What is rooibos tea?

27 September, 2017

What is rooibos tea?

Rooibos tea, also referred to as redbush tea, is made from a shrub-like bush (Aspalathus Linearis) which can only grow in South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains, a protected world heritage site 200km north of Cape Town.

The plant is part of the indigenous Fynbos family. and thrives in this rugged environment due to the unique combination of climate and the specific PH balance of the region’s well-drained, sandy soil.

what is rooibos tea

Benjamin Ginsberg

Grandfather Benjamin Ginsberg

The origins of rooibos tea

Rooibos tea was first cured using traditional tea-making techniques by Grandfather Benjamin Ginsberg. As a young man from a Moscow tea merchant family, Benjamin joined his trader father in the Cederberg in 1903. He became fascinated by the crude mountain tea cherished by locals and soon realised that the drink would be popular beyond the region’s borders. Using his existing tea knowledge, he sought to refine the rough and unpredictable tea through a series of experiments. Using ancient Chinese tea curing methods, Benjamin perfected the practice of bruising and oxidising the leaves, to create the tasty brew we know and love today. At Tick Tock we still use Grandfather Benjamin's techniques to make our rooibos teas.

rooibos tea brewing

Rooibos tea properties

Unlike traditional black and green teas, which come from the Camellia Sinensis plant, rooibos or redbush tea is part of the pea and bean family and has no caffeine in its genetic make-up. This means the leaves do not undergo any decaffeinating processing and the tea can be enjoyed by all ages, at any time of day.

Rooibos is also very low in tannins and therefore has no bitterness. It is packed full of antioxidants and ongoing studies are exploring the health properties of the tea. You can learn more about the benefits of rooibos tea here.

Brewing rooibos tea - how to make the perfect cup!

To make the perfect cup of rooibos we suggest using boiling water and brewing your rooibos teabag for around 2-4 minutes, or longer if you prefer as the tea will never go bitter! Rooibos can be enjoyed either with or without milk, or even with a drop of honey.

At Tick Tock we've created a delicious range of rooibos teas using all-natural ingredients, so there are lots of options to drink throughout the day. You can explore and shop our range of rooibos teas here.

rooibos iced tea

Rooibos is also delicious as an iced tea, with a slice of lemon or mint - perfect for the hot summer months. You can find some tasty iced tea recipes on our website.


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Original Rooibos

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Green Rooibos

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Earl Grey Rooibos

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Organic Rooibos

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Vanilla Rooibos

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Vanilla Chai Rooibos

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Lemon & Ginger Rooibos

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Detox Rooibos

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