Rooibos – What is it?

by Elena Popec 17. August 2012 12:05

The local people of the Western Cape region of South Africa have recognized and enjoyed the benefits of the rooibos tea bush for centuries.  In the last few decades, awareness of this plant and its amazing potential has spread throughout Europe and the Americas.  In the mid-1700s, a Swedish botanist observed that the leaves of this bush could be harvested, processed, and steeped into a hot beverage similar to black tea.  Locals would pick the leaves from the bush, which grows exclusively in the mountainous terrain of this small area in South Africa, and then bring them back to level ground for a primitive curing process.  The leaves were chopped and bruised, and then left out in the sun to dry.  Once fully dried, the leaves could be steeped and served in place of black tea, which was in limited supply and very expensive.

While rooibos infusions remained a very popular drink in South Africa, it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that advancements in cultivation of the rooibos bush made increased production and distribution a possibility.  A special sifting process was developed to isolate the rooibos seed, and thus the bush could be planted and raised under the watchful eye of local farmers.  Further developments in the curing process enhanced the flavor and appearance of the final product, making it even more popular in South Africa and the rest of the world.

When steeped into a tea-like infusion, rooibos has a pleasing, naturally sweet and slightly nutty flavor.  Dried rooibos is graded for quality, with higher grades containing a larger proportion of leaves to stem pieces.  The highest grades of dried rooibos have the darkest, richest, and boldest flavor.  A rooibos infusion tastes great on its own, and also mixes very well with a variety of other herbal infusions and true teas to create a countless array of blends and flavors.  Many people enjoy the taste of rooibos; is it rich and complex like a black true tea, but lower tannin levels leave rooibos without the slight bitterness that many black teas have.

Beyond its pleasant flavor, rooibos contains a number of compounds that make it a healthful drink; its growing popularity is largely due to its health potential.  Rooibos is packed full of powerful antioxidants, which help to neutralize and destroy harmful free radicals in the body.  It also boasts a wealth of phenolic compounds and is completely caffeine-free.  It has long been used to ease tension, relieve the symptoms of allergies, and to combat digestive issues.  Although there is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of rooibos in these medicinal applications, it is a relative newcomer to the Western world; research is ongoing.  Even if further study proves that rooibos is ineffective in treating anxiety or digestive problems, the antioxidant properties alone make rooibos a valuable addition to a healthful life.  With its health benefits, delicious flavor, and numerous blending possibilities, rooibos is sure to continue to rise in popularity and consumption in the U.S.

South African Vending Machine Gives Away Roobios Tea For Tweets

by Steven Popec 2. July 2012 08:27

In one of the stranger news stories of the week, a unique vending machine has been installed in the South African city of Cape Town. While traditional vending machines exchange money for goods, this vending machine is different.

Named ‘Bev’, the tea vending machine gives away free samples of Roobios tea in exchange for a tweet. Specifically, people who use a certain hash tag on Twitter are rewarded with a small cup of tea.

After grabbing a cup of tea from ‘Bev’, fans can follow the vending machine on Twitter or like her fanpage on Facebook. 

While Twitter has been used in a number of unique and interesting ways, this is the first time the popular social network has been used to giveaway free tea samples via a vending machine.

Why is Rooibos tea so popular in South Africa?

There’s a reason that Bev hands out cups of Rooibos tea for free in Cape Town. Rooibos is native to the Western Cape province of South Africa. In fact, that is the only region of the world where Rooibos is grown.

Rooibos tea features a distinctive reddish-brown color. In Afrikaans, Rooibos means ‘redbush’, although the tea is not actually made from the redbush plant.

While rooibos tea is popular in South Africa, more and more people all over the world are starting to appreciate its health benefits. Rooibos tea contains powerful antioxidant properties with no adverse side effects, making it ideal for the treatment of allergies, digestive problems, and nervous tension. 

Do you use Twitter? Save money on your next tea order from ESP Emporium!

The company that made Bev isn’t the only tea company that wants to reward Twitter users. ESP Emporium currently has a promotion underway that gives a $5 rebate to anybody who follows us on Twitter. To enter this promotion, simply head to ESP Emporium's front page and click on the “Tea if for Twitter” link in the bottom footer.

A dialogue box will pop-up prompting you to follow us on Twitter. Then, enter your name in the text box underneath and we’ll send you a direct message with your coupon code. It’s that easy!

On Twitter, we keep you posted on the latest news going on in the world of tea. We also have special promotions that help you save money on our selection of loose leaf tea.

The bottom line

Whether you want a free cup of Rooibos tea from a vending machine or a full order of our   Organic Mango/Strawberry Rooibos Tea Blend, we can all agree that getting good deals on tea is a good thing.

To discover more about our selection of Rooibos tea, click here.

