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Discovering “Red” Tea

There is a permanent smell of caramelizing apples in my house as the constant whirr of the dehydrator hums. My Mabon tea takes 24 hours to prep and is the first red tea I’ve added to the Green Witch’s Brew’s tea menu. Dehydrated Fuji apples, Red Clover, and Rooibos make our Fall tea.

Rooibos (Roy-Boss) is a southern African plant that is used to make tea. Unlike green and black tea, red tea is caffeine-free. Rooibos is also known as "red tea" and "red bush tea." The leaves on the shrub, Aspalathus linearis, are used to make rooibos. Traditionally, rooibos is created by fermenting the leaves which changes the color of the leaf to a reddish brown.

This tea leaf was discovered over 300 hundred years ago by the Khoisan people. They used the leaf to cure many ailments as well as an alternative to drinking water. The history of these people and why/how they used the tea has been lost. In the 19th century, Afrikaans, Dutch, and English drinkers of red tea have made the tea popular and spread it throughout the world. Rooibos was marketed as a cheaper alternative to black tea.

According to Healthline, WebMD, and Medical News Today, Red tea is full of antioxidants which include aspalathin and quercetin. Antioxidants, over the long term, can reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. This tea is also the only known natural source of the antioxidant aspalathin which has shown promising effects in balancing blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance. The antioxidants in Rooibos are polyphenols which aids in reducing the likelihood of inflammation.

Rooibos tea is similar to black tea, in that people drink it with milk and sugar, and it can be used to make lattes and cappuccinos. It pairs well with savory dishes such as grilled cheese, deli meat platters, and salted desserts. For brewing Rooibos tea, boil water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit then steep the tea for 5 minutes. Then strain and serve your non-caffeinated alternative.

I wanted to bring our version of this tea to life. I paired the flavorful red tea with fuji apples and red clover to make this tea have a buttery flavor. The first sip will bring the taste of autumn melting into your mouth. Try our red tea “Mabon” here! This month only, have a 20% discount on all orders of Mabon!

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