If you stabbed me at any given time of the day or night, I’d probably bleed tea. My favourite beverage by far, there is simply no such thing as ‘too much tea’ in my book.
Over the years, I’ve happily experimented with infusions, tisanes, green teas, white teas, black teas, flower teas, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, herbal potions and what have you, notably overdosing on Early Grey once. This is not something I’d recommend at all – the bergamot oil in Earl Grey is a powerful stimulant, and as I used to drink 5 or 6 mugs double-strength (two teabags) daily, I ran around pretty much like the Duracell bunny until I went cold turkey and quit the Earl.
Nowadays I stick to Rooibos tea, still 2, sometimes 3 teabags per serving, depending on the size of the mug, no sugar, dash of milk. Or with a generous spoonful of honey, a thin sliver of fresh ginger and pinch of cinnamon, no milk, preferably at bedtime.
When I’m feeling low, a mug of strong, sweet and milky hot rooibos with a side of hot buttered toast slathered in Redro fishpaste never fails to lift my spirits. (A childhood favourite.)
And in summer, a favourite cooling punch is equal parts ice cold rooibos tea, ginger ale and berry juice, garnished with fresh mint and berries. Use teabags, or brew up a batch on the stovetop with ‘stokkies’ in an old-fashioned enamel tea pot (my preferred method).
Some favourite recipes:
- A cup of strong Rooibos
- 1 tsp of lemon
- 1 tsp of honey
- ½ tsp of preferably fresh ginger (try a full tsp if it’s not too strong for you)
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
Pour boiling water into a cup or mug, add one Rooibos teabag and let it steep for at least 5 to 6 minutes. Add a teaspoon of lemon, honey, ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
*If you prefer something cold, make your own herbal ice lollies or ice chips using the same Rooibos tea combination as above.
· 750ml Brandy
· 2 cloves
· 2 sticks of cinnamon
· 750ml strong, hot Rooibos
· 600g white sugar (750ml)
· 25ml honey
· Add cloves and cinnamon to the brandy, shake the bottle and allow it to infuse overnight.
· Heat sugar and Rooibos tea over moderate heat until sugar has dissolved.
· Boil uncovered for 20 minutes.
· Remove from heat, stir in honey and leave the tea to cool down completely.
· Remove cloves and cinnamon from the brandy.
· Add the brandy to the cold tea syrup and mix well.
· Pour into sterilized bottles and seal.
ROOIBOS, STRAWBERRY AND ORANGE SMOOTHIE
Ingredients for one serving
- 1 – 2 Rooibos tea bags
- 125 ml boiling water
- 225 g frozen strawberries
- ½ a peeled and chopped orange
- 125 g silken tofu
- 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp liquid honey, optional
- Put the Rooibos bags in a teapot or heatproof jug and pour over the water. Steep for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove the teabags. Leave to cool.
- Put the tea, berries, tofu and protein powder into a blender and process until smooth. Sweeten to taste with honey and pour into glasses. Serve immediately.
- Silken tofu adds a lovely creamy richness
- Replace the rooibos tea bag with a red berries rooibos tea bag.
Rooibos tea is just such a versatile drink, one of the biggest benefits being that it’s safe for infants and children, and that it contains no stimulants. No longer the preserve of old ladies and little ones, though, tea is bringing sexy back with scores of new fans globally. Check out these Rooibos cocktails! (Recipes on Rooibos Council Facebook.)
Social media is fuelling a global tea revival that’s gotten even rock stars and celebrity foodies hooked. So says Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council.
“Before the social media boom, coffee was king, but these days tea is catching up to the popular brew. Aside from Facebook and Twitter, tea has been hash-tagged in over 29 million Instagram posts alone – arguably turning one of history’s oldest drinks into what may be the beverage industry’s sexiest new offering.”
According to a recent Innova Market Insights consumer study, one in ten consumers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Spain, the Netherlands and Australia are influenced by social media in their food and beverage purchases. That number increases to a whopping one in five in China and India.
In SA, the case is bound to be similar with more than 23 million users spending almost 3 hours on average a day on social media.
Du Toit says the tea-drinking demographic is also widening as influencers on social media encourage followers to live healthier lives, by becoming more mindful about their lifestyle choices and the impact it has on the environment.
“Many consumers are cutting back on coffee and are tending towards caffeine-free drinks with natural plant-base ingredients. This opens the door for botanical and herbal teas, such as Rooibos offering health-boosting benefits.
“So, too, the increasing interest in ethnic cuisines is drawing food bloggers to unique flavours such as Matcha and Rooibos teas. Every time celebrity chefs, such as Gordon Ramsey or BBC’s Siba Mtongana post a Rooibos recipe, it reaches millions of social media followers who share it with their own followers. Tea is trending, babes!
“Popular platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have made our homegrown Rooibos accessible to the more than 3.48 billion users that are currently active on social media, which in turn strengthens the demand for this unique tea globally.” she remarks.
For the latest updates on Rooibos, go to: https://www.facebook.com/rooiboscouncil/
Press release by Meropa