Rooibos Tea

We source the highest grade Rooibos tea, aka redbush tea, to bring you a full-bodied, naturally caffeine free cup. With its sweet nutty finish, rooibos also boasts many health benefits. Honeybush tea is made from a shrub related to rooibos named for its delightfully honeyed aroma.
Rooibos or redbush teas

What is rooibos tea?

Naturally caffeine free rooibos tea, and its lighter and sweeter sibling honeybush tea, are infusions made with two closely related shrubs from South Africa.

Rooibos tea

  • Rooibos is pronounced ‘roy-boss’ and is also known as ‘redbush’ tea.
  • Unlike the ‘true’ teas, like black and green tea, rooibos is not made from Camellia sinensis.
  • Instead, rooibos tea comes from the needle-like tips of Aspalathus linearis, a bush that grows exclusively in the coastal Cederberg region of South Africa.

Honeybush tea

  • Honeybush tea comes from the related Cyclopia plant, known as honeybush due to its sweet aroma.

Produced using ancient methods

  • Inspired by the processing of Chinese oolong and keemun teas, Benjamin Ginsberg refined the production methods of the locally popular ‘bush tea’.
  • Oxidation, the same process that causes a sliced apple to change colour when exposed to air, causes the leaves of each shrub to change from green to deep red.

Naturally caffeine free

  • As both plants contain no caffeine, infusions made with their leaves and stems are naturally caffeine free.
  • Rooibos is often enjoyed as a gentle alternative to the ‘true’ teas.

Brewing

Rooibos and honeybush teas are easy and quite forgiving to prepare. Here are some tips to help you get the best out of your bush tea.

Water

  • Filtered or spring water makes better-tasting tea.
  • Start with an empty kettle to ensure the water is fresh.
  • Ideally, add only as much water to the kettle as you need for your cup/pot. This saves energy and avoids the need to waste the spent water when you come to make your next cup!

Temperature

  • Rooibos and honeybush tea can tolerate higher temperatures than some other teas.
  • Freshly boiled water will release all the rich flavour notes and beneficial compounds without any risk of bitterness.

How much tea?

  • Dragonfly teabags contain just the right amount of tea leaves for a mug of tea (about 250ml capacity).

Steeping

  • Check your packaging for the recommended brewing time for each tea.
  • Feel free to experiment with steeping time to find out what works best for you: rooibos and honeybush infusions never go bitter.
  • Longer brewing reveals fuller, more intense flavours.

Taste

Rich, red and exceptionally smooth

  • Rooibos tea is exceptionally smooth, with a clear, ruby-red colour.
  • The aroma is woody and the taste is nutty and malted with a sweet finish.
  • It’s robust but never bitter and delicious with or without milk.

Honeybush infusion

  • Slightly more delicate in taste and lighter drinking, honeybush tea has distinctly honeyed tones.

Wellbeing

Properties and benefits of rooibos and honeybush teas

  • Unlike Camellia sinensis, which is used to make traditional green, black and other ‘true’ teas, rooibos and honeybush plants don’t contain any caffeine – so their infusions are naturally caffeine-free.
  • While not necessarily harmful, caffeine can have negative side effects when consumed in excess, including sleep disturbance and symptoms of anxiety.
  • Rooibos is packed with powerful antioxidants including aspalathin and nothofagin.
  • Research suggests regular consumption of antioxidants can help protect against free radicals, which have been linked to conditions from heart disease to diabetes.
  • Rooibos and honeybush are also very low in tannins, the astringent compounds in traditional black tea that can interfere with iron absorption.
  • In South Africa, rooibos tea has been used as a soothing remedy for generations.

Tea Growing

Growing rooibos and honeybush tea

  • Rooibos grows exclusively in the mountainous Cederberg region of South Africa.
  • It was first cultivated in the 1930s, but still requires the unique conditions of the Cederberg to grow.
  • Tea growers monitor the colour, texture and moisture to decide when the rooibos and honeybush leaves are ready to harvest.

Making rooibos and honeybush tea

  • Cape ‘bush teas’ were first documented in 1772 by Swedish botanist Carl Thunberg.
  • Inspired by traditional Chinese tea curing methods, Benjamin Ginsberg developed the rooibos production methods used today.
  • The leaves are harvested by hand each summer, chopped, bruised and dampened then laid out to oxidise under the hot South African sun.
  • During oxidation, the leaves change colour from green to red, earning ‘red bush’ tea its name.
find out more

Your Basket

£${ formattedFreeShippingDifference } away from Free Standard UK Delivery

You've qualified for free shipping!

£${ line_item.line_price / 100 }