Rooibos, the “Red Bush” of South Africa

Rooibos, the “Red Bush” of South Africa

Mmmm… Rooibos and its delicate, naturally sweet taste… The
number of people turning to this infusion from South Africa is increasing every day.
Read on to discover this beautiful red beverage with Kusmi Tea!


What is rooibos?

Did you know? A blend made with rooibos can be identified on sight thanks to its thin,
finely-chopped needles. Rooibos (“red bush” in Afrikaans) is a shrub from the acacia family whose miniscule leaves look a lot like pine needles. Standing over six-feet tall, this unique bush grows exclusively in South Africa, the only country where the soil is suitable. Rooibos is harvested from January through March, which is the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere! Its leaves are spread out in the fresh air, sprayed with water, and left to dry in the sun. After infusing, the liquor takes on a magnificent magenta color similar to hibiscus. People in certain Western countries actually call it “red tea.” However, they are wrong! This is not actually a tea, despite the fact we infuse it. Rooibos is caffeine free and also low in tannins. However, it does contain the good antioxidants that help fight against cell aging. This drink can be enjoyed throughout the day by the whole family. Both children and adults will love its sweet hazelnut flavor. While we’re on the subject, how is rooibos consumed?



How should we enjoy rooibos?

Rooibos infusions are delicious both hot and cold. Some people prefer using plain rooibos and topping it off with citrus zests or cinnamon, while others will opt for fruity and spicy blends to vary the pleasure! In South Africa, where it is a leading national beverage, rooibos is often enjoyed with a drop of milk and a little sugar. You can infuse it according to your taste, for up to ten minutes. This longer brewing time is thanks to the lack of tannins, which ensures the flavor is never astringent or bitter.

Rooibos is also used in cooking, in crepes, financier cakes, and semolina pudding.



Choosing the right rooibos

Preparing rooibos the right way requires first having a premium product. This is the base of the recipe.


What makes a premium rooibos?

The characteristics of this African bush’s leaves depend on a range of criteria, including soil quality, weather, humidity, harvest methods, and conservation systems.

The flavor and intensity of rooibos are a therefore a result of different parameters. It is said that good rooibos can be identified by its honey flavor and woody, spicy, and caramel notes. A touch of hazelnut or chestnut can also be an indicator. Last but not least, an exceptional red tea has very little or no astringency. Personal preferences vary, of course, and you should try a range of options to figure out what you like.

Even the appearance of this South African treat is worth a look. A premium rooibos liquor will generally have a deep orange tinge. If you want to discover a range of great red teas, you can explore the delicious rooibos blends from Kusmi.

Now you have a whole host of reasons to try out this “red tea” and enjoy everything it has to offer!