How to Make Rooibos Tea – Brew this Lesser-Known Tea the Right Way

Rooibos tea, while delicious and bursting with antioxidants, is not a true tea at all. While true tea, think black or green the two most well-known varieties, grow on the Camellia sinensis plant, rooibos comes from the Aspalathus linearis, a plant native to South Africa.

Rooibos is enjoyed as an alternative to green tea or black tea. With its sweet, delicate yet earthy flavor, it offers an unexpected treat when you’re craving something new (and caffeine-free).

How Much Rooibos Tea Per Cup?

To brew a single serving mug of rooibos tea, simply scoop 1.5 teaspoons of tea per 8-ounces of water. If you're making a pot to share, you'll want to adjust the amount of tea to ensure everyone gets a the full flavor of what’s sure to be their new favorite tea. 

how to steep rooibos tea

In our 16-ounce Brewmaster, you can easily brew up a mug for you and one to share. Simply add 3 teaspoons of your rooibos tea of choice, add 16 ounces of water at 208° F for 5-7 minutes. Rooibos is pretty forgiving, so if you happen to forget that you’ve brewed past the 7 minute mark, your tea should still be quite delicious. However, we always recommend setting a timer so you don’t find yourself in this predicament. Then, when the timer’s up, grab your mugs and let the Brewmaster's gravity straining do the work. 

How to Make Rooibos Iced Tea

We can almost bet you’ve never had a rooibos iced tea, and you’re in for a treat. In particular, our Fireberry – a cranberry hibiscus rooibos blend –– over ice is an absolute delight for the eyes and the tastebuds. It’s caffeine-free, refreshing, and just the perfect summer mocktail. Bonus? It’s super simple to whip up at home.

Step One: Measure Your Tea

Since you'll be diluting the tea with ice, always double the amount of loose leaf you add. For a single-serving glass of iced rooibos tea, you'll scoop in 3 teaspoons of the blend of your choice. 

Step Two: Pour in Hot Water

Whatever tea accessory you're using to make your iced tea –– a Brewmaster, Brewbasket, tea filter, or tea ball, make sure you're using 208° F water. Rooibos needs a bit more heat (and time) to really unfold its full flavor profile, so get that water niiiiiice and hot before steeping the tea.

Step Three: Steep Your Blend

Choose your favorite rooibos tea blend and steep it in hot water for 5-7 minutes. The longer the steep time, the stronger the brew –– so choose the time and strength that works best for you. 

Step Four: Strain, Ice, Enjoy!

As soon as your 5-7 minutes are up, strain your tea immediately. The simplest method is to use a Brewmaster that pours your brew directly over your cup filled with ice, but any accessory will work. Doctor up your tea to your liking –– maybe that means garnishing with a lemon wedge, a dollop of honey, a splash of milk or cream, or plain –– it's your tea, we won't tell you how to drink it. What we will say is, cheers to Living Loose!

How to Make Rooibos Tea Taste Better?

At Tiesta Tea, we've worked really hard to make tea accessible to tea experts and tea newbies. That means we have a range of blends from the very traditional to the exotic, and everything in between. Whatever blend you choose, you can brew them up and enjoy them plain, or you can stir in some add-ins to make it more to your liking. 

Just like with coffee, some people prefer to drink rooibos tea plain, some soften or sweeten the flavor a bit –– or a lot –– so do what works best for you. The way you doctor up your roobios tea will depend on your tastebuds and the tea blend you choose, but some ideas include: 

- Sugar (or your favorite sugar substitute) 

- Milk 

- Honey

- A squeeze of lemon 

- Half and half

- Creamer 

- Vanilla 

How to Make Cold Brew Rooibos Tea

If you're a fan of iced tea, you may be ready to try cold brew tea. And to that, we say, cheers! It's worth noting that while both are served cold, their preparation differs, and so, too, do their health benefits. 

rooibos cold brew packets
For starters, cold brew means it has been, well, cold-brewed. That means it has never been exposed to heat. Cold brewing completely avoids the possibility of over brewing and causing your tea to have an astringent taste, resulting in a smoother, sweeter beverage. 

Rather than brewing your tea hot for 5-7 minutes and then rapidly cooling it with ice, the cold brew method means it's slow and cold. The cold water used extracts more flavors from the tea leaves over time, resulting in a crisp, clean taste. Plus, the cold temperature means you avoid the risk of burning out all the good stuff that's packed in the rooibos tea leaves. 

With loose leaf tea, you can easily brew your own cold brew rooibos tea right at home. In just a few steps, you'll have a pitcher of your favorite cold brew rooibos tea at the ready. The hardest part? Waiting patiently 'til the cold steeping is complete. 

Here's how it's done

- Combine loose leaf tea in your accessory of choice with cold water in a pitcher

- Let the tea infuse the water for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator 

- Strain and enjoy your cold brew

- Cold-brew tea will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge –– if you don't drink it all first, that is 

Hot tip for our cold brew –– make this even easier with our Fireberry Cold Brew Tea Packets. Simply drop one packet in a half-gallon of water, let it steep for 1.5-2 hours (or overnight), and enjoy!

Ready to Try Some Rooibos Tea? 

At Tiesta Tea, we travel around the globe to source the best quality ingredients to produce the best cup of tea. We believe in making loose leaf tea that's accessible and affordable without sacrificing quality. Ready to brew up some rooibos? Check out our rooibos teas here. And whether you're brewing up some immunity with a mug of tangy Fireberry or relaxing with a cool Cocoa Mint Chill, cheers to Living Loose! 

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