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Rooibos

Rooibos is a very pleasant caffeine free hot drink from South Africa. It is therefore possible to drink this tea in the evening, without risk of insomnia. Discover our selection of rooibos.

The history of rooibos

Rooibos, otherwise known as Aspalathus linearis, is a shrub in the fabaceae family. Because of its reddish colour, it is sometimes referred to as a red shrub. It only grows in the Seidberg Mountains north of Cape Town, South Africa.

Rooibos is harvested from January to March (summer period in South Africa). The entire bush is harvested by hand. A plant can produce leaves for 10 years.

It is a special harvest, because it is carried out at high temperatures of 40-45 degrees during the day. Then the rolling mill intervenes to release the essential oils and start the fermentation phase. The leaves are spread within a thickness of about 50 cm and sprayed with water. This is when the plant will reveal its red colour and unique flavour. This fermentation step also allows the rooibos to increase its quercetin (antioxidant) content. The Rooibos is then exposed to the sun to dry, then sieved to remove all impurities.

Whether hot or frozen, this drink is considered South Africa's national drink today. It was not until the early 1930s that Louis Boss began cultivating this plant for commercial purposes. South Africa now produces thousands of tonnes per year, almost half of which is exported to Europe, Southeast Asia and North America.

Rooibos is wrongly called "red tea" because of its colour. This is not true though, because unlike white, green and black teas, rooibos does not come from the tea plant. It cannot therefore be referred to as a tea, strictly speaking. In addition, this drink does not contain theine, so it is more like a herbal tea or infusion.

Tasting rooibos

Rooibos, which contains no theine, can be drunk throughout the day. The infusion can be drunk hot or cold, with or without milk, like regular tea. In South Africa, this drink is usually drunk with milk and sugar.

The preparation of rooibos is similar to regular infusions. The recommended brewing time is 7-10 minutes in boiling water.
Rooibos is often associated with fruity (orange, apple, bergamot, red fruits ...) or spicy (ginger, cinnamon ...) aromas. So why not enjoy it with fruit biscuits.

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