Simple Steps to Improving your Rooibos Tea
If you’re new to loose leaf tea, seeing particles of your tea floating around in your cup isn’t necessarily appealing to look at let alone drink. We’re a culture that is used to bag tea, no muss, no fuss, nothing floating around in your drink.
The tea, or rather teasane, that is the worst culprit of this problem is Rooibos tea. Rooibos is not actually from the tea leaf, but rather is an South African herb that is very flavorful, has tons of nutrients, is caffeine free, but is VERY difficult to filter when making a cup of tea. It seems that no matter what strainer you use, a metal ball, mesh plastic, a Tuffy Steeper, etc. little bits of Rooibos get out and not only settle at the bottom of the cup, but many of the bits of tea feel the need to float right at the surface, ready to enter your mouth upon first sip. I no longer mind having the tea leaves or herbs floating in my tea, but for those of you who do, I am going to explain to you a fantastic and very simple way of steeping your Rooibos, like our Red Rocks, so that you can have your cup of tea without choking on any tea bits.
Step 1) Boil your water.
Step 2) While the water boils, put your Rooibos tea in an infuser/steeper, like the Tuffy Steeper pictured here.
Step 3) Leave the infuser off to the side, aka. do not put inside the cup, mug or teapot.
Step 4) Once the water comes to a boil, pour the water 2/3-4/5 of the way up the mug.
Step 5) With the water already in the mug, take your infuser with the tea in it, and slowly lower it into the mug.
Step 6) Wait at least 6 minutes for the Rooibos to steep.
Step 7) Pull the infuser out and you have a practically Rooibos free cup of tea!
The important step in this process is #5. Typically with loose leaf tea, our infuser with the tea is already in the mug and we pour the water over it. Normally this is the best way to steep. However, by doing this with Rooibos we’re forcing the already fine tea bits right out of the holes of the infuser. Instead what we’re demonstrating is that when you slowly lower the infuser into a cup or mug mostly filled with water, the water comes rushing into the holes and pushes the tea into the middle of the infuser. What you end with is a cup of tea with hardly anything floating it in.
I must give credit where credit is due, it was not me, but rather my coworker who came up with this idea and described this simple change in procedure and therefore we can all thank him for a better cup of Rooibos tea!