The Mysteries of Tea ~ Rooibos

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“Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.”

~Catherine Douzel

photograph by Melissa Placzek

:: Tea of the Week ::


This tea is produced only in the Western Cape province of South Africa and is also known as rositea, red tea and red bush. It is believed to aid longevity and is called “Long Life” tea in Japan. Rooibos is not a “true” tea (one that is processed from the Cameilla sinesis plant) but is produced from a plant called Aspalathus linoaris. It is high in antioxidants and contains no caffeine. Rooibos has been used to treat indigestion, infant colic, asthma, allergies and acne. Rooibos is a natural anti-inflammatory.


Character: fruity, sweet and a little reminiscent of tobacco. It has a sweet, rounded flavor and is commonly blended with citrus peel, fruits, nuts, berries, herbs and spices. One of my favorite rooibos blends is called Montana Gold and is blended with orange peel , cinnamon and cloves.

Appearance: A distinct red color…I took a picture of our tin of rooibos…

:: Tea Fact ::

Until the early 19th century all the tea consumed in Britain was imported from China transported exclusively on ships of the English East India Company.

What kind of tea are you enjoying today?


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  10 comments for “The Mysteries of Tea ~ Rooibos

  1. Kimber Dunn
    February 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Enjoyed coffee today…but this tea was made for me!!! I totally need something like this if it helps with my RA, Asthma & Allergies!! So do you have tins for every kind of tea that you just keep refilling with your favorites? How many different kinds & flavors do you keep on hand at any given moment? Do you always use loose leaf or do you get some in the prepackaged bags? I’m going to raid your pantry when I get down to visit someday, and answer all my “Leisa’s Kitchen Questions”!! LOL

  2. February 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Love rooibos! It’s got that whole earthy, tobacco notes thing going for it.

  3. Melissa
    February 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    I’m so glad we’ve found a tea that will help you 🙂 I LOVE LOVE LOVE this tea. It’s so malty and earthy. Perfect with a little milk and honey or lemon and honey.

    I *do* have tins for every kind of tea, and I refill the favorites, which are many. Right now I have a PAINT CAN full of my favorite black tea Assam Harmutty. Jeff’s favorite is Gunpowder green, and we both like rooibos for later in the day. I also have tins of: china rosepetal, white, minneapple black, darjeeling, keemun, and mango black. I usually have at least 10 teas at any given time…but I am running low…time to call the tea goddess, Mindy Kelly, and order me some more tea! LOL

    As much as I hate to admit that I drink bag tea, I do. Most of the “sleepy” teas like chamomile-vanilla (Celestial Seasonings makes a lovely one), and Tazo “Rest” and even my Kombucha (Yogi) are bagged tisanes. I have a hard time drinking green and black teas in bag form, though. DO NOT like them. After drinking the “good stuff” for so long I can tell the difference, and the oogie dregs of tea leaves make me want to cry a little. I have been called a tea snob, and I would have to agree. I am. Oh well, there are worse things.


  4. Melissa
    February 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    @ Jeffie- I think we may have to get some more of the Montana Gold…my rooibos senses are tingling and telling me we’re out 😉

  5. February 15, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    i agree with jeff – almost tobacco’ey. not in a yucky way, but in an earthy way. rooibos has such a great amber taste. i am pretty much stuck on tea now, starting with black in the morning, then green, then rooibos and white in the evening. i am excited to try more rooibos flavors!

  6. Melissa
    February 15, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I think you’ll love Tea Source’s “Montana Gold” and they have another one “Gingerbread Orange” that is pretty yummy too 🙂

  7. Kimber Dunn
    February 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

    What are your top 3 most affordable yet quality brands to get our teas from? I tried Lady Gray this morning and really like it, btw.

  8. Melissa
    February 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Mrs. Kelly’s Tea, Harney, and Tea Source.

  9. Fiona
    February 18, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Yum ! Guess I’m lucky, living in South Africa. I have a farmer friend who sends me the actual tea bushes which I dry myself, steam, dry again in the sun, and then enjoy – aaah ! 🙂 There are some awesome cosmetics and soaps made from Rooibos too.

  10. Melissa
    February 18, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Thanks for commenting, Fiona! Would you be willing to share pictures of the actual tea bushes with me and my readers? It would be so fun to see them growing in their natural habitat 😉

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