Rooibos (pronounced "Roy-Boss" - Afrikaans for red bush) is obtained from the specially cultivated Aspalathus linearis plant. There are a total of 278 species of the Aspalathus plant genus. The second part of the scientific name (linearis) refers to the needle-like shape of the leaves from which the tea is made. The bushes grow up to two meters. There are lower round bushes with runner-like branches and tall specimens. Overall, Rooibos belongs to the legume family and is not actually a tea. But it is classified as a herbal tea. For retail, it is divided into three grades: Standard, Choice, Super / Selected.
Most Rooibos teas are made from the Nortier variety. This variety grows quickly but is less resistant to droughts and pests. Because of climate change, a cultivated Rooibos shrub can only be used for 5 years (compared to 12 years previously).
The cultivated Rooibos is increasingly threatening viable populations of the wild Rooibos. In the meantime, Rooibos research is increasingly concentrating again on the wild Rooibos varieties. They can make better use of water and cope better with the increasing drought.
Where does Rooibos Come from?
Rooibos has a long history in the greater Cederberg area in the Republic of South Africa and on the adjacent Bokkeveld Plateau. There he secures the income of many families. Even the early peoples of these areas, the Khoikhoi, used the healing and health-promoting effects of the drink, which is made from the leaves of the plant. Rooibos is deeply rooted in its homeland and is only grown there on a large scale in its natural range.
What is Inside?
Rooibos contains numerous mineral nutrients. In addition, there are polyphenols / flavonoids such as aspalathin, which was previously only found in Rooibos. A substance that is valuable for health and has antimutagenic and antioxidant properties.
Rooibos also contains numerous essential oils, which also have a positive effect on health. But above all, you give it its unique, distinctive, slightly earthy and flowery-nutty aroma.