Collection: Rooibos & Honeybush TEA
Rooibos, a wild bush, undergoes a unique growth process where the finest needles are gathered and oxidized to achieve its distinctive red hue. The quality of Rooibos is often judged by the intensity of its red color, with a deeper red indicating superior quality.
Honeybush, another wild bush, proves challenging to cultivate. It is a natural relative of Rooibos and shares a similar production process. However, Honeybush possesses a subtly sweeter flavor profile with more body, featuring delicate hints of honey and an unmistakable amber tint.
These caffeine-free infusions have gained popularity in recent years and can be enjoyed at any time of day, complementing both sweet and savory dishes.
Despite their shared habitat on mountain slopes, Rooibos and Honeybush belong to different plant families. Rooibos, scientifically known as Aspalathus linearis, offers a woody and spiced aroma with notes of caramel and vanilla, whereas Honeybush, scientifically termed Cyclopia intermedia, provides a more floral flavor with sweet and honeyed undertones.
The Rooibos market holds significant economic importance in South Africa. To enhance its quality, a group of experts and scientists convened in the past to establish a sensory profile. The resulting flavor wheel identified key aromas and flavors, including woody, spiced (cinnamon, pepper), sweet (caramel, honey, hazelnut, chestnut), fruity (lemon, red berries), and floral.
Rooibos, often misleadingly referred to as red tea, has no botanical relation to traditional tea. In fact, they are entirely distinct plants, and Rooibos is caffeine-free. Belonging to the acacia family, Rooibos derives its name, meaning "red bush" in some African languages, from its deep red appearance. While often colloquially termed "red tea," Rooibos shares no common botanical lineage with the classic tea plant, Camellia sinensis. The term "red tea" is more accurately associated with Pu-Erh teas, a distinct variety from the Camellia sinensis plant family.