You read correctly. There’s bourbon in the blend – but only as it relates to the vanilla beans that were soaked in it. Those vanilla beans combined with genuine Madagascar vanilla bean bits create a deeply rich sublime, non-alcoholic infusion. Technically Rooibos is not tea, because the only thing that is tea…is tea (camellia sinensis). An infusion is everything else like: fruit, herbs and Rooibos. America seems to call everything brewed in hot water, “tea” (except of course, coffee.) So what exactly is Rooibos (pronounced ROY BUS) and where does it come from and why is it so good? The answer is: A bush, Cederberg, South Africa and the health benefits rival green tea and contain absolutely no caffeine and very little tannins.
Attention peeked? It should be because this is a powerful, tasty plant. If you take a minute and Google the health benefits of Rooibos you’ll be presented with a pretty long list. Here are three important ones:
1. It contains essential minerals and trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, fluoride and ascorbic acid.
2. Rooibos actually improves iron absorption and also contains additional iron, potassium and copper (some teas have been known to limit iron absorption)
3. It is believed by some to have 50% more antioxidants than green tea.
The first time I’d even heard of “Rooibos tea” was on a month long trip to South Africa. I had no clue what it was or how important it would become later on in my life. If you are a lover of all things vanilla, this might be a good first entry into the world of Rooibos – especially if you need a caffeine free option. Below are some notes on this robust brew:
• Overview: A rich, robust brew similar in weight to coffee. Warm and comforting.
• Dry Leaf: Classic rooibos with reddish, pointing small needle-like leaves
• Liquor (liquid): Red and crisp
• Aroma: Vanilla cake
• Flavor notes: Vanilla, rich, cherry wood and hints of sweet tobacco
• Brewing recommendation: 212° Fº / 7+ minutes. The trick is to always use boiling water as that helps bring out the flavor of the leaves.
• Caffeine: None
-The Chief Leaf