Rooibos - Not Your Typical Tea

Rooibos, which is also called "Red Bush" where it is native, and red tea in the western world is not your typical tea. In fact, this beverage is not a true "tea" at all, and instead is considered a tisane, or herbal tea.

What makes this beverage unique are several different things. For one, the Red Bush plant (Aspalathus linearis), grows in only one area of the world, the Cederberg region of the Western Cape Province which is in South Africa. Second, this herbal tea contains zero caffeine making it perfect for folks who are sensitive to this stimulant. Another is that rooibos offers health benefits which studies have shown rivals green tea.

The bush resembles tall wavy grass, that when grown to about waist-high is cultivated and processed for steeping. There are two types of rooibos; red rooibos the most common, and green rooibos which is less oxidized, producing more of a greenish cup with more vegetal notes being present. Also, research shows that green rooibos has twice the amount of antioxidants than red.

The interesting thing is, a couple of years back rooibos was pretty much unheard of until news of its health offerings reached the western world. With providing benefits like destroying free radicals, help maintaining a balanced nervous system, and aiding with digestive related issues such as ulcers and constipation, this herbal treat has started to appear chilled in bottles on the grocery store shelves.

However, chilled in bottles might not be the best way to obtain these benefits.

Tea releases all of its true flavor, color, aroma, and benefits when it is brewed fresh using loose leaves. Rooibos is no different! What folks are getting when they purchase these chilled drinks are mostly sugars and other additives. Granted, rooibos extract might be present, and you'll still absorb some of the healthy antioxidants rooibos is loaded with, but it is always best to prepare it loose leaf style!

Now although I say "loose leaf", rooibos when in this form will sort of remind folks of saw dust; but don't worry, it will steep a cup that tastes great. Heating water until steaming then pouring over these tiny cut leaves will make a cup that smells and tastes on the sweet side with mild nutty and earthy tones present. If this doesn't appeal, rooibos tea also comes in a variety of flavors offered my some online merchants.

Other tisanes like peppermint, spearmint, lemon grass, and even olive leaf tea are some other herbal teas that contain no caffeine. Each have their share of benefits, taste great, brew easy, and even blend well with rooibos too.

So, when a traditional cup of tea doesn't cut it, brewing a cup of healthy rooibos is an excellent alternative!

Further Details On Rooibos Tea

Users Reading this article are also interested in:
Top Searches on Tea Guide:
Lemon Grass Tea Western Beverage
About The Author, Cupotea
David Carloni is the creator of The Color Of An online resource guide covering many aspects of tea and loose leaf tea brewing.