There are several teas which have become very highly regarded for more than just amazing flavor. Loose rooibos tea is one of the newer teas to become popular in Western markets. However, this tea has been a traditional tea consumed in Africa for generations.
It is important to realize loose rooibos tea is not the same as traditional types of teas. It does not come from the Camellia sinensis, which is the tea plant associated with teas such as green, oolong, black and white, as well as pu–erh teas. Instead, rooibos tea comes from a bush known as the South African Red Bush, or more correctly Aspalathus linearis. It is more closely related to legumes than it is to tea, so it is often considered a tisane rather than a true tea.
Red and Green
Both red and green rooibos tea come from the same bush. Red rooibos, which is a popular choice at LoveTea.com, is the most traditional of the two options. It is made by picking the leaves and then bruising them to allow oxygen to get into the leaf and actually start the fermentation process.
The leaves are left in piles for hours to develop the deep red color and natural sweetness. They are then spread out in a single layer directly in the sun to dry. This process is very fast in the hot, dry climate of South Africa.
Green rooibos tea is harvested from the same plant, but it does not undergo any oxidation or fermentation. The tea produced is lighter in color, more green than red, and the loose tea is also earthier and more subtle in flavor.
Benefits of Loose Rooibos Tea
The rooibos teas are very high in antioxidants, and important part of the diet to help in the removal of free radical cells in the body. When combined with other dried fruits or loose teas the antioxidant level can be further boosted.
Additionally, the limited processing of this type of tea retains the natural vitamins, minerals and plant chemical which have been used to treat everything from digestive upsets to insomnia.
Other health benefits include natural flushing of the system, including beneficial compounds necessary for effective liver functioning. It can also be used to help reduce stress and anxiety and, without caffeine, it is a great drink before bed.
At LoveTea.com you will find a variety of rooibos tea blends and tisanes. This is a lovely, naturally sweet tea which can be served hot or cold to suit any preference.