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    What is rooibos? An introduction to the caffeine free delicacy from South Africa

    Though it's name translates into 'red bush', rooibos shrub is green. You will it sometimes being labelled as 'tea', but it has nothing to do with camellia sinensis. Rooibos can be confusing, this is why the time has come to talk more about this intriguing plant that turns into a delicious infusion. 



    Where does it come from?

    The rooibos shrub is grown only in the Cedarburg mountain area north of Cape Town in South Africa. It is the first African food to receive the status of a protected designation of origin in the EU register. This geographical indicator is very helpful, it means you have a guarantee that your rooibos comes from exactly the place where you would expect it to grow. Interesting fact: many people assume that their matcha comes from Japan, however that is not always the case. If your matcha was surprisingly cheap, there is a great chance it arrived from China.


    Is it tea?

    It is not. While it might be labelled as rooibos tea, it if in fact a herbal infusion since it not made of the actual tea plant. It can be therefore to compared to peppermint which isn't tea, yet we call it 'peppermint tea' sometimes.


    Does rooibos contain caffeine?

    No, no caffeine at all. This is why rooibos is a great alternative for those who want to enjoy a hot, flavoursome beverage but need to watch their caffeine intake. Rooibos can be enjoyed at any time of the day, including late afternoon and bedtime. It will not keep you awake and it won't trigger anxiety. You can sip it and relax without worrying about your good night's sleep.


    How does it taste like? How to make a perfect cup of rooibos?

    We recommend using boiling water and steeping rooibos for 3 to 5 minutes. You will need two teaspoons of rooibos per 450ml water. For completely hassle free experience we also offer rooibos in pyramid tea bags. Rooibos can be enjoyed both as a hot drink or iced version.

    With regard to its flavour, rooibos is wonderfully smooth, it comes with natural sweetness, similar to honeybush and caramel. Some people also detect lovely, nutty aromas. 


    Highland, Chai, Earl Grey... 

    Rooibos goes well with many fruit, flowers, nuts, spices, barks etc. which is wonderful, because it allows us to create an interesting variety of blends. Apart from traditional Rooibos, at PekoeTea you will also find:

    - Fruity and floral Highland Rooibos. In this well balanced blend you will find blueberries, currants, raspberry leaf, rosehips and lavender.

    - Beautifully warming Chai Rooibos made with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, black pepper and cloves (we recommend taking it with a splash of milk or turning it into Chai Latte)

    - Earl Grey Rooibos for all our bergamot lovers



    If you have any suggestions for new rooibos-based blends, please let us know. We love to experiment and discover new flavours. You can always get in touch should you have any questions, requests or ideas. Send me ( or Sam ( an email and we'll get back to you in no time. 

    Ewa Przemyska

    Ewa Przemyska