Rooibos – With its naturally sweet flavor, its more than just another Caffeine-Free Tea
With all the media hype surrounding green tea and white tea, it is no wonder that Rooibos (Roy-boss), despite its growing popularity, still remains relatively obscure among the average tea consumer. Unfortunately, we as consumers are at the mercy of the media unless we are fortunate enough to discover gems like Rooibos on our own, through tea blogs or through tea purveyors who carry this wonderful herbal infusion.
For those who don’t already know, Rooibos is not even a tea and actually originates from the stems and leaves of plant grown in South Africa known as Aspalathus linearis. I guess anything we infuse in boiling water automatically becomes a tea, but this particular infusion is not related at all to the tea plant, Camellia senensis. What is so special about Rooibos? First of all, Rooibos contains no caffeine, which in itself is very appealing to today’s health conscious consumer. Unlike green or black tea, Rooibos contains a low level of tannins, which tend to contribute to the bitterness associated with any of the standard tea varieties. In my opinion, the naturally sweet flavor of Rooibos may be its best characteristic, as the flavor just gets better the longer you infuse it. Finally, Rooibos is full of antioxidants, flavonoids and is also believed to contain anti-aging effects. Rooibos also provides a great base for flavored tea blends as well.
Don’t take my word for it, go to your favorite tea shop or online store and try it out for yourself. If they don’t have Rooibos where you shop, it’s time to find a new source for your teas.