Ooops! Somehow this didn’t get shared when it was supposed to (back in January). Better late than never?
In celebration of National Hot Tea month I am sharing with you all of my favorite teas, from types and brands, to ways to prepare and enjoy them. Today I am sharing a tea that has been a long time favorite of mine- rooibos. Rooibos is a red herbal tea, it is caffeine free and has a delicate and slightly sweet flavor. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, and is even given to infants in many countries. Rooibos is said to have a long list of health benefits as listed below.
- Is an anti-inflammatory due to it’s flavenoids
- Aids in hypertension relief
- Increases airflow to to the lungs
- Supports bone and teeth health
- Aids digestion and reduces pain and inflammation in the digestive tract
- Improves skin conditions such as acne and has anti-aging properties from alpha hydroxy
- Prevents Type II diabetes
- Aids in stress relief by reducing the presence of cortisol, the stress hormone
- Improves blood circulation
It’s quite a long list, and although we can’t be sure exactly how much it actually does these things, it definitely doesn’t hurt as a positive side effect of enjoying a delicious cup of tea.
Rooibos is often called redbush tea because in the Afrikaans language, “rooibos” means red bush, and the tea was originally grown and prepared in South Africa as an herbal remedy. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the tea grew in popularity. Before that time it was difficult to get and was very expensive. Now the tea is enjoyed all over the world both for it’s health benefits and for it’s unique and wonderful flavor.
The Chocolate Chai tea I shared in my last post featured a version of rooibos tea called honeybush. The Vanilla Rooibos pictured in this post is finer and more delicate than the honeybush, which appears almost like little pieces of bark or twigs. They have a very similar flavor. The vanilla rooibos requires a very fine mesh strainer or filter, like a paper tea bag pictured below to prevent the tiny pieces from getting out and floating in the tea. The honeybush can be made with any tea strainer or filter. I got my filters from Sur La Table, but I have found a less expensive option at Mountain Rose Herbs where I buy most of my tea.
If you need to try this tea without committing to buying a whole box/bag of the tea, Starbucks and The Coffee Bean both offer a Vanilla Rooibos tea. I recommend, however, buying the tea in loose leaf form from somewhere like Teavana or Mountain Rose Herbs. The Rooibos Tropica blend in the Teavana link above is delicious iced.
Steep tea for 4 minutes. Remember that if you are making a tea latte, you will need to steep the tea in water for at least 3-4 minutes before adding the steamed milk as tea does not steep well in milk and you may loose concentration of flavor by adding the milk too soon.
Have you tried rooibos tea? What is your favorite blend/flavor?