Rooibos Tea comes from the Rooibos plant which grows in the Cederberg area of Africa. There are two types of Rooibos Tea, the green and red varieties, each having a distinct flavor. The red variety is sweet and nutty, while the green has a malty taste. Of the two, the red is the most popular, while the green is generally more difficult to find and a bit more expensive. Rooibos Tea can be served with or without sugar and some, especially in South Africa, add milk. Rooibos Tea is prepared similar to black tea although you may not need to watch your steeping times as diligently. Unlike black tea, Rooibos Tea will not become bitter over an extended steeping time.
Rooibos Tea has been cultivated for centuries in the African region, but books and publications have recently helped spark an international craze. Add that to an international health movement and one can see why Rooibos Tea can now be found in almost every large retail center. The history of this tea is almost as interesting as the taste. Rooibos Tea had disappeared with the Khoisans Tribe and wasn't re-discovered until 1772 by botanist Carl Humberg. The robust flavors and aroma's were then enjoyed in Africa until a Russian marketer realized the tea's ability to sell. It wasn't until recently that Rooibos Tea gained international attention. Rooibos Tea is sometimes referred to as Red Tea, Bush Tea or Redbush Tea, and quite recently Lipton coined the term Lipton Red Tea. The Rooibos Tea gets it's names from the color of the bush that, this now famous tea, is cultivated from.
There are many health benefits when drinking Rooibos Tea. It contains a high level of antioxidants, it is caffeine-free and has low levels of tannin. Additionally, Rooibos Tea is believed to help with nervous tension, allergies, digestion, colic, asthma and dermatology issues. Other notable health benefits include the ability of Rooibos Tea to assist with sleep disorders, stomach pains, irritability, headaches, and hypertension. Lastly, Rooibos Tea is believed to have anti-aging properties and offers a natural immune system boost. This may be a good choice for women suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome as it relieves many of the associated symptoms. Since Rooibos Tea does not contain added colors, additives, preservatives or caffeine, it is a popular choice amongst health conscientious tea drinkers as well as pregnant and nursing mothers.
As with many other herbal tea's, it is better to use loose-leaf when preparing Rooibos Tea. The likely-hood of getting stems, or other pieces are reduced therefore giving you the full flavor and aroma that Rooibos Tea has to offer. Recommended usage for this tea would be the same as other herbal tea's, drinking it 2-5 times per week. It is always advisable to drink herbal tea's to either help reduce the symptoms of a particular ailment or drink moderately and alternate between a few different herbal tea's which offer a contrasting group of health benefits.
Rooibos Tea has made it's venture from centuries past to today, where it is nearly available everywhere. It is used by adults and children because of it's gentle properties. Rooibos Tea contains many healthy properties, but sometimes more importantly it is what it does not have in it that makes this tea world renowned.
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