What can I drink that does not contain caffeine? This is a common question we receive from
our customers. They may be looking to
cut out caffeine all together, or find a beverage that can be enjoyed in the
evening. Often we suggest rooibos as an
Sometimes called 'Red Bush Tea', it is technically not a
tea, but a member of the legume family. The Aspalathus linearis plant is only native to a small area northeast of
Capetown South Africa. This hearty bush
flourishes in the craggy soil and in temperatures that can reach 120F.
There are about 200 families growing and harvesting rooibos
in the area. Each year they chop off the
upper part of the plant, tie them into bundles and haul them off to the factory
for processing. Rooibos can be chopped
and dried immediately to produce a green, or un-oxidized, version. This has a light, slightly grassy or vegetal
flavor not unlike green tea. Most rooibos
though is spread out in a drying yard to oxidize in the sun, then swept up with
vacuum trucks and bagged up. The
oxidized rooibos has a sweet slightly nutty flavor.
The local area residents have enjoyed rooibos for centuries,
but it was not until the early part of the 20th century that it was
introduced to the rest of the world. Besides
a hearty smooth taste, rooibos is thought to be full of health benefits as
well. Studies indicate high amounts of
antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In
addition, it is said to be beneficial against insomnia, asthma and allergies. It has no tannins, so does not get bitter,
and is soothing on the stomach.
So, it is tasty, healthful, contains virtually no calories. What else could one ask for? How about the fact that it takes to
flavorings well? Our offerings include a Rooibos based Masla Chai, Orange Blossom, Lemon Chiffon, Tiramisu, and one of our best sellers; Green Flower rooibos
just to name a few.
Next time you are in the mood for something different, try a
few ounces of rooibos. The oxidized style brews up to a
beautiful auburn color, and tastes great hot or iced.
(Oh by the way it most commonly pronounced Roy bos)