Rooibos is a delicious and aromatic beverage, which was originally from South Africa. On the language of natives the word “rooibos” means "red bush". For the preparation of the drink are used leaves of rooibos bushes which are a representative of the legume family. Rooibos can be fermented (of red color) and non-fermented (green).
Rooibos plant is a bush which reaches a height of about five feet. It has thin twigs and soft needle leaves. The bush blossoms with small yellow flowers. It’s very interesting how this plant reproduces. The fruit of the plant is a bean, which contains only one seed. When the bean is red-ripe, it opens and shoots the seed to a sufficiently large distance. Therefore, in order to collect seeds it’s necessary to sift the soil around the plant.
The tribes of southern Africa have been using rooibos since the dawn of time. Bushmen have a legend which tells that this drink was given to people by gods, as the fountain of youth, strength, energy and longevity. Bushmen have been using rooibos as a refreshing drink, medicine and even natural dye.
Traditional preparation of rooibos involves boiling the drink over low heat for half an hour, then you need to filter the drink.
Rooibos contains the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, has a tonic effect, although there is no caffeine in it.
Rooibos contains a large number of anti-aging antioxidants. It has ascorbic acid more than in citrus. There are many iron, zinc, potassium, copper, sodium and fluorine in it. It also has an antibacterial effect.
The first Europeans who have discovered this drink were Dutch. At the beginning of the XX century people started to use rooibos in Europe. In Europe, rooibos is brewed as tea. They take 1 teaspoon of tea leaves for one cup, brewed with boiling water and infuse for several minutes. But the longer rooibos is brewed the more useful it becomes. The brew can be reused again the next day. The amount of useful elements will not decrease. It’s possible to drink rooibos either hot or cold (you can store it in the fridge), add honey, sugar, though it’s not necessarily as a drink is sweet by itself. The lemon or orange juice can be added to it. Rooibos can be used as the basis for original cocktails. It’s possible to add rooibos into pastry.
People tried to grow the plant in Europe and on other continents, but without success. But the drink became popular outside of South Africa. Thus, rooibos is popular in European countries and in Japan.