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Friday, September 19, 2008

Fun Caffeine-Free Teas: Rooibos and Honeybush Teas

Rooibos (Afrikaans/Dutch-like name) or Red Bush tea originates in South Africa, where I grew up as a child.

This is the exact package I have at the moment as well as a box of Organic Rooibos Flavour Pack made by Carmien in South Africa.

Rooibos is pronounced "Roy-boss". Some of us want a cup of tea before bedtime, but the caffeine will either keep us awake or wake us later in the early hours of the morning. Rooibos tea is a great tea to have. I like it with a little milk and Splenda, but one can drink it plain or with a slice of lemon, depending on the flavor of the tea. If I'm brewing a pot of tea, then I sometimes add vanilla extract to flavor the plain Rooibos tea. Another trick I use is in the mornings when I make a pot of tea for Ian and I is that I will use some Earl Grey Black tea or Breakfast Tea leaves and then open a tea bag of Rooibos tea to dilute the caffeine - i.e. half-and-half. This way I can have 2 cups of tea! There's method in my madness as they say.

Ian and I have bought all manner of teas and all kinds of flavors in various places in Canada and all over the world. We even bought super peach and apricot and vanilla-flavored teas at the prestigious Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, where the queen has stayed and dined. One time I did a demo in their bookstore and provided goodies for people to taste that were made out of my cookbooks. It was such a wonderful couple of days and the guests (many American) were so nice and I sold lots of books, which really made it even more fun. As a result of my "gig", we stayed in this majestic palace-like hotel for the weekend - free! While I worked for hours, my grateful husband caught up on his tan around the swimming pool with the Rocky Mountains in the background. Meantime, our sons climbed Sulphur mountain with a friend, who also got to stay for free! As a reward, Ian took us on the last day to the buffet brunch, which is always spectacular!

The British love their tea and English ladies have such pretty complexions as we know. I think it is partly that they don't get too much sun and partly the fact that they drink so much tea. That's my theory.

Here is a website that talks about the tea: Rooibos Tea

On the first site, Honeybush tea is also mentioned. That is another nice tea to try. I still prefer Rooisbos tea though. Rooibos tea is full of flavonoids. "Flavonoids are most commonly known for their antioxidant activity. However, it is now known that the health benefits they provide against cancer and heart disease are the result of other mechanisms. Flavonoids are also commonly referred to as bioflavonoids in the media."

Jennifer Eloff


Former Donut Junkie said...

Jennifer, thanks a million for all your hard work and research on Rooibos Tea. I love hot teas, especially in the winter time. I know I need to get off caffeine and this is another great alternative in order to have a cup of something hot in the mornings

I've also checked out the great web sites you've referenced. There is a store here locally called "World Market" which has coffees and teas from all over the world, in addition to a bunch of other items as well. I will check them out and see if they stock any Rooibos. The Celestial Seasonings sample I had is probably OK, but I've got a feeling that there are better, more authentic Rooibos teas like the ones you referenced.

Again, thank you!

Jennifer said...

You are welcome! :-)

It's difficult to get off caffeine completely. I don't plan to skip my black tea with caffeine in the mornings anytime soon. However, I do think that my previous habit of having caffeine throughout the day is not a great idea for me personally.

Celestial Seasonings is a well-known tea company. I've had a lot of their tea in my life. I suspect their Rooibos is fine.

Vikki said...

Jennifer, thank you for the post. I will be sure to check out the websites too. I had a nice big ( read 1/2 the size of my head) cup of pepperment tea with cream and splenda this morning. Gave me a right good spark for all the stuff I needed to get done. But I would really like to have some teas that are caffeine free and this looks like a good one to start with.
thanks again,

Jennifer said...

Hi Vikki,

Your tea sounds nice! I know I need that caffeine first thing in the morning as well. That way I really get going on things that need to get done.

A word of caution: Some people do not like Rooibos tea. It has a different taste. I love it though. The tea promotes relaxation. I had some last night just before watching a short Robin Hood made-for-tv episode and I don't think I got past the first 5 minutes, before I was sound asleep.

Former Donut Junkie said...

OK, I know it's been forever but I finally bought some Kalahari Reserve Rooibos Tea at Ingles today and I love it. Thanks for the great info and recommendation!

Jennifer said...

LOL I just finished my second cup of Rooibos tea as I read your note. It is now 10:15 pm, but no worries, I will sleep well as there is no caffeine in it. Glad you've found Rooibos tea! The Kalahari is in Namibia which used to be part of South Africa.