The rooibos plant grows in South Africa. Botanically, it is a member of the legume family and has long skinny needles, like needles or broomsticks.
In South Africa, when you make tea from these leaves it is called Bush Tea. Like black tea, red rooibos tea has been oxidized from its original green colour. But unlike green and black tea, rooibos is not from the camellia sinensis species and does not contain caffeine.
Like other plants rooibos leaves have been found to contain important phytonutrients.
I visited the Olympia restaurant in Lindsay, Ontario recently and saw Red Espresso on the menu for the first time. I tried it, while it wasn’t my favourite, I still do enjoy the flavour of rooibos tea.
Try this homemade Chai Spiced Tea recipe that I have adapted from it’s original version. It’s more work then I would do when making a cup of tea for myself, but will definitely impress your guests.
Homemade Chai Spiced Tea (Serves two)
- 2 cups water
- 4 Rooibos tea bags
- 1 TBSP honey or less
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinches ground nutmeg
- 2 cups milk or soy (if using sweetened soy then reduce or eliminate honey)
In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add tea, honey and vanilla. Season with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger and nutmeg. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pour in milk, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and strain through a fine sieve.
References: Recipe Adapted From: ‘Coffeebar Chai’ http://allrecipes.com