“Have you ever tried green rooibos?” I hear myself ask this question several times a week. Red rooibos (pronounced roy-bus) or red bush tea is a popular non-caffeinated herbal that is nice plain, and takes flavors really well so there’s an array of choices. I find though that most people aren’t aware there is a green rooibos. The plant aspalathus linearis is green when it’s harvested, then oxidized to create the red version—similar to true tea where Camellia sinensis is kept green for green tea and oxidized for black tea.
Green rooibos has a cereal/malty flavor and many people like it plain. I find it to be a great herbal blending base because the flavor is mild enough that it doesn’t overpower the other blending flavors. Not everyone is a fan of red rooibos and people for whom this is true won’t hesitate to tell me so. That’s when I’ll introduce the green.
The plant is native to South Africa and looks like a big, bushy, green, upside-down broom. Its cut two thirds down and the stems and leaves are processed into the product for steeping.
Although I personally don’t make health claims about tea or herbals, there are many studies on the health benefits of rooibos found on PubMed. The nice thing is its lack of caffeine so anyone with sensitivity to caffeine has a good choice.
Red and Green Rooibos