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?!
It's an exciting week here at Debonair Tea Company HQ – our very first directly sourced tea is finally available to buy!
Darjeeling teas, and particularly the range produced at Glenburn, are absolute favourites of our co-founder and in-house sommelier, Louisa.
The name ‘Darjeeling’ literally means the ‘land of the thunderbolt’. The British acquired the land here in 1835, the first tea seeds were sown in 1839 and following bumper harvests, private growers had more than 2,000 plants growing in the area by 1853. It was not until 1856 that the first commercial tea garden was established.
Given that some of the very finest tea producing regions are seasonal so that the tea plant only grows in warmer temperatures, Spring is a very exciting time in tea production. Indeed, the plucking season in India, China, Japan and even Europe – including England’s Tregothnan tea gardens (pictured) – run from March through to November.
Following harvesting and processing, the very first of the new season’s tea leaves begin to make their way across the world from Asia in time for early summer.
It's been a lot of work behind the scenes but we are proud to finally be unveiling our latest offering - our high quality, Ceremonial Grade Japanese Matcha!
While we at Debonair Tea Co. enjoy all that the Japanese matcha tea ceremony has to offer, matcha has become quite the superfood darling in recent years and for good reason; it has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea!
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