Rooibos, meaning ‘red bush’, is a broom-like member of the plant family Fabaceae that grows in South Africa’s fynbos. The leaves are used to make a herbal called Rooibos (in Southern Africa), bush tea, red tea, or redbush tea (predominantly in Great Britain). The tea has been popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries worldwide. It is sometimes spelled ‘rooibosch’ which is the original Dutch word for ‘red bush’.
Many people enjoy it as an alternative to green or black tea. Rooibos tea has a sweet, delicate, and earthy flavour and is also available unfermented and green. It contains several antioxidants, which may explain some of the tea’s health benefits (diabetes management, weight management, improved skin elasticity, etc.).
Image Credit: Flava Tea
People can enjoy rooibos tea hot or cold, in a similar manner to black tea. For the best results, as a general rule, use 8 ounces of boiling water per teabag or a heaping teaspoon of loose leaves. Allow the tea to steep for at least 5 minutes. Drink the tea plain or add milk, honey, or sugar to taste.