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Redbush, Rooibos or African Red Tea Explained

Rooibos (pronounced Roy Boss by the way), also called the Red Tea or Redbush is a delicious “go-to” for a naturally caffeine free alternative to coffee or your “normal” tea, and is an incredibly versatile infusion.

What does Redbush or Rooibos taste like?

Rooibos has a nutty, full bodied flavour that is both refreshing and a great herbal substitute for everyday tea and coffee.

Rooibos has no need to be blended with other ingredients. It stands alone and still achieves a full colour, taste and aroma. Rooibos is the only infusion that goes well with milk – just like with your “normal” tea .

Being naturally caffeine free (which means there is no need to strip any caffeine away as with black teas – the plant leaves that are used are 100% naturally caffeine free!) and less than 4 calories a cup, it’s also great for the kids’ teatime – lovely with a little milk and honey.

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Where does Redbush or Rooibos come from?

Rooibos is a broom-like plant and is grown exclusively in the Western Cape province of South Africa, a small yet mountainous region known as the Cederberg.

The climate is a demanding one by any standards where temperatures range from below zero in the winter to above 40°C in the summer.

This little shrub like plant survives by growing its taproot up to 3m down into the soil. As it grows it produces needle-like leaves and yellow flowers.

The cultivation of Rooibos tea, which had been used by native Africans for centuries, really took off from 1902 and then throughout the twentieth century.

Today it is consumed in over 37 countries world wide and is hugely important for the local South African economy and culture.

How is Redbush or Rooibos produced?

As with other teas, Rooibos leaves undergo an oxidizing process which produces its distinctive reddish-brown colour (which is why it has so many “Red” nick names) and enhances its nutty, smoky flavour.

The leaves are green when picked, and after they are chopped and bruised, the leaves are left out to dry naturally in the sun – during which time they turn red.

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How do you brew Redbush or Rooibos?

Rooibos is a really versatile tea. It can be brewed in the normal way but can also be served over ice, and even as a milky Chai tea (have you tried our Spicy Chai with Rooibos?)!

  • For a normal hot cuppa, use 1 teaspoon of rooibos leaves for every 200 ml of water.
  • Pour boiling water over the leaves and leave to steep for up to 3 minutes to unleash its fulsome flavour.
  • Add milk and honey to taste.
  • Simply refrigerate to create an iced-tea variety.


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Rooibos & Peppermint

£6.50 each

A warming infusion with a hint of mint to refresh.

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Redbush - Single Envelope

£0.25 each

The beating hot sun in the Western Cape province of South Africa gives the redbush its juicy, refreshing flavour and copper-red colour.

Rooibos landscape and process images © Rooibos Ltd.

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