Rooibos (pronounce ROY-boss) "tea" is derived from the fermented leaves of the Aspalathus linearis. This broom shaped bush grows wild, and is also cultivated, along the western coast of South Africa. It is often referred to as African red tea due to its lovely intense color.
Because rooibos does not contain any leaves of the camillia sinensis bush, it is considered part of the tisane family of teas. It has a sweet, delicate and earthy flavor easily blended with dried fruits, spices and herbs as well as nuts and flowers to create a range of flavor profiles.
Rooibos, as with Fruit and Herb tisanes, is naturally caffeine-free and requires no chemical decaffeinating. It also offers several health benefits as it possesses high levels of antioxidants and minerals that research indicates can help fight cancer, support the immune system and promote heart health.
"Perhaps it is while drinking tea that I most of all enjoy the sense of leisure."
George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, 1903