Written by one of our Practitioners in
Francesca Natali (www.francescanatali.me)
Rooibos is not a tea! It is important to clarify this aspect because often a little confusion is created around the word tea. Infusions of herbs, spices or plants that are not produced with the tea plant ( Camellia Sinensis ) are not tea. They contain no tein / caffeine and therefore have other beneficial properties, but not those related to the tea plant. In Italy, for several years now we have been discovering the pleasure of drinking a good rooibos , but what is it really?
Rooibos originates from the fermentation of the leaves of a legume native to South Africa , the Aspalthus linearis and looks like a bush about two meters high with long branches from which many thin twigs start. It produces a much appreciated infusion in Japan, in Germany and in the countries of northern Europe but it is also affirming itself in the United States, in Italy and even in China , historical homeland of tea!
The beneficial properties of rooibos
This shrub, with multiple curative properties against over-work and exhaustion stress, grows exclusively in the Cedarberg region , between the warmer and arid mountains where the plant can enjoy the winter rains and the sandy soil it needs. The pure water, the fresh mountain air and the warm African sun make the leaves become mahogany-red , the typical rooibos color.
The rounded flavor infusion can be confused with a black tea of Yunna n or an oolong tea from Taiwan . It does not have the typical taste of herbal teas but has a warm and masculine soul. Its name derives from Afrikans, the language spoken by settlers from Holland and means ” red shrub “.
It seduces by its intense and sweet aroma that remembers the hazelnut. It can be tasted at any time of day, including evening as it does not contain theine . From hot or cold drink is a special source of flavonoids , trace elements and vitamin C . But above all it contains the enzyme Superoxide Dismutas and that neutralizes the damages caused by the free radicals produced by our body due to stress . Refreshing and invigorating , this drink is diuretic and draining, therefore perfect for summer (if prepared in advance and left in the thermos does not oxidize and therefore easily can also be consumed on the beach) or for those suffering from water retention.
On the market it is often flavored with vanilla , citrus or spice, but what I prefer is the non-oxidized version, the green one whose taste of bark and wood is mitigated by spring and refreshing scents. The rooibos (pronouncedrooi-boss !) Is really easy to prepare , you do not need any special precautions and it does well with almost all types of water .
If you are used to using a filter, choose the one in rice paper that is more practical and holds the thin needles of this magical shrub well.