Rooibos Tea (aka Red Bush Tea) from the South African Aspalathus Linearis bush, is a flowering member of the pea family specific to the red bush belt in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Growing almost exclusively in the mountain regions around the Cape of Good Hope. Whilst often referred to as Rooibos Tea, it is in fact, more correctly a tisane or herbal infusion.
The Rooibos leaves are green when harvested, and whilst these un-oxidised green rooibos leaves are now available, almost all commercially available Rooibos has been naturally fermented and dried to reach its traditional and familiar deep red colour. After harvesting, the green rooibos leaves are cut, moistened and left in piles to ferment for several hours. This process allows the phenolic compounds in the plant to develop, the leaves are then spread into thin layers and sun-dried.
Rooibos is reported to contain up to 50% more polyphenols and antioxidants than Green Tea and is especially high in two unique polyphenols, including one that is found exclusively in Rooibos called Aspalathin. Antioxidants such as these may protect against the negative effects of free radicals in the body, and Rooibos tea has also been named as a leading source of anti-cancer compounds by the South African Cancer Association.
Aside from the above benefits, loose leaf Rooibos tea is (perhaps more importantly) an amazingly flavoured and naturally caffeine-free infusion, producing a non-bitter, naturally sweet tasting but zero-calorie drink, delicious in its own right but even more delightful when blended with other flavours such as vanilla, bergamot, aniseed or even a chai spice blend.
If you've not tried Rooibos before, take a look at our range of South African loose leaf Rooibos blends below, carefully blended for a delicious way to enjoy a caffeine-free tea at any time of day.