Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) has long been enjoyed as a fruity, mild-flavored beverage by the locals where it is grown in South Africa. The mild flavor of rooibos (pronounced Roy-Boss) has made it a very popular ingredient in various herbal tea blends.

Green rooibos is often preferred because it contains a considerably higher level of antioxidants. The fermentation step does decrease the antioxidant activity of the tea, possibly due to the 25% loss of polyphenolics during the process. The tea gets withered and steamed immediately thus preventing oxidation. This results in a lighter and more aromatic taste and a deep green color of the beverage.

Rooibos has no caffeine and is low in tannin, so it can be enjoyed all day long without any unpleasant side effects. Unlike many other teas, this one is naturally caffeine free. A cup of rooibos tea before bedtime can be soothing and help you relax if you are suffering insomnia or stress..This also makes it a great tea for pregnant women and nursing mothers.

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