Homemade iced tea is perfect for quenching your thirst on a sweltering summer day. So make it ahead and keep a big pitcher in your fridge to sip as the mercury rises.
Red bush – or Rooibos in Afrikaans – tea comes from the leaves of a bush that grows in southern Africa and like many teas has valuable antioxidants such as aspalathin and nothofagin.
Red bush also contains soothing compounds that work as an antispazmodic; people who have chronic stomach problems and cramps swear by it.
According to Wikipedia, “Rooibos is grown only in a small area in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape province. Generally, the leaves are oxidised, a process often, and inaccurately, referred to as fermentation by analogy with tea-processing terminology. This process produces the distinctive reddish-brown colour of rooibos and enhances the flavour.”
“Unoxidised “green” rooibos is also produced, but the more demanding production process for green rooibos (similar to the method by which green tea is produced) makes it more expensive than traditional rooibos. It carries a malty flavour somewhat different from its red counterpart.”
I like rooibos because it’s caffeine-free, yet has a rich, well rounded flavor so I can drink it in the evening and throughout the day while I’m working away.
It’s tasty straight without sweetener but you can choose how much sugar to add. Here’s my recipe for rooibos iced tea »