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African Rooibos Tea Facts and Notes

by ESP Tea Lover 7. June 2012 18:21

Rooibos tea (pronounced “roy-boss"), also called red tea for its color is a tea that is sought after by many people, but also something that some tea drinkers do not except. If you are unsure whether this type of loose leaf tea is for you or not the best thing for you to do is give it a try. The fact of the matter is that you will never know whether you like it or not if you do not give it a trial run. The end result could be that you really like the taste and aroma. Many people drink red teas for the first time and quickly become hooked. All in all, red tea is something that you need to know a little bit about, as well as try, before you make a final judgment.


Rooibos Origins

In short, red tea comes from the African Red Bush. It was originally consumed by the people of South Africa but soon made its way to every other continent in the world. Once red tea was introduced to other places in the world it became a major source of income for the towns in South Africa that produced the tea. Since there was no alternative out there the people that wanted red tea had to get it from this area in Africa.

Rooibos Tea Flavor

Rooibos tea has a desirable sweet flavor. Since rooibos is free of caffeine and tannic acid, the preparation is very easy. Larger amount of tea or longer brewing do not have such big effects and the infusion remains perfectly enjoyable. It should be noted that the flavor of red tea is something that is highly regarded by tea connoisseurs. This means that for the most part, people who have dedicated a lot of time to tea and tea drinking find the flavor to be perfect. Rooibos copper-brown needle-like leaf is a great base for creating excellent tea blends using flower blossoms, petals, spices, coffee beans, caramel, chocolate chips and other decorations.


Are There Health Benefits?

The answer to this question is yes, there are numerous health benefits to drinking red tea. In fact, red tea is one of the healthiest beverages that you can consume. Not only is it completely free of caffeine but it also has many antioxidants. These antioxidants are responsible for promoting good health as well as ridding your body of any toxins that may be present. These antioxidants are responsible for helping you to look younger. If you want to make sure that your skin is healthy and you have a young appearance then you should drink red tea!
In addition, this tea is thought to have a very soothing effect. It will help to fight off allergies or even a headache. Your immune system will be boosted which means that you will feel better in general. These health benefits of rooibos tea make it very popular amongst people that take their physical and mental health seriously. Not only do you get the health benefits, but you also get the great taste!

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Drinking Rooibos Tea Can Improve Your Skin

by Elena Popec 24. July 2011 01:03

Rooibos is grown in South Africa, and is becoming more popular in many other parts of the world. It is flavorful and it can improve your skin. It contains compounds such as zinc and other types of minerals and nutrients which do amazing things for your skin.

What is rooibos?
   
This type of loose leaf tea, while relatively new to the West, has been consumed regularly in South Africa, and is known to treat many varied types of skin problems. The tea is a rich red color, and the very name of this type of tea means “red bush.” It has many health benefits in addition to alleviating various types of skin conditions. It is simply overflowing with antioxidants and nutrients. A huge benefit to this type of tea is that it does not contain caffeine. It’s a delicious drink, and if you want to have a cup or two before bed, it won’t keep you awake half the night.

Skin conditions
   

And as for skin problems, who wants them? Skin conditions such as acne and eczema can be embarrassing and lead to other types of problems, such as low self confidence and lower your self-esteem. It can make you be more self-conscious in public, when you want to be self-assured. Other skin conditions such as rashes and sunburn can be incredibly painful. It’s important for most people to have healthy skin, but attaining that goal is easier said than done in most cases.
   
Everyone in this society, it seems, wants to possess completely clear, amazingly healthy, and absolutely gorgeous skin. But how is this goal attained, and can it be? There is an endless number of advertisements and commercials suggesting this or that product, but how do you know which one will work for you? Products of all types are targeted at you in every other advertisement, all claiming to work miracles on your skin. The quest to look younger for longer, and to have smooth, clear skin is practically ingrained into this society’s culture.

How rooibos can help
   

This leaves you with an overwhelming number of skin care products to choose from. Many of these products are not effective on all skin types, and only targeted to specific conditions. And some products may contain harmful chemicals that do far more damage than benefit to you and your skin health.
   
And the benefits of rooibos tea to your skin are countless. In South African traditional medicine, the belief is that the rooibos tea will treat conditions such as eczema, sunburns, rashes, allergies, skin irritations, and even acne. It seems that this might be a panacea for skin problems. Drink a few cups of rooibos tea every day, and your skin will love you for it. You can even cool the tea and then use cotton balls or cloth to apply it directly to your skin. This will bring out the natural beauty of your skin and may help to improve your skin health. It may eradicate acne and to help alleviate an outbreak of eczema. It may also help to relieve sunburn and rashes.
   
The choice is a simple one. Drink all natural, all delicious rooibos tea and say hello to beautiful, healthy skin.

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Enjoy the Benefits of African Rooibos Tea

by Steven Popec 21. June 2010 07:19

What is Rooibos?

