Some would say, “Of course, what else would you call it?!” But in tea terms, you use the word”Tea”only when it comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant (literally means tea tree). In my last post, we talked about the different variety of teas. This time we are going to talk about the “non-tea” teas…sounds odd, but trust me, it gets better…
Let’s start with my favorite:
Commonly known as Red Bushall over Africa, this tea originates in South Africa. One may be tempted to call rooibos a tea, but it’s actually not. It is, however, the rising star in the tea industry, as many tea experts believe it’s the next big thing! Many studies suggest it helps preserve bone health, has ample antioxidants and can even help with weight loss. The chubby guy in me thinks these are great, but remember, I can’t independently verify these claims. But what I CAN verify is this: rooibos is delicious!
Rooibos is a zero-calorie, caffeine-free, low-tannin “tea” that has been used in South Africa for centuries, as well as many other countries around the world. It’s a member of the legume family, and its official plant name is the Aspalathus linearis. It only grows naturally in one place in the world: the mountains near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa — Mandela’s rainbow nation! Rooibos contains 50% more antioxidants than those found in green tea and has been a much-loved alternative to other traditional “teas.”
So what does it taste like? It has a woody, earthy, smooth and somewhat subtle flavor depending on the region your rooibos comes from and when the legume is actually harvested. It’s basically like one of those uber-healthy green smoothies you buy for $7 at Whole Foods, but without the sugar, way less expensive, and much better for you! Check out our website for our selection of rooibos-based tea fusions!
Stay tuned for our next “non-tea” tea! Tea the Day!
Looking for some Rooibos
Ash from Mela Teas