Cultivated in the Cederberg mountains, rooibos gives the drink called "red tea" in the West. To become this herbal tea with a roasted hazelnut taste, the rooibos leaves undergo several transformations. The main step is the fermentation of rooibos. This determines the final characteristics of the products. Dive into the heart of South African traditions.
The red tea of Africa, its manufacturing secrets
Rooibos is an infusion of plants made in the purest tradition. The bush grows in the arid lands of the Cape. The leaves are then picked and fermented to obtain a healthy drink suitable for the whole family. Most of the plantations are part of a fair trade system.
From shoot to harvest, the growth of the rooibos bush
Rooibos is a wild bush from the Cederberg Mountains, north of Cape Town. Its seeds are harvested in the wild. They are then planted in large fields at the foot of the mountain.
The leaves are harvested in the summer, when the sun is generous. Each plant can bear five harvests before dying.
The stages of the rooibos tea production
The rooibos powder is prepared with fresh plants. Its preparation is done by :
- cutting ;
- grinding; and
- fermenting; drying
- drying ;
- and bagging (in bulk).
From bundles to powder, the importance of fermenting red tea
Depending on the plantations, the South African natives grind the rooibos leaves before or after the process.
In all cases, the maturation process takes place on bundles of leaves 20 centimeters thick. This stage lasts 12 hours under a temperature of more than 40 ° C. The bundles are regularly sprinkled with water. Then the product is dried in the sun.
This transformation of the product is an essential and delicate stage. It is at this moment that the rooibos takes its intense red color and its round and sweet taste.
An organic infusion from the Cape, choose your product well
In South Africa, there are several organic infusions. If they all have many antioxidants, their health benefits are however a little different.
Organic teas, one name for several products
In the heart of the Cederberg Mountains, the Captonians create three distinct teas:
- red rooibos;
- green rooibos;
All three plants are free of theine and caffeine. These two substances are natural exits. Theine is abundant in black tea. Caffeine is found in coffee and dark chocolate.
Nature has also endowed captonian infusions with numerous antioxidants. Medical studies provide positive information about their effect in the fight against cancer. However, the taste, the color and the virtues of the infusions are different.
The benefits of organic rooibos
Many scientific studies highlight the medicinal properties of rooibos. Their effects on health are positive and relieve certain diseases.
According to information from specialized articles, rooibos (red or green), rich in antioxidants, has an effect on:
- digestive diseases;
- sleep disorders;
- skin and brain aging.
Red or green rooibos, make the right choice
Organic rooibos come from the same Cederberg shrub. Their difference lies in their preparation.
Red rooibos is fermented. This removes some of its antioxidants, but gives it a sweeter flavor. The infusion has a characteristic reddish color. This infusion is traditionally used for digestive disorders.
Green rooibos is not fermented. It therefore preserves all the substances that nature has endowed it with. It has a nice golden color. Its aroma is fresher, like that of plants. Its virtues for the skin are more powerful. It is also an iron chelator.
The rooibos teas, sublimate them with original recipes
The loose rooibos is the one that gives the most flavor to the infusions. Its quality (organic) must be impeccable. Its fair trade origin is also a guarantee of good flavor.
Water, the secret of a successful rooibos infusion
According to seasoned amateurs, rooibos is only prepared in spring water. This must have a temperature of 100 ° C.
For a rooibos rich in flavors, a teaspoon of powder is ideal for a cup of 200 ml. The duration of infusion is up to you. However, below 10 minutes, the bouquets of aromas of the plant do not have the opportunity to sublimate.
Spices and organic fruits to vary the flavor of rooibos
To vary the pleasures, recipes exist to seduce all members of the family. With fruits or spices, rooibos develops surprising gustatory effects.
Fair trade spices such as vanilla or cocoa give a soft and sweet note to the blend. Organic fruit peels, such as those from the citrus family, add an exotic flavor to theinfusion.