Rooibos tea – all you need to know

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The past few years a new kind of Tea has started gaining large popularity all over the world with its health benefits being tooted by lots of experts -some of them claiming that it is actually a lot more beneficial than green tea- and its unique taste and inviting aroma capturing more and more fans everywhere. 

This tea is called Rooibos tea or Red tea and can be found today in most health stores, food stores, tea stores and cafes worldwide, in different varieties and flavors, all asserting to indulge your taste buds and boost your health. But what is Rooibos Tea and why is it such a big hit among Tea lovers?

In this post will introduce you to Red bush tea and its origin, the different kinds of it, some of its health benefits and tips on how to prepare it.        


Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), which means “Red bush” in  Afrikaans language is an evergreen shrub of the legume family grown exclusively in South Africa and mainly in the Cederberg, a small mountainous area in the region of the Western Cape. The needle-like leaves of the plant are used to make the vibrantly colored herbal tea known as Rooibos or redbush tea. Although the Western world has only been introduced to rooibos the past few years, the infusion has been consumed in South Africa for generations for its numerous health properties and savory taste.      


Depending on the way Rooibos herbal tea is processed, it can be found in two different kinds.

Red Rooibos tea: Red rooibos tea is the traditional and more common type of rooibos. For its production, the harvested bush leaves are bruised and then oxidized for several hours, a process that results in its distinctive red color and unique taste and fragrance. After the fermentation process, the leaves are left to dry in the hot African sun before being graded and packaged.

Green Rooibos tea: This type of rooibos is processed in a similar way as green tea, therefore it is unoxidized. Green rooibos tea bears a greenish color and a malty, slightly grassy flavor. The demanding process method required for its production makes it more expensive than red rooibos and more difficult to find.


Naturally sweet and caffeine free, rooibos tea is low in tannins and rich is numerous chemical compounds such as vitamin Cironcalciumpotassiumzinc and powerful antioxidants including flavanonesflavanols and flavones, all contributing to its multiple health properties.

Rooibos is known to:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Relieve stress and tension
  • Promote cardiovascular health and reduce cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Promote bone and teeth health due to calcium, fluoride and manganese found in it.
  • Slow down premature aging process due to antioxidants
  • Protect skin and promote its regeneration
  • Soothe and encourage a good night’s sleep
  • Maintain good liver health and encourage digestion
  • Ease headaches and relieve from several allergy symptoms
  • Protect against diabetes


The preparation of Rooibos tea is very similar to that of any other kind of herbal tea. When making rooibos, boil your water and add 1,5 tsp of leaves for each 8oz cup. Let steep for approximately 5-6 minutes or longer for a more robust flavor. Keep in mind that this herbal tea has very low tannin levels so even if steeped for longer periods of time it won’t result in a bitter infusion. Rooibos tea is tasty plain but can also be mixed with other herbal tisanes for a more fruity flavor or combined with green or white loose tea leaves for added health benefits. It is usually enjoyed hot but also makes a great iced tea. If you want to enjoy your rooibos over ice make sure you double the amount of leaves you would use for a hot cup. Adding cinnamon sticks to your iced rooibos is a great choice and you can compliment it with sugar or honey and milk or some lemon juice.

Do you want to enjoy yourself the amazing taste of rooibos and its wonderful healing properties?  

Do you like rooibos tea and what is your favorite kind?

I would love to know!