Rooibos tea: taste, texture and health benefits

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Rooibos tea health benefits

mdtea’s ‘Topsy Tea’, a rooibos blend

Rooibos has grown massively popular in recent years, not least because of its many health benefits. It is so sought-after that we now have a range of blends at mdtea based on this delicious South African tea.

Rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) is popular not just because of its delicious, slightly nutty and malty taste – but because it is naturally caffeine-free and you can drink it with milk. So those wishing to stay free of caffeine can enjoy a milky tea-like drink. I find soya milk goes very well with rooibos – but that’s a personal preference! Drunk on its own, however, it is equally delicious.

What is rooibos tea?

Strictly speaking, rooibos should be classified as an infusion, rather than a tea, as it does not contain Camellia sinensis (or tea leaves as they more commonly known).

The plant – scientific name Aspalathus linearis – is grown in the rugged Cederberg Mountains 250 km north of Cape Town. It is a broom like member of the legume family of plants and is perhaps more commonly known in the UK as “red bush”.

Rooibos has a distinctive intense reddish brown colour, which is produced by the oxidization process. As with ‘normal’ tea, there is also a green variety, which is produced by avoiding oxidization before the drying process.

Sometimes spelt rooibosch, rooibus or roibos, this brew has been popular in South Africa for many generations but has now got a more international following.

Rooibos tea health benefits

Red bush is believed to have high level of antioxidants, including aspalathin, which scientists believe plays an important protective role in the cell against the undesirable properties of compounds that may cause cancer.

Rooibos is also believed to have potential benefits for those with liver disease, diabetes and ageing. 

How to make it interesting!

Our range at mdtea consists of these three delicious blends:

Salome Kick, which has a tiny amount of aniseed that just enhances the malty flavours of the rooibos.

Topsy Tea – our charity tea , which is more powerful and is a sort of decaf version of Earl Grey with cornflowers, giving it a very pretty appearance.

Terracotta Sunburst – our most popular rooibos, which bursts with vanilla and rhubarb flavours giving the drinker what we like to call ‘a pudding in a cup’.

At mdtea’s HQ, Metrodeco Tea Salon in Brighton, we challenge customers to “dare to be different” and try a rooibos. We tell them that if they are disappointed, we will exchange their teapot to their favourite mdtea blend without any extra charge.

We’ve yet to have to make that exchange!

About Michael Taggart

Michael Taggart is married to mdtea and Metrodeco co-owner Helen. He advises mdtea on marketing and because of a personal love of tea, writes the occasional post himself.
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