Rooibos tea, also known as Aspalathus linearis, is a common drink in South Africa and has been consumed there for years. It’s a unique type of tea, and isn’t quite as common just yet in the Western world. It is a mild flavored, fruity type of tea and is already growing in popularity with the rest of the world due not only to its delectable flavor but to its many health benefits. It is grown in the mountains of the Western Cape Province of South Africa and is sometimes called the African rooibos tea. It can be brewed and consumed hot, or made into a delicious iced tea. It has numerous health benefits and can truly add to a healthy lifestyle.

What does Rooibos Mean?

Rooibos means, “red bush.” It is an African word for the flowering shrub that grows in the Western Cape, north of Capetown, in the mountain region. It grows to five feet or so in height, with a red brown stem and needle like, vibrant green leaves. It is a legume shrub which has roots that are able to withstand the poor soils of the mountain region. Its roots can tolerate the acidic soils due to the abundance they have in nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Antioxidants and Nutrients

The tea that is produced from this plant is delicious and it also has been recently discovered to have high antioxidant contents, like many other teas. Its vitamins and nutrients have led to its increase in popularity in the Western world. It has many health benefits, as do other teas, and is deliciously fruity flavored. It is sometimes blended in with herbal teas that are available today.

The Health Benefits

This tea is sweet on its own. It doesn’t have all the artifice and preservatives and additives of other teas, which makes it a much healthier choice. This tea is incredibly healthy with many benefits.

Research shows that rooibos tea can help with health problems such as headaches and that it may help to lower blood pressure as well. It can even help to prevent anxiety attacks, and helps to alleviate insomnia, and irritability. The tea has already been being used in South Africa to treat asthma, eczema, and hay fever. It is, like most teas, almost like a magical panacea in some ways. It has many other benefits as well. Rooibos can also help maintain healthy teeth, act as an anti-inflammatory, and help to fight off viruses. It has been shown to help with alleviating abdominal pains as well. And it contains elements which are beneficial to healthy skin. This type of tea also contains properties which help maintain healthy circulation of the blood and also helps to fight aging. It of course helps the body’s immunes system as well, like other teas, with all of its antioxidants. Here’s another benefit: Rooibos is free of caffeine! In this way, it is effective at helping alleviate stress, insomnia, and tension and can help relax a person.

It’s fruity and delicious, and healthy too!

Rooibos, the perfect health alterative tea

by Steven Popec 15. February 2010 12:01

If you like experimenting with food and drinks and are very fond of tea, or if because of health conditions you are limited in the consumption of black tea and coffee, we recommend you to try Rooibos tea. There is still a lot of   controversy regarding its name. Yet it is wise to call this Rooibos or Rooibos tea, because is the closest in sound to Afrikaans - one of the languages, mainly spoken in Southern Africa. In translation, this word means "red bush". This product was popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed all over the world.

Thanks to its healing properties Rooibos is also called the elixir of the Bushmen. This tea is made from young shoots that are cut, finely shredded, and then spread on a flat surface for about eight hours. During this time, Rooibos undergoes a process of natural fermentation that produces reddish -brown color and enhances the flavor. Then, the tea leaves subjected to final drying in a special machine, pasteurized and packaged. Un-oxidized green Rooibos is also produced by method similar to production of green tea, but due to more demanding production process is more expensive than red Rooibos. Good quality Rooibos can be determined by the uniformity and brightness of color. Tea should be light and crumbly, needles are long and even.

Rooibos tea can be excellently improved with most household decorations. For instance, mallow or sunflower blossoms are beautifully set off against the thin, rust-brown needle-like leaf.

Rooibos is becoming very popular in Western countries especially among health-conscious consumers due to its lack of caffeine and tannic acid. Rooibos is safe for people that suffer from high blood pressure. This tea is a healthy beverage choice for the kids. Rooibos contains a high level of antioxidants. Many experts believe that due to these properties Rooibos is quite possible to use even in baby food.

Generally, with regard to the process of brewing, Rooibos tea is completely unpretentious. Unlike many other exotic types of tea, Rooibos steeps with boiling water and drink is ready in 8-10 minutes after brewing. This tea does not become bitter when steeped longer, moreover, tea leaves can be steeped multiply times.

Rooibos Tea - it's just a real storehouse of vitamins (E, R, A, C) and other nutrients (copper, iron, calcium, zinc). Moreover, copper and vitamin C are responsible for the most effective absorption of iron in the human body. Rooibos tea is highly recommended to vegetarians. But of course you should not totally rely on Rooibos, if you want to fully satisfy the needs of your body's iron.

Some doctors advise to use Rooibos as an antidepressant. It assists well with nervous tension, fatigue and headaches, allergies and digestive disorders. Since it contained glucose, tea is not only a great thirst quencher, but also wonderful soother.

 

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