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What is Rooibos 'Tea' Exactly?

It’s delicious drunk with or without milk and sugar, it is high in antioxidants and it is also caffeine free – but Rooibos isn’t really a tea at all.

As a company that has not added decaffeinated tea to our growing range of teas and infusions – because we have yet to find a process that doesn’t completely distort its character – we often find ourselves converting decaf fans into Rooibos drinkers.

But what is it?

Rooibos, meaning "red bush", is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants growing in South Africa. Despite gaining fairly widespread popularity recently Rooibos has a 300-year history with its first botanical reference recorded in 1772.

Amazingly, it grows in a symbiotic relationship with local micro-organisms, so all attempts to grow it elsewhere in the world have so far failed. Indeed, there are fears climate change could destabilise the finite conditions in which it currently thrives and wipe out the entire Rooibos industry.

Described as a wonder-herb by many due to its richness in antioxidants and minerals, when steeped by itself it produces a subtly sweet and rich, coppery liquor which is beautiful drunk with milk. However, it is also beautiful blended with other herbal ingredients and taken without; indeed, it is the base ingredient in our ever-popular Dream On sleepy-time infusion. 

So if you are after an antioxidant hit or a sweet and rich cuppa without the caffeine, why not make Rooibos your new favourite drink?!

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