Rooibos (pronounced Rooi-bos), also known as "red tea", is a succulent plant growing on the mountain ridges of Cederberg in South Africa. This infused drink does not come from the Camellia Sinensis, a tree from which all the teas come from, but rather from a plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, the family of...legumes!

So, what is Rooibos tea? There are several interesting facts about this delicious infusion that has become very popular in recent years.

It Is the National Drink of South Africa

To this day, Rooibos is exclusively in the mountainous hinterland of Cape Town in South Africa.

Cape Town

All attempts to grow it elsewhere have failed. Thus, its history is rooted and marked by a very unique soil. Rooibos has not been around as long as tea, It was first consumed around three hundred years ago. The shrub, bearing the same name as the drink, grows in semi-arid lands and in a warm climate. Once the branches are harvested, only the stems and leaves are preserved, which are then crushed, fermented and dried in the sun. The leaves acquire their reddish hue and their excellent taste at the end of the tea processing steps. They reveal a slightly sweet vanilla aroma as well as subtle earthy notes. Traditionally, Afrikaners add a little milk and sugar to make it into a gourmet drink. They are so fond of it, that Rooibos is now recognized as the emblematic drink of the country. So, everything leads us to believe that if you go to South Africa, you will find out what is Rooibos tea.

It Has Many Health Benefits

South Africans are not the only ones particularly fond of this drink! The commercialization of Rooibos began in the thirties when its multiple virtues were observed. Today, almost half of the crops are exported to Europe (Germany, Poland, Italy, France), Asia (Japan, Malaysia, China, South Korea) and North America. This beverage is coveted for its high concentration of polyphenol (organic molecules present in certain plants and acting as an antioxidant) that help prevent the appearance of wrinkles and eliminate toxins from the body.

Its infusion is rich in antioxidants and helps to fight against the daily stress that modern life often springs on us.

It is Free from Then

Since it is not part of the tea family, Rooibos is free from theine. It is not a stimulant like tea and coffee. It does not disrupt sleep, therefore it can be enjoyed at all hours of the day, with the first rays of sunshine and after a long afternoon nap.

It is Very Easy to Prepare and Is Consumed in Several Ways

To honor its honeyed taste and reveal its perfumes, it is recommended to infuse the leaves in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Unlike tea, the infusion time can be extended indefinitely without the Rooibos losing its sweetness. Rooibos does not contain a lot of tannins, which normally cause the tea to be bitter. Some tea drinkers are not fond of the bitterness caused by tannins.

It makes an orange-red drink which seduces everyone by its taste and delicate perfumes. This beverage can be enjoyed hot or as an iced tea, all depending on the season and the person’s preference. It can be sipped naturally to savor its hazelnut flavor or a little milk and sugar can be added to make it into a concoction that will tempt anyone with a sweet tooth.

There are many good reasons to drink this colorful and comforting herbal tea. Try our Rooibos classic organic fairtrade and our Rooibos spicy orange organic fairtrade!

Are you an amateur of this herbal tea?