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What is Rooibos?

What is Rooibos?

June 04, 2019

What is Rooibos?


Rooibos (Red Bush or Red tea - although it is not a tisane, so not really a ‘tea’)


The standard way to say Rooibos in the USA is Roy-boss. If you get a bit of an Afrikans accent, then you can say – Roo-e-boss.


Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is a member of the legume family [odd huh?] and only grows in the Cedarberg Mountains in the Western Cape region of South Africa. It has been enjoyed since the turn of the century when local bushmen discovered that fermenting and sun drying the needle-like leaves of this wild mountain plant produced a tasty and fortifying tea. The locals refer to this tea as Bush Tea.


What is the difference between green and red rooibos?


Green and red rooibos come from the same plant but the difference is the curing process. Immediately after harvest green rooibos is lightly steamed to halt oxidation, retaining the green color in the leaves (the stalks are naturally red). Red rooibos goes through a long oxidation [fermentation] process fully turning the leaves reddish-brown in color. Red rooibos has a full-bodied flavor with caramel notes and steeps into an amber-hued cup. Green rooibos has a more delicate, herbal flavor and steeps into a light orange-yellow cup. Green is often more expensive and boasts more antioxidants. They both contain some copper and fluoride.


What are the nutritional benefits of raw rooibos?


This raw state preserves the plant’s natural live benefits and has TWICE THE AMOUNT OF POLYPHENOLS AS OTHER TEAS – UP TO 80 MG PER 6 OZ CUP COMPARED TO 32 MG IN GREEN TEA! Studies show these health-promoting antioxidants can help protect the body from free radicals that weaken natural defenses. Green rooibos has a higher concentration of many of the nutrients found in other teas. It is rich in natural occurring elements and it also retains chlorophyll, which has cleansing properties that can help promote fresh breath.


Does Rooibos have any calories or caffeine?


No caffeine or calories.


How long does it stay fresh?


If stored under normal conditions (at or below room temperature and low humidity), rooibos teas will retain its freshness for up to 2 years.


How is it prepared?

Heat fresh, filtered water to just below boiling. Place one teaspoon in your steeper and pour in 8 oz of the heated water. Steep for 5-7 minutes. Remove the steeper and enjoy. For iced tea, double the amount of tea, steep as above and pour over a generous amount of ice.


What are the recommended serving suggestions?


All of the flavors are refreshing served hot or over ice, with savory or sweet foods and with or without sweetener. Since they are caffeine-free, these “teas” [herbals] can be enjoyed all day long.





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