Guide to Rooibos Tea

How much do you know about Rooibos Tea (pronounced Roy-Bos)? It’s quite extraordinary, really. You may also know this tea as ‘red bush’, which translates from the original Afrikaans word to describe the plant and its naturally deep, red hue.  Read more in our Guide to Rooibos Tea…

This plant grows in the mountains of Cederberg, South Africa, on hardy bushes and nowhere else in the world has quite been able to cultivate it. There’s something special about the climate and soil here that makes it totally unique to the Western Cape, originally harvested in the wild by indigenous tribes here. 

The leaves of the plant are gathered in bushels and bruised gently to encourage oxidisation. This is unusual for Herbal Teas that are normally picked and left to dry naturally without interference. This act of bruising encourages a deeper, richer flavour, much like a Black Tea, and the leaves are then left to dry naturally in the sun. While many compare Rooibos to Black Tea the differences between them are numerous:

  1. Rooibos comes from the Aspalathus Lineraris plant, whereas black tea (and all tea for that matter) comes from the Camellia Sinensis
  2. Rooibos is caffeine-free
  3. Rooibos is lower in tannins 
  4. Rooibos is lower in acidity, making it altogether smoother to drink 
  5. You can enjoy Rooibos with milk if you like, though the natural sweetness and notes of vanilla mean that it’s delicious without 

You might be able to tell that we love Rooibos from the fact that we have not one but four of them in our range (and probably more in the future). Here’s a recap to help you choose – perhaps you’re looking for a super high quality Organic Rooibos, or something new and a little bit different with Rooibos at the heart? Let’s go:

Organic Natural Rooibos

Organic Natural Rooibos – The Wild One

This is the Rooibos you’ve been looking for… completely natural and grown in the rugged, wild mountains (these days Rooibos is often cultivated on farms) this version is organic and grows in harmony with nature meaning that the flavour is deep, concentrated and distinctively sweet. Naturally caffeine-free, this Organic Natural Rooibos is an ideal choice for those that love Black Tea but have reasons for wanting to consume less caffeine, such as being pregnant. Thanks to scientific research, we know that Rooibos Teas are good for things like balancing cortisol and blood sugar, regulating cholesterol and supporting digestive health*. 

Shop Organic Natural Rooibos >

*Of course, we’re all different, so please take the advice of your doctor if you’re choosing new teas for medical reasons. 

Rooibos tea blends - a Vanilla Earl Grey Rooibos in our Guide to Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Vanilla Earl Grey – A Hug in a Mug

Taking our Organic Rooibos base, we’ve added a little natural vanilla essence and some loose jasmine and lavender flowers to create this deeply comforting blend. In fact, it’s one of our bestsellers for that very reason, described by a customer as ‘a hug in a mug’ (she also told us that’s her go-to ‘gift’ tea for friends). This tea is a great all-day tea to have in the cupboard to be enjoyed at any time, though we quite like it first thing in the morning, or a while before bed when we’re winding down. If you’d like some guidance on the best herbal teas for different times of day, visit our journal here with advice from Vera Martins, a UK-based herbal practitioner.

Shop Rooibos Vanilla Earl Grey >

Rooibos Masala Spice Chai – The Smooth, Spicy One

Noticing that our customers are big lovers of chai, we created this beautiful Rooibos Chai especially for those that want a caffeine-free alternative to traditional chai that comes with an Indian Black Tea base. Long lengths of silky Organic Rooibos are blended with whole spices: fennel, aniseed, licorice root, cardamom seeds, black pepper, cinnamon pieces, cloves and ginger.

Shop Rooibos Masala Spice Chai >

Tropical Rooibos Iced Tea

Tropical Rooibos – The Fun, Juicy One

We don’t like to be too predictable, and enjoy innovating with flavours, so we decided to turn the idea of soft, cosy comfort on its head and fill it with fun, juicy flavour that tastes deliciously bright and vibrant in a hot infusion, but also works well in cold infusions, cocktails and iced teas. Cue our Tropical Rooibos – made with Rooibos, natural passion fruit flavouring, sunflower petals, cornflower petals. You can learn how to make Iced Tropical Rooibos here > 

Shop Tropical Rooibos >

Extra Reading:

Rooibos Vanilla Earl Grey Shortbread Recipe >