming more recognized in other continents too, steadily gaining in popularity.
Rooibos is seen as part of the herbal tea family. It is produced from the plant Aspalathus Linearis, native to South Africa. Depsite the shrub-like bush being green, in Afrikaans rooibos translates to 'red bush'. This is thanks to the processing of the tea, which turns the leaves into a rich red/brown colour that we associate with rooibos.
Rooibos is almost similar in flavour to mild black tea, with deliciously earthy yet refreshing underlined notes. Being naturally caffeine-free and full of healthy trace elements, including Vitamin C it is meant to give your body a feeling of wellbeing.
Our Rooibos collection includes plain and flavoured varieties of this classic infusion. Whether it might be Rooibos Hot Chocolate, or the absolute favourite of Rooibos Cream Orange or perhaps the almost traditional Rooibos Vanilla all of those flavours blend well with the traditional Rooibos. Of course if you prefer the true taste, our plain Rooibos will be the better choice for you.
How Rooibos Tea is Produced
The production process of Rooibos tea is separated into three important stages: Cutting, fermentation & drying. How well each stage is carried out can affect the quality of the tea, so it is essential it is done to a high standard.
The harvesting of the rooibos bush is carried out in summer, after the small but beautiful yellow flowers appear on the plant. The leaves and stems, all above ground, are reaped with sickles and then taken to a processing area to be cut with a roller.
Once complete, rooibos leaves are left to ferment outdoors for around 12 hours all the while being regularly dampened. It is during this process that the rooibos will attain its renowned scent.
Due to the intense heat of the country, the rooibos oxides outside in the warm, African sun. The result is the well-known red coloured leaves and refreshing flavor of rooibos tea.
history of rooibos tea
The history of Rooibos tea is rooted in the Ceder Mountain area of the western cape province in the beautiful & vast country of South Africa.
The indigenous bushmen, known as the Khoisan’s, harvested the leaves from the Aspalathus Linearis plant for Centuries. Loved for the distinctive and delicious taste, the bushmen also used the leaves for many ailments and as herbal remedies.
Rooibos tea was nearly lost when the Khoisan’s tribes began to dwindle, only saved by a Botanist called Carl Humberg. He rediscovered the tea leaves and revived the interest in the relatively unknown drink.
The demand for Rooibos tea exploded in the 1960s when Annique Theron, a South African Mother, published a book on the health benefits of Rooibos tea. Many studies were conducted afterwards that established much more evidence of the health advantages of the tea and popularity soared.
Rooibos tea & the health benefits
- May Provide provide protection from flu, colds & viruses: Rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants, specifically polyphenols. These provide an added boost to the immune system, helping to protect against the common cold.
- May act as an anti-infammatory: The polyphenol antioxidants in rooibos also have anti-inflammatory properties which can assist in preventing heart related illnesses but could also help ease more simple ailments suhc as headaches.
- Could relieve stomach issues: Rooibos contains antispasmodic agents that activate potassium ions in the body. These help to relieve stomach cramps and aid digestion. Rooibos has also been used as a natural remedy for irritable bowel syndrome.
HOW TO BREW Rooibos TEA
Brewing Rooibos in its natural form creates a delicious cup. However, some may decide to serve the tea with milk, sugar and even honey to add some sweetness.
The standard process is as follows:
- Boil some fresh cold water
- Place the Rooibos in a tea strainer or filter basket
- Pour the boiling hot water
- Infuse the tea for the appropriate amount of time
- Strain the tea
- Sweeten the tea to taste
- Sit back, relax and enjoy!
Ranging from 1 slightly heaped teaspoon to 1 heaped teaspoon of rooibos per cup
Colours range from red, red/brown to brown
NOTE: Please make read the individual brewing instructions on each package of tea.
Our top recommendations are:
- Ronnefeldt Rooibos Bourbon Vanilla – The aromatic, traditional beverage from the South African red bush, gently scented with delicate bourbon vanilla.
- Ronnefeldt Rooibos Cream Orange – Full bodied South African Rooibos is combined with creamy and delicate vanilla and the peel of ripe oranges to create this relaxing herbal infusion. A sumptuous addition to our range and certainly one of our bestelling infusions.
- Ronnefeldt Rooibos Chai – India meets South Africa: a highly aromatic spicy blend based on full bodied rooibos from South Africa and a selection of typical Indian masala spices.
If you cant decide, why not try our Rooibos Tea Hamper. Three of the best Ronnefeldt Rooibos Teas, with a tea ball, all beautifully presented in a wicker hamper.