Rooibos tea is a little different than other loose leaf teas. Unlike other teas, rooibos comes from the legume family, or to be a little more precise, the Aspalathus linearis bush. The plant, as well as rooibos tea, are often referred to as “red bush” and is only grown in the Cedarberg area of Cape Town, South Africa. The tea originated there generations ago, but has since been introduced and become popular in other regions throughout the world.
When fully brewed, this loose leaf tea is reddish-brown in color and has a unique sweet and nutty flavor. Loose tea can be combined with many different ingredients to deliver a fragrant and tasty blend. Some of these complementing additions include spices, fruit–both exotic and domestic, berries, and flower petals.
How is rooibos tea produced?
Once a crop of Aspalathus linearis has been planted, the first harvest doesn’t occur until a year and a half later. The needle-like leaves of the bush are harvested in the summer and early fall. The branches of the red bush are hand cut and transported for production. The branches are cut into pieces about 5 mm in size and then wet and bruised. This is when the fermentation process begins and the wet pieces are left to sweat for anywhere from 8-24 hours. Once the fermenting process has taken place, the tea is sun dried, packaged, and delivered to go through a quality control and grading procedure.
Rooibos tea is classified into one of three categories: super, choice or standard. Once the grading process is complete, the tea undergoes another refining process which entails cleaning it of any dust or particles. The three different categories of tea are packaged separately and stored for shipping.
The many uses of Rooibos tea
Rooibos is considered to be one of the most versatile teas; drinking it is just one option. Because of its unique and pleasant flavor, Tea is a great addition in baking, refreshing drinks, cocktails, and other recipes. It can make for a refreshing break in the summer when brewed and poured over ice. One of these winning combinations might include orange peel, cranberry, lemon, or tropical fruit. Some even substitute sweet tasting rooibos tea for sugar in theirbaking recipes.
Some of the more popular baking recipes that include rooibos tea are scones, cookies, cakes, and baked apples. For the main course, rooibos proudly adds a rare, yet tasteful, flare to stew or chicken, and can also make for a great couscous side dish or season up some shiitake mushrooms.
If you are interested to purchase rooibos tea products, click here —> Rooibos Tea
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. And these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.