Rooibos tea is a famous South African tea, and it's got a fair amount of fans around the world. You might be wondering what's so special about it, and whether it has any caffeine to begin with.
Well, here I am to help you out with this. Rooibos tea is a great alternative for many tea drinkers out there, and for you this can mean a new favorite drink.
Does rooibos tea have caffeine ?
No, rooibos tea has no caffeine at all.
Rooibos tea (or red tea in the West) is not made of the Camellia sinensis plant, which naturally contains caffeine. Rooibos tea is made from the Aspalathus linearis bush, which is native to South Africa.
It contains no caffeine, and there is no caffeine added to this tea during the processing of the leaves.
This is one of the reasons rooibos tea is so loved among many people, as it offers a delicious alternative to usual tea, for those who need to keep their caffeine intake low.
Main benefits of caffeine free rooibos tea
Great, now you know rooibos contains no caffeine at all. But what does this mean for you, a tea drinker ?
You'll be pleased to know that rooibos tea is fairly easy to come by, and will be available both in loose leaf form, and as teabags.
Let's start with the first and most obvious benefit of a caffeine-free tea.
1. Rooibos tea is a great caffeine-free alternative for coffee
If you need to reduce your caffeine intake, and need to cut down on coffee then you're going o be very pleased with rooibos tea.
As it has no caffeine, there is no way for it to raise your blood pressure, give heart palpitations, or even have laxative effects on your body.
This tea is even more helpful if you're only allowed a small amount of caffeine once a day, but still have a habit of drinking something throughout the day.
For example pregnant women are in this situation. A very small amount of caffeine, once a day and accompanied with a meal is alright. Nothing more, though.
But if your habit of having a caffeinated drink in your hand at all times is hard to shake off, then replacing a cappuccino with a rooibos latte is going to be pretty yummy and caffeine free.
And by rooibos latte I mean a concentrated rooibos brew, with a whole lot of milk and milk foam added to it.
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2. Rooibos tea is safe for young children, and the elderly
Since rooibos contains no caffeine, it's also safe to give to young children or the elderly. Neither group can handle caffeine very well, so having a caffeine-free alternative for them is going to be helpful.
The fact that this tea has a very pleasant, caramel-like aroma to begin with is going to make it easy to drink and not something kids would be fussy about.
Some medicine is easier to give to children if it's been dissolved into a drink they like, for example cough syrup.
Or, different kinds of supplements prescribed by doctors might be easier to take if they were crushed up and dissolved into a small amount of tea.
Young children are often given weak tea, and this may be a good way of making sure they get their medicine.
3. Rooibos tea may balance cholesterol levels
In a study of 40 overweight adults rooibos tea was proven to reduce 'bad' LDL cholesterol, and raise 'good' HDL cholesterol.
These were adults who had a high risk of heart disease, and the study had them drinking six cups of rooibos tea per day, for six weeks (source).
This effect hasn't been noticed in healthy people.
All this means that regular consumption of rooibos tea may help to balance cholesterol levels, if your body has a increase of 'bad' LDL cholesterol.
If you're a person who is in this particular situation, them rooibos tea may prove beneficial.
There are no proven side effects of rooibos tea.
Iced tea is a great way to consume rooibos tea
Since rooibos tea is such a great caffeine-free alternative, what about replacing other drinks with it ?
Summer is the prime time for iced tea, and most of it is made of black tea. Which, in turn, contain caffeine and is a way of constantly ingesting caffeine.
We all know just how fast the pitched of iced tea runs out in summer, so finding a caffeine-free alternative is going to be beneficial.
Rooibos tea is prepared the same way as black tea, but with a longer steeping time.
Water needs to be at 90 C/ 194 F, and steeped for about 3-7 minutes, depending on the desired strength.
If you want to make iced tea the cold-brew way, it will work the same as any other tea out there.
The general flavors that go well with this tea are nutty ones like almond, hazelnut, pecan, and even vanilla and chocolate.
A syrup with those flavors will help your tea's flavor immensely.
You can, of course, make this into a fruity tea. Though I would recommend you stock to flavors such as berries, strawberries, possibly even some rose buds.
I'm not sure lemon would work very well in this, since it's a different flavor profile.
Honey is a big plus here, since it fits in nicely.
You could even make some iced latte with iced rooibos.
Rooibos tea in the autumn is a good alternative to hot cocoa
This is something I discovered back in 2016. My boyfriend is into all things sweet and comforting, and autumn with hot cocoa was mandatory.
However we tended to go a bit crazy with the toppings and sugar, and it was showing.
So one day, we found a nice rooibos and caramel tea. It's a very common blend, and one that goes veeeeery well with a dash of milk.
This has become our signature drink in the autumn, and it's almost always accompanied by a vanilla cookie to dip into the tea.
For us it's a good alternative to hot cocoa, and I think anyone who is counting calories would be pleased with this alternative.
The only few calories come from the half teaspoon of sugar, and 3-4 teaspoons of milk.
Rooibos contains no calories by itself, and overall it's a big improvement on the daily cups of hot chocolate and hot cocoa we used to have before.
This rooibos tea is a great alternative to many things, it seems. I discovered it as an alternative to a sweet drink, since rooibos itself is sweet and has the kind of flavor that goes well with anything creamy or comforting.
I've seen this tea rise in popularity in the past few years, and I'm very glad it happened.
Not only is it a goof alternative to coffee, it's also safe for children and expecting or nursing mothers.
You will also find it in bedtime teas very often.
If you want to know more about coffee or tea, feel free to check the related articles below. Who knows what else you might find ?