The 300-year-old rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) plant is just a baby compared to the 1,000-plus-year-old Camellia sinensisplant that yields what we know as black and green tea. Rooibos is an herb native to South Africa that isn’t even a true “tea” at all. Rather, it’s a plant that when harvested and dried can be brewed into a reddish-brown herbal infusion dubbed “African red tea” or “red bush tea” by the tea industry.
Rooibos is generally steeped in just boiled water at a temperature similar to a black tea or herbal infusion, around 200 to 212 degrees.
Using about 2 grams (1 teaspoon) of loose leaf tea per 8 oz. cup of water is a safe bet.
Always start with fresh, pure, cold filtered water when you brewing tea. Spring water is the best.
Cover your tea while it steeps to keep all the heat in the steeping vessel.
Taste the brewed rooibos after the recommended infusion time (we steep our rooibos for 4 to 5 minutes) and then decide if you’d like it to go a little longer. Unlike a traditional black or green tea, rooibos won’t get more astringent and bitter the longer it’s infused in hot water; it will just get stronger and more flavorful.
Most high-quality loose leaf rooibos teas can be steeped multiple times.