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Home > About Tea > Types of tea > Rooibos

Rooibos

Regarded as the national drink of South Africa, red tea or Rooibos bush is made from the Rooibos plantbelonging to the leguminosae plant family. Also known by its botanical name Aspalathus linearis, this plant is cultivated in South Africa, north of the Cedarberg region, which is 125 miles / 200 km north of Cape Town in South Africa.

The plant has bush-like appearance and can grow up to 5 ft/1.5m and has a multitude of slender branches covered with long, pale green, needle-shaped leaves growing from its main stem. In spring, small yellow flowers that produces a fruit with a single seed, covers the plant.

Drunk as an infusion by the people of South Africa for the last 300 years, red tea has been cultivated and marketed since the 1930s. There are two types of Rooibos tea: one is produced by simply being dried in the sun and the other is oxidized, which is the one that is most commonly consumed.

The harvest takes place during the first 3 months of the year, which are summer months in South Africa. The plants are cut using a sickle about 12 inches / 30cm from the ground. The leaves and stems are chopped between mechanical rollers, heaped up in little mounds outside in a courtyard and dampened. The oxidation that takes place during this time gives the plant its characteristic flavor and red color. The leaves are then spread on the ground to dry in the sun. Finally, the are sieved to remove any pieces of stem and earth, and then steamed before being packaged.

                     Rooibos


Benefits of Rooibos

Rooibos has numerous health benefits including antioxidants that inhibit cellular aging, digestion, sleep and allergies. The effects have yet to be proven but current studies tend to demonstrate the role that antioxidants specific to Rooibos could have a major impact.

Rooibos is caffeine free, healthy beverage that is perfect for the evening. Rooibos have almost no tannins and has very little astringency. It’s light and sweet in flavor and makes it an excellent base for scented blends. 

Discover our selection of rooibos teas

Smoked Tea