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Choice Teas: What is Rooibos?

RooibosYou may have already noticed, but we’ve got some brand new teas here at Trade as One. We’ve partnered with Choice Teas to bring you 4 new flavors of organic, fair trade teas. We’ve got Rooibos and Vanilla, Morrocan Mint Green, Earl Grey with Lavender, and Chamomile Spearmint. These tasty teas come with years of experience in both the organic and fair trade markets, as Choice Teas have led the way in both spheres for some time. We’ve already sampled these teas at a few events, and they’ve been a big hit. They’re great as gifts, especially when you pair them with a mug or a good book.

Now if you’re like us, you might be wondering, what is Rooibos anyway? First, we’ll tackle step one: pronunciation. It’s deceiving, but it’s actually pronounced like “roy-bos.” All together now: “roy-bos.”

Well, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can move on to specifics. Our friends at Choice Teas got into all kinds of detail on their blog. Here’s an excerpt:

The name “rooibos is Afrikaans for ‘red bush,’ referring to the signature red color of the dried leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant. It’s grown solely in the Cedarburg Mountains of South Africa and has been enjoyed there for centuries. It’s believed that the ancient Khoi and San people of South Africa were the first to drink rooibos, harvesting the leaves with axes and leaving it to dry in heaps in the sun. Early Dutch settlers started drinking rooibos as an alternative to expensive black tea. It wasn’t until the early 20th century, however, that rooibos was exported out of South Africa. And it wasn’t developed commercially until the 1930s. Its popularity expanded from South Africa to the rest of the world. It’s easy to see why.

Rooibos is a unique herbal tea, with a full, rounded mouth-feel and flavor. The taste invokes honey and vanilla, with a natural, earthy sweetness. The brew is a beautiful deep red color, much like the color of the bush itself. And unlike tea, rooibos has no tannins, which means that it can be steeped for long periods of time without bitterness. In my opinion, steeping rooibos longer only makes it taste betterif you can be patient enough to not start drinking it as soon as possible.

To me, that’s enough, but it’s also good for you. Its high antioxidant and flavanoid content is similar to tea, and it’s also been known to assist with allergies and digestive problems. In South Africa, rooibos has traditionally used to sooth colic in infants…

So enjoy these great teas, knowing that you’re not only drinking a tasty treat, but you’re taking care of the earth and supporting hardworking farmers the world over!

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