Roobois tea is made of rooibos. Rooibos, pronounced Roy-boss, or Red Bush (Aspalanthus Linereais), belongs to the legume family and is grown in the Cedarberg region of the Western Cape Province in South Africa. The leaves are oxidized (not fermented as green tea is) and the reddish brown color is due to the oxidation process. Green Rooibos can also be produced by the non-oxidation process which is a malty and grassy flavored, costlier variety of green tea.
Nutritional and Health Benefits of Rooibos
Low in caffeine and tannins, high in antioxidants and phenol compounds, rooibos has several alleged health benefits:
- Reduce nervous tension, allergies, rashes and digestive problems.
- Antioxidant, is good for your immune system with chemo-preventive properties.
- Lower cholesterol.
- Known for its anti-aging effects, it is also known as the Long Life Tea.
- Can be used as a spice, a vitamin or a dye.
- As well as antioxidants, it contains calcium, zinc and other nutrients.
Traditionally, rooibos is also used to alleviate infantile colic and allergies.
- Commonly consumed without milk
- Can add milk and sugar added to taste
- Can drink with a slice of lemon
- Can add honey as sweetener
- Can be drunk as an ordinary espresso known locally as red espresso
- Can be iced tea
- Can be served with vanilla syrup with steamed milk
Higher leaf content creates a richer flavor, darker liquor with a stronger after-taste. High grade rooibos made of the leafy portion is exported mainly to the EU and USA.
Rooibos was unheard of for centuries; known only to a tribe of African Bushmen called the Khoisans. The extract was used as a remedy for a wide variety of ailments. It was then acknowledged by Swedish naturalist Carl Thunberg in 1772 as a ‘good plant’ for curative purposes.
It was only in 1904 that a Russian / Jewish settler, Benjamin Ginsberg, perfected the art of curing, by fermenting the tea in barrels, covered by wet hessian sacks – creating the effect of bamboo baskets.
Rooibos’s versatility and flavor make it a must for a refreshing, natural drink. It has a naturally sweet and unique taste, with the tinged flavor of cherry, vanilla and toffee.
Rooibos is today sold in a multitude of blends:
- Rooibos Earl Grey
- Rooibos Caramel/ Orange/ Vanilla
- Green Rooibos Bonita
- Honeybush Hazelnut
- Rooibos Mango / Lemon Cloud / Cinnamon Apple / Jasmine / Almond, etc, etc.
Predominantly known as the red tea, rooibos has many other names like red rose tea, red clover and red diamond teas. Its caffeine free distinctive taste and pleasing sweetness plus all its therapeutic advantages definitely makes it a popular beverage for people today.