Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tasting Green and Red Rooibos

The locals of Cedarberg first discovered that the fine, needle-like leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant made for a sweet and aromatic tea. They harvested the wild-growing plants, chopped them with axes and then bruised them with hammers, leaving them to ferment in heaps, before drying them in the sun. Today Rooibos is still processed much the same way it originally was.

After proper airing the Rooibos is left in low heaps to ferment. A process of enzymatic oxidation takes place during which the product changes from green to the characteristic amber colour and develops the distinctive flavour and sweet aroma of Rooibos.

We offer both Green Rooibos which is rooibos before the oxidation process and also Red Rooibos which is post oxidation.

Pictured left: Red Rooibos, Pictured right: Green Rooibos

Featuring Rooibos on our home page this month has found me answering the following question on a daily basis...

"What is the flavor difference between green and red rooibos?"

Instead of relying on my taste buds alone, I decided to recruit my colleagues.


Green Rooibos
Glass Tea Pitcher with Brew Basket
Boiling Water
5 minutes

Red Rooibos
Glass Tea Pitcher with Brew Basket
6 minutes.

Here is what they had to say...

Green Rooibos:

"Full flavor, slightly nutty and carmel notes"
"Ripe Fruit, Hint of moss, cherry note"
"Little citrus at the end, bush, sweet"
"Light, vanilla, refreshing"
"Slight grassiness,light and thin body"
"Smoky, fruity, sweet"

Red Rooibos:
"Rich Nectar, Caramel Sweet and nougat wafer"
"Nice body, warming, sweet nectar"
"Sweet, green woody and tangy"
"Lighter taste, not as full mouth feel, slightly sweet & fruity"
"Soothing and smooth, full body, little citrus note at the end"
"Thick liquor, grassy, sweet and rich"

Left: Red Rooibos infusion, Right: Green Rooibos infusion


ChaChaTea said...

Drinking tons of both red and green myself. I look to rooibos as a fantastic base for blending, but alone is delightful too. Nice tasting notes Rishi!

Pat Canella said...

Crazy! I've never had green Rooibos! I'll have to give it a whirl and see how it tastes, still learning the ropes when it comes to any kind of rooibos though :)