Rooibos (roy-borss - Red Bush) unique to South Africa, is produced from the slender stemmed shrub, Asplanthus linaris, found growing wild in the Cedarberg and now cultivated around Clanwilliam. The young green bushes are cut back in summer and the branches are chopped into small pieces, bruised with wooden hammers, then dried. Infused in boiling water, rooibos tea makes a refreshing beverage high in vitamin C and minerals, and is free of stimulants such as caffeine. It is also said to relieve allergies, particularly in babies. Rooibos tea is made by steeping the leaves in boiling water or milk, and will not become astringent when reheated because of the reduced tannin.
As a drink it can be served either hot or cold, added to punch or used to flavour other beverages. Serve hot with a twist of lemon, a cinnamon stick or a spoon of honey. Serve cold with a sparkling mixer, fruit juice or slightly sweetened with a hint of lemon and cube of ice. It can also be used as a liquid in a pork or chicken stew or for flavouring tea breads, desserts, tarts, cakes and biscuits or for steeping dried fruit.
Category: South African Cuisine
Sub Category: Indigenous