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What is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea, also called Red Tea, is an herbal tea made from the needles of the Aspalathus linearis plant that grows on the western coast of South Africa. Other names Rooibos tea is known as include bush tea, and red bush tea.
After harvest, the needles are oxidized (fermented) which enhances the flavor causes the leaves to turn from green to a distinctive dark reddish-brown color. When brewed the tea takes on a red-orange to a deep rich red color.
Why You Should Drink Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea is smooth flavored, easy to drink tea. Depending on the length you brew it, you can enjoy a range of flavors from a light sweet floral and vanilla with nutty notes to a rich full-bodied tea with woody and earthy notes. Rooibos tea is an herbal tea, it does not contain caffeine and is low in tannins which makes for a less bitter tea making it an excellent substitute for black or green teas. It is often consumed like black tea, with the addition of milk, sweeteners, and flavorings. However, rooibos tea ends with a sweet creamy finish all its own, making a delicious drink even without adding extra flavorings.
Health Benefiting Nutrients in Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals that can damage cells to help your body fight off disease. Polyphenols can benefit heart health, the body’s response to inflammation and promote healthy blood glucose levels, benefit brain function, and may prevent blood clots. Types of polyphenols include flavonoids, phenolic acids, and polyphenolic amide.
- Caffeine Free
- Low Tannins
- Rich in Antioxidants
- Oxalic Acid Free
- Benefits Heart Health
- May Benefit Health Blood Glucose Levels
- Supports Healthy Digestion
- May Benefit Bone Health
- May Aid in Weight Management
Brewing Rooibos Tea
- Amount of Tea: 2 - 3 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea per 8 oz. cup, depending on how strong you prefer or 1 teabag. If using loose-leaf tea, you can leave the leaves loose or use a tea strainer or re-useable teabag.
- Hot Water: Add hot water to your pot or cup before you start. This will keep the tea hotter. Dump out this water when you are ready to make the tea. Start with cold water and bring up to 190 – 212 degrees, just boiling.
- Steeping: Pour the hot water over the tea leaves in your pot or cup and let the tea steep 3 – 5 minutes. Cover your pot or cup while the tea is steeping to keep in the volatile oils. Taste it to decide if the flavor is what you want or steep longer, it will not get bitter.
- Finishing: Add your favorite milk, sweetener, or flavorings if desired. Drink and enjoy!
You can do more with rooibos tea than just drink it. Try cooking with it! You can add flavor and health benefits to your meals just by adding rooibos tea to your recipes. Try making a strong tea to use as part of a marinade or add to soup and gravies. Or just put some tea leaves in a reusable tea or spice bag and drop into your soup!