Rooibos / Honeybush
The time has now come to slow down and to sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons…
— Desmond Tutu
Although Rooibos tea is not officially a tea (this honor is reserved only for the processed leaves of the tea plant Camellia Sinensis), Rooibos definitely deserves a place in every tea collection.
Then why is Rooibos called tea? Because the leaf is actually processed in the same way after harvest as tea leaves and because the drink is prepared in the same way as the "real" tea.
Rooibos itself is soft and mild in taste, slightly nutty and with a natural sweetness. If you let rooibos steep longer, it will become full and rich, giving off a warm, woody and honey-like scent.
Rooibos is an incredibly versatile tea that goes well with most flavors and combines very well with herbs, spices, fruits and flowers. Whether you combine rooibos and vanilla, add chai spices to rooibos or make a combination with exciting fruits such as mango or dragon fruit, rooibos gives them a stage and lets these flavors shine without being upstaged. Because rooibos contains little tannin, it will not become bitter, which can happen with green and black tea.
Is rooibos healthy? Absolutely!
Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and packed with antioxidants. The latter help the body to fight free radicals. Rooibos is also said to help strengthen the immune system, keep the sugar level in balance and have a calming effect in case of stomach and abdominal cramps. Small children as from the age of 6 months, suffering from colic, can be helped by drinking Rooibos tea.
Ready to try some Rooibos tea? The Smallest House has a wide range of beautiful Rooibos teas and blends. Enjoy!
Origin of Rooibos
Rooibos naturally grows in the area around the Cederberg in South Africa. Although Rooibos was drunk by the locals for centuries, it is only since the 30s of the last century large scale production of Rooibos began. Nowadays the drink is widely consumed in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and South Africa .
Rooibos contains, unlike tea, no caffeine and is therefore very suitable to drink before bedtime. Rooibos also would be good for a soothing effect on the intestines.
African Rooibos name is derived from the Dutch word "Rood bos".
Production of Rooibos
Rooibos, or Aspalathus Linearis, is a thicket, whose needles are picked, crushed and then placed in the sun to dry. The needles oxidize and get their characteristic red color.
Annually about 11,500 tonnes of Rooibos is produced. 40% of this is consumed by South Africans themselves, the rest is exported to, the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States.
Brewing Tips for Rooibos
Traditionally Rooibos is cooked along with the water. The Rooibos is done in a pan of cold water and brought to the boil. Once the water has boiled, the Rooibos is ready for consumption.
The above brewing method is not always convenient, especially if you are in the office. Fortunately, you can brew Rooibos the same way as tea. On average, the water has to be between 90ºC - are 100ºC before it is poured over the Rooibos.
The average brewing time for Rooibos is between 5 and 10 minutes.
On the information sheet of our Rooibos is indicated what the desired water temperature and brewing time is.