How to Prepare Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea is a caffeine-free tea that originates from South Africa and is delicious when served hot or iced. The tea has been said to have positive health benefits like alleviating headaches, insomnia, and asthma. Preparing the perfect cup of rooibos tea is easy, regardless of whether you decide to brew the tea in teabags or the loose leaf. By knowing the temperatures and techniques, you can brew your own pot of delightful rooibos tea right at home.
Part 1Brewing with Teabags
If you have loose leaves, you need to create your teabags. Do this by stuffing your loose tea leaves into a store-bought teabag. You can purchase paper teabags online, the grocery store, or at a cafe. Use one heaping teaspoon (1.5 g) of tea leaves per eight ounces (236.58 mL) of water.
If you've purchased your Rooibos tea already in teabags, you can skip this step.
Fill your teapot with water and then place it on top of your stovetop. Set the heat to high and boil the water. Rooibos tea tastes best when boiled at 212°F (100°C). You can use a food thermometer to determine the heat of your water.
If you don't have a teapot you can use a regular pot. You can purchase spring water in bottles from the store. Purifying your water in a home filter, like a Brita, will also enhance the taste of your tea. Rooibos tea tastes the best with filtered or spring water, but can also be made with the distilled water from your faucet.
Put your tea bag in the cup before pouring the boiling water into it. Consider adding two bags of tea in your cup if you enjoy stronger tasting tea. You can also put any additional ingredients in your tea at this time, like sweeteners or creamers. If you do put additives, make sure to mix them in afterward.
Let your tea steep for at least four to five minutes. To get the most out of your rooibos tea, allowing it to steep for up to ten minutes releases nutrients and antioxidants from the leaves. Rooibos tea must steep for a longer time than other teas.
Part 2Brewing Loose Tea Leaves
If you want to stay traditional, add one tsp (2.3 g) of tea leaves for every cup (236 mL) of water. Experiment with different tea leaf amounts to brew a tea that matches your preferences.
The water temperature for rooibos tea should be 212°F (100°C). A rolling boil occurs when the bubbles pop on the surface of the water. You can achieve this by setting the heat on your stovetop to high.
Pour your boiling water over your tea leaves and allow them to steep for five to seven minutes. After the tea steeps, you can pour it into individual teacups and serve it. You can run your tea through a filter or sieve to filter the leaves out of your tea.
If you have an automatic coffee maker, you can also prepare your rooibos tea in it. Put the loose tea leaves into a regular coffee filter and fill it up with the appropriate amount of water. Again, you can use the same ratio of one tsp (2.3 g) of tea leaves for every cup (236 mL) of water.
You can also brew your rooibos tea in a French press style coffee maker.
Part 3Preparing Iced Rooibos Tea
Add four tablespoons (8 grams) of rooibos tea leaves to 1 liters (4.2 cups) of cold water. Cover it with the lid and place it in a shady, cool area in your kitchen.
Leaving your jar of water and tea leaves will impart the taste of the leaves into the water. You can submerge your leaves in water before going to sleep or while you're out of the house at work.
Use a tea strainer, sieve, or a French press to separate your tea from the tea leaves. Straining your tea will eliminate any sediment or pulp from the tea leaves, making your tea smoother and cleaner.
Storing your tea in the refrigerator will make it chilled for when you want to drink it. When you're ready, fill a glass with ice and add whatever sweetener you want. A slice of a citrus fruit like lemon or orange goes perfectly with rooibos tea.
Rooibos tea can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Part 4Adding Things to Your Tea
Although rooibos tea is naturally sweet and aromatic, you may want to make it sweeter. Adding sugar or artificial sweeteners can achieve a sweeter tasting tea. Incorporating honey into your tea is also another way to make it sweeter if you're trying to avoid refined sugars.
Turbinado, or less refined brown sugar is also a popular sweetener for teas. You may want to add more sweeteners to iced tea since the taste of the tea is naturally stronger.
Adding lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit in your rooibos tea helps bring out the natural flavors of the tea. You can place a slice of fruit into your pitcher if you're drinking iced rooibos tea. When hot, simply add the fruit to your tea and smash it with a spoon to release the flavors of the citrus.
Adding cinnamon or mint to your iced tea will impart different flavors to your tea. If you like cool and refreshing drinks, try the mint. If you like warmer and richer tasting tea, you should opt for the cinnamon. Try both and see what additives you like the best.