There’s no need to be intimidated by brewing rooibos tea, even if it is less well known. In fact, brewing this tea is very similar to brewing the average cup of black tea. Still, there are a lot of factors that affect the finished product, including proper storage of rooibos tea leaves, water type and temperature, and steeping time. Practice the following steps and tips, and you’ll always create a delicious and nutritious cup of rooibos.
Storing your tea leaves
Tea leaves of all varieties are generally delicate and should be handled and stored in the correct manner. For the best tasting and healthiest tea, make sure to store rooibos tea leaves in a dry and cool location like a cupboard. Also, the container the tea is in should be opaque and airtight so that light and smells cannot affect the tea. When you’re ready for brewing rooibos tea, these storage techniques should ensure that the tea leaves retain their flavor and antioxidants and produce an excellent final product.
Brewing Rooibos Tea
While brewing tea entails remembering a few essentials, the process will become habitual after a few attempts. Don’t worry if you need to refer to these instructions several times before feeling confident in your brewing technique.
Step 1: The Water – It’s always best to use spring water or filtered water when brewing rooibos tea, as the tea will have the purest taste possible. One type of water to always avoid is distilled water, which will not properly release the intense flavor of rooibos tea leaves.
As for water temperature, it is preferable to brew rooibos tea leaves in heartily boiling water and keep the water hot for the entire time the leaves are steeping. One tip to keep the water warm is to place your steeping cup of tea on stove surface near the burner you just used.
Step 2: The Tea – Personal opinion differs greatly on how much tea should be used for each cup, but in general those who like weaker tea use fewer leaves than those who like stronger tea. The standard ratio of tea to water, however, is one heaping teaspoon of tea leaves per eight ounces (one cup) of water.
Step 3: Steeping – Rooibos tea has a longer steeping time than most other teas. The shortest amount of time it should steep is four to five minutes, but studies have shown that steeping rooibos tea for five to ten minutes greatly increases the amount of antioxidants and nutrients in the finished cup.
Brewing rooibos tea and enjoying it in its natural form always creates a delectable cup, but many people also like to serve the tea with milk and sugar or honey for a little added sweetness. Rooibos tea also creates a wonderful iced tea that can be infused with a variety of flavors.