Rooibos tea is an intriguing herbal blend. Although it’s caffeine-free, it has a rich warm and inviting flavor that’s not dissimilar to black tea. As such, we love drinking it as a caffeine-free alternative to black tea. Finding a good rooibos blend was our task for this article – we were surprised at just how many opportunities there were to find rooibos tea online alone.
What to Look for When Buying Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the rooibos plant, a bush that grows in South Africa. It’s classified as a herbal tisane as it’s not related to the traditional tea plant and doesn’t contain any caffeine. That’s the first thing you should look for! Rooibos tea, also called redbush tea, shouldn’t contain any caffeine and should be in the herbal and fruit tea aisle.
Organic Rooibos Tea
The growing process is important for your rooibos tea too. As only a relatively small area can grow rooibos in South Africa, you need to consider farming practices for long term sustainability.
Luckily, you can find all manner of Fairtrade and organic certifications for Rooibos tea. It’s a tough plant that can grow with little water. Combined with sustainable management, we can protect the future of rooibos tea by purchasing from reliable, certified sellers and growers.
Prefer Whole Leaf Rooibos
As for rooibos quality, similar rules apply as regular tea. Whole, in-tact leaves are the best you can get. Cut leaves, broken leaves, stalks and tea dust should all be avoided. This means that although rooibos tea bags taste great and are a convenient way to make rooibos tea, they aren’t as good quality as whole leaf rooibos.
Choose Fresh Rooibos
If you have the chance to see the rooibos in person before buying it, make sure you take a big breath in! The fresher and more aromatic the rooibos is (red rooibos is rich, warm and nutty) the better it is. If it has little or no aroma, it’s probably going or gone stale.
Green rooibos tea is slightly less popular than red rooibos. Much like green and black tea, green rooibos hasn’t been oxidized and roasted for that rich flavor. The same rules still apply – fragrant whole leaf is the best quality.
Where Can I Buy Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea is relatively easy to get your hands on. You might find a box or two in your local grocery store and you can definitely find it online. There are tea bags, pyramid tea sachets and whole leaf types available from well-known brands to more niche sellers.
You can also find some awesome flavored blends with fruit, herbs and other tasty flavorings.
Typically, you need 1 teaspoon of loose leaf (approximately 2g), 1 tea bag or 1 tea sachet to make 1 mug of tea. Simply pour the boiling water over the tea, let it infuse for as long as directed, then strain it out and enjoy.
Where to Buy Rooibos Tea Bags
Tea bags and tea sachets contain just enough for 1 serving per bag. Sachets offer a little more space for the chopped leaves to expand, while tea bags mostly just contain tiny dusty tea pieces that infuse very quickly. These are some of the best rooibos tea brands:
|Brand||Rooibos Selections||Box Sizes||Price Range|
||20 tea bags per box||$|
||16 or 18 tea bags per box||$$|
||40 or 100 tea bags per box||$$|
||16 tea bags per box||$|
|Adagio||Vanilla Rooibos||15 pyramid sachets per box||$$|
|My Red Tea||Organic Rooibos||80 or 160 tea bags per box||$|
|House of Rooibos||Organic Rooibos||80 tea bags per box||$|
||20 tea bags per box||$|
|Steep by Bigelow||Rooibos Hibiscus||20 tea bags per box||$|
|Choice Organic Teas||Organic Rooibos||16 tea bags per box||$|
|Cederberg Tea Company||
||100 tea bags per box||$$|
|Freshpak||Rooibos (plain)||80 tea bags per box||$|
These are just some of the rooibos tea bag and tea sachet brands that we love. There are many more out there, just check for reviews and organic certifications before you buy!
Buying whole leaf rooibos is of better quality, but a bit inconvenient at times. So, try using reusable material tea bags or single-use paper ones that you can fill yourself. This also gives you the option to combine the rooibos tea with other delicious flavors!
Where to Buy Loose Leaf Rooibos
Now to the good stuff! These are some of our favorite loose leaf rooibos blends that you can find online. These come in bags labeled in grams. Remember that you need 2g of rooibos per serving, so simply half the number of grams to find out how many cups of rooibos tea each will make.
|Brand||Rooibos Selection||Amount (g)||Price Range|
|Rishi Tea & Botanicals||
|Whittard of Chelsea||
|The Tao of Tea||
||20g, 85g, or 454g||$|
Relish Your Rooibos!
Rooibos tea is easy to find online and works with a huge range of different flavors, as you’ll have noticed from some of our recommended loose leaf vendors! Try mixing it with blueberries to make delicious, rich blueberry muffin flavored tea, or just drink it with a dash of honey and milk. However you like your rooibos tea, make sure you buy from a reputable seller and get an organic blend wherever possible.