Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Boil your Rooibos! Boil your red tea!

Red Tea.  Or not a tea at all?
Tisane? Or not herbal?

Rooibos (pronounced Roy-boss) has been enjoyed for centuries by indigenous peoples of South Africa. Rooibos is a broom-like plant of the legume family growing in South Africa. The generic name comes from the plant Calicotome villosa, aspalathos in Greek (scientific name is Aspalathus linearis). This plant has very similar growth and flowers to the redbush.

Rooibos teas can be herbal infusions made from a South African red bush and other ingredients like ginger, blueberry, mint, chocolate, chai, and on and on. Rooibos by itself is sometimes called "red tea." There are also green Rooibos teas that are just as delicious as the popular red teas but much harder to find on the regular market.

Now for the part that will set your sensibilities alight – boil the rooibos! Yes, boil! If you have had rooibos in the past and you “just couldn’t get over the taste” then you obviously made it like tea (you know, that Camellia Sinensis leaf). If you boil tea, it turns bitter. We all know that. But rooibos is not tea.

Try this. Take rooibos and brew it like tea. Steep it for about 3 to 4 minutes. At the same time, take some of the rooibos and add it to boiling water and boil hard for about 2 minutes. Strain.

Taste both. You may find you like the boiled rooibos much MUCH better.

Now grab a good book, turn your mobile device off for an hour and enjoy your boiled rooibos!

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