There might be some instances where you would have gone to buy a fine red tea, but instead ended up getting black tea. While both these tea varieties get similar color on brewing, there are fair chances of misunderstanding. Such problem is mainly due to the particular red tea that you’re being served, and this would depend largely on which region across the world you live.
By “red tea” we mainly mean two different things. Mostly, the term indicates the famous rooibos tea which is consumed in a lot of countries. Yet, this is also traditional name people use for black tea in China. However, majorly people refer to it as the former. Due to such reason people get confused on where does red tea come from.
Red Tea Properties
Red tea which is also known as Rooibos tea is a caffeine free smooth herbal tea which is native to the African continent. Rooibos (roy-BOSS) is a particular type of herbal infusion or tisane. The red tea is an herbal drink which is cultivated from the plant species Aspalathus linearis, commonly known as red bush. The native region of the plant is the South African Continent and this can be recognized through their needle-like green leaves that later on gain their signature red colors after getting fermented.
- The Rooibos tea has red colors with a woodsy, sweet and earthy flavors that a lot recognize has been quite similar to the black tea.
- A lot of rooibos is available through oxidized form, though (green rooibos) or the unoxidized rooibos also remains available.
- The rooibos is also available in a naturally caffeine free form as this is mainly herbal tea.
- Because of its sweetness, the rooibos has also been used in different blends of masala tea.
Red Tea or Rooibos History
For a lot of centuries indigenous Bushmen of Africa, harvested Rooibos leaves for using these as options for herbal treatments for treating numerous ailments. All these medicines were mostly appreciated for their good taste. However, with the gradual dwindling of indigenous tribes the knowledge about rooibos also started declining slowly.
Later on in the year 1772, the world renowned botanist Carl Humberg rediscovered it’s leaves while reviving its popularity in the region and further spreading awareness about the particular tea much more than earlier.
After a century, in the year 1904, the drink was mainly marketed as a fine herbal alternative to conventional tea by a Russian immigrant who had links with tea manufacturing companies. Later on it also gained an alternative name as �Mountain Tea’.
During the phase of World War II, tea coming from Asian countries was also quite impossible for importing, which provided rooibos tea chance for shining. This also became excellent alternative and slowly it’s shopping began across the globe. However, the plant seed scarcity also meant that is was quite expensive and its demand also highly increased the cost, making it quite difficult to purchase. Only in the recent history, the rooibos tea fortunes drastically changed their phase.
Annique Theron, who was a South African mother, wrote one book on the miraculous benefits of health from the red tea in 1968.
The popularity of this release also led to different studies, that led to further discovery of a lot of health benefits to the tea, while also discovering the high antioxidant level of tea. The recent development in medical understanding also led to rapid surge in its popularity.
General Benefits for Health
There are a lot of health benefits associated with this herbal tea variety. Mainly being void of caffeine, the rooibos is used for calming down, helping with insomnia and also boosting immune system. Also this has been long used for treatment of colic in the babies, hay fever with various other allergies and it is also consumed for easing stomach cramps.
Some people also believe that it slows down the aging process. However, to find this out, this has to be applied directly in the skin.
While the popularity of this ancient herbal tea has grown rapidly in Britain over the recent years, but when comparing it with various other renowned tea varieties this is still not quite popular. The Rooibos plantations are majorly in only a few certain regions within the South African continent. The red tea plant is similar to a broom member of legume family in Fynbos ecoregion.
Current day Red tea use
Nowadays the rooibos red tea can easily be found in the shelves of supermarkets, similarly like English Breakfast tea. Also a lot of tantalizing flavors have been added to the tea by modern day tea manufacturers such as spiced blends to simple vanilla extract.
Currently the tea has fine reputation for providing immense health benefits and while also being marketed as a caffeine-free tea, this is also being enjoyed as a night-time quick drink for a lot of people in western countries.