Tea 101: What is rooibos tea?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Smooth, lightly sweet and caffeine-free, rooibos (pronounced ROY-bos) is Afrikaans for “red bush” – a South African miracle plant with tons of benefits. It’s especially popular with health-conscious sippers because it’s rich in antioxidants and electrolytes, plus it’s naturally super hydrating, making it an excellent option for sipping as a refreshing iced tea.

Traditionally brewed as a medicinal herb by indigenous peoples in Southern Africa, rooibos tea was adopted as a black tea alternative in the 18th century by early Dutch settlers and traders, eventually gaining global popularity. It was even steeped as a caffeine-free alternative to Camellia sinensis during Second World War tea shortages. Today, red and green rooibos are widely enjoyed around the world. And it’s no wonder – it’s one of the most approachable teas on the planet thanks to its health benefits and natural sweetness.

So what makes rooibos so easy to love? It’s delicious, it contains zero caffeine, and it’s super easy to steep – perfect for people of all ages, whether you’re new to tea or a well-seasoned pro. And we haven’t even gotten started on its rep as a wellness drink.

Discover the benefits of rooibos tea

Rooibos is packed with tons of feel-good benefits your bod will thank you for. It’s known to be super hydrating, high in antioxidants and rich electrolytes. We love sipping it iced during a workout sesh because of its thirstquenching properties and to help replenish lost minerals and fluids – kind of like an all-natural sports drink. Plus some say rooibos gives their complexion a healthy glow.

How much caffeine is in rooibos tea

Like herbal tea, rooibos contains zero caffeine, so you can sip it all day long without fear of getting that caffeine buzz. Kickstart your day by adding a fresh slice of lemon to your mug of Organic Rooibos for a little zing, then switch to a refreshing Organic The Glow iced tea in the afternoon – the perfect way to rehydrate after a jog or workout sesh. Craving a little bedtime comfort? Whip up a caffeine-free rooibos latte with Organic Cinnamon Rooibos Chai for a soothing nightcap that won’t keep you up at night. Great for kids and adults alike!

What does rooibos tea taste like?

If you love a smooth-drinking tea without the bitter taste of tannins, then you’re in for a treat. Rooibos tastes naturally sweet, with a deliciously clean mineral finish. There are two types of rooibos: red and green. Red rooibos is oxidized (the process of darkening tea leaves by exposing them to air) and then dried under the sun, so it’s richer with sweet notes of raw honey with fresh herbs. Green rooibos, on the other hand, is withered and steamed to prevent oxidation. The result? A light, fresh and mildly sweet brew, with a grassy aroma similar to sencha and other steamed green teas.

We love using rooibos tea in our blends because it has a sweetness that’s light and not too overpowering – making it a great base for both fun and fruity and sweet or spicy blends. Plus it’s delicious no matter how you drink it – hot, iced, with lemon or a splash of milk.

Explore our wide selection of pure rooibos teas, dessert-inspired infusions, fruity iced teas and exciting new rooibos blends to find the one you like the best.

Find the rooibos tea that’s right for you

TRADITIONAL

Organic Rooibos

Who can resist the rich, sweet taste of this red, smooth-drinking South African tea? Try it straight up or with a splash of milk and sugar.

SPICY

Organic Cinnamon Rooibos Chai

Cinnamon is so much more than just the tastiest spice around. It has a clean and refreshing taste your breath will thank you for. Try it with frothed milk for the ultimate caffeine-free chai latte.

Organic Super Ginger

Ginger makes you feel so great, it’s like an everyday superhero. At least, that’s how we feel after one cup of this super-spicy blend of ginger, green rooibos and peppercorns.

Coco Chai Rooibos

If you’re into spice-based chais, this exotic blend is for you. With cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and coconut, it’s the kind of thing you get addicted to.

SWEET

Cotton Candy

This bestselling dessert tea combines nut brittle, candied mango and cotton candy sprinkles with a smooth base of green rooibos. The result? All the fun and flavour of fairy floss, at next to no calories.

Alpine Punch

With apple, cinnamon, ginger and the heady scent of almonds, this rooibos blend is warm, comforting and totally decadent. Try it with a splash of brandy for a warming treat.

Raspberry Cream Pie 

Berries and cream are a match made in heaven. And this irresistibly sweet and creamy combo of rooibos, white chocolate and raspberries is pure bliss.

FLORAL

The Glow

This light, floral elixir is a beautiful caffeine-free infusion. With rooibos, herbs, rose petals and marigold, just steeping it is a beauty ritual.

How to steep rooibos tea perfectly

The beauty about rooibos tea is that it’s super easy to steep – perfect for beginners or easily distracted tea drinkers. Here’s the deal: You can steep rooibos for as short or as long as you like without fear of getting that bitter taste you might associate with a green or black tea. We recommend steeping 1-2 Perfect Spoons of your fave rooibos loose leaf for 4-5 minutes in hot 95°C/200°F water to help the tea leaves release all of their amazing flavours and aromas.

Since rooibos leaves are finely cut, it’s important to steep them using a fine mesh tea infuser like this one. The stainless steel mesh is finely perforated so even the tiniest of tea leaves will stay out of your cup.

How to make a Rooibos Chai Latte

Steep 2 Perfect Spoons of Organic Cinnamon Rooibos Chai tea in 1 cup of boiling water for 4-5 min, then strain and discard loose leaf.

Stir in 1 oz of maple syrup and top with 1 cup hot frothed milk.

Shop all rooibos teas here.

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