5 Easy Steps to Make Rooibos Tea Properly

Rooibos tea is a caffeine-free herbal drink made from leaves of a shrub native to South Africa. See how easy it is to brew this red colored beverage properly, both hot and cold.

Rooibos tea steeping in water

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is a tisane, or an herbal tea, made by infusing rooibos in water.

South Africa is the only country that produced rooibos and have been for centuries. It’s native to South Africa’s mountainous region of Cederberg.

  • Naturally caffeine-free.
  • The more leaves in a rooibos, the higher the quality. The more stems, the lower the quality.
  • Rooibos means “red bush” in Afrikaans, a language of southern Africa.
  • There are two kinds — rooibos and green rooibos. They differ in how they’re processed. The fully oxidized (exposed to air before drying) rooibos is red in color. The green rooibos is less oxidized.

RELATED: How to Make Herbal Tea Properly

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Brewing Guide

BREW IT HOT
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose rooibos tea
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
208°F
STEEP TIME:
5 minutes

BREW IT COLD
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose rooibos tea
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
Cold water
STEEP TIME:
12 hours

My Rooibos Tea Pick:

Questions You May Have

How do you pronounce rooibos?
The common pronunciation of rooibos is ROY-BOSS, but when said quickly, it sounds more like ROY-BUS.

What does rooibos tea taste like?
Rooibos tastes like mild tea with woody and earthy notes with a touch of honey.

Can I add milk and sugar?
Just like black tea, you can have rooibos tea with or without milk and sugar. 

Is there caffeine?
Nope, there’s no caffeine in rooibos tea. It’s great as a nighttime drink.

Are there any calories?
Rooibos tea steeped in water has absolutely no calories. It’s only when you start adding sugar and milk that the calories start adding up.

What’s the difference between loose tea, tea sachets, and tea bags?
Use loose rooibos to make a better quality cup of tea. Tea sachets are lesser in quality than loose tea, and tea bags are the lowest quality.

Is rooibos tea a real tea?
Rooibos tea comes from the rooibos plant, not the camellia sinensis plant so it’s not a real or true tea.

Real tea is tea that comes from the camellia sinensis plant. Teas that comes from the camellia sinensis plant are black, oolong, green, yellow, white, and puerh teas. All these teas contain caffeine.

RELATED: 5 Easy Steps to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Properly

Rooibos Tea Tips

  • If you don’t want to have any small rooibos bits in your tea, strain it twice.
  • Use rooibos in place of black tea if you want to make a caffeine-free tea.
  • Make different kinds of simple syrup by dissolving honey, brown sugar, or date syrup instead of regular sugar in hot water.

Want Quick Visual Tea Guides?

Join my free email list to get my tea cheat sheets!



Rooibos Tea Ingredients

What You’ll Need 

Hot rooibos tea

How to Make It Hot Properly

STEP 1: Boil water.

An important part of making a good cup of tea is to use good water. The better the water, the better the tea will taste so use filtered water if possible.

I always use my electric kettle with temperature setting when boiling water for tea. I set the water to 208°F for herbal tea.

Boil extra water than what the tea calls for since you want more to warm up the teapot. 

RELATED: Quick and Easy Ginger Tea from Scratch

Warming teapot with hot water

STEP 2: Warm up teapot.

Pour some hot water into the teapot and swirl it around a bit. Discard the water.

We’re warming up the teapot so that when the rooibos steeps, the water temperature won’t drop drastically.

Making rooibos tea

STEP 3: Put rooibos tea into teapot and add hot water.

The formula is 1.5 teaspoons of rooibos tea for every cup of water.

Rooibos tea steeping in hot water

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.

Herbal teas do best when steeped for a minimum of 5 minutes so we’re doing the same for the rooibos tea.

If you want a stronger brew, add a couple of more minutes to your steep time and/or add another 1/2 teaspoon of rooibos tea.

RELATED: How to Make Chamomile Tea Properly

Pouring rooibos tea

STEP 5: Strain rooibos solids and pour hot tea into a teacup.

The rooibos bits can escape the strainer so if you want absolutely no rooibos solids in your tea, strain it again, using a fine mesh strainer.

It’s ready to drink — enjoy!

If you want to sweeten your rooibos tea, try sugar, honey, or date syrup.

Iced rooibos tea

How to Make It Iced Properly

The best way to make iced rooibos tea is to cold brew it!

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes

Cold brew rooibos tea

STEP 1: Put rooibos tea and water in a pitcher or glass container.

Again, the formula is the same with 1.5 teaspoons of rooibos tea to 1 cup of water.

Put cool or room temperature water into the pitcher with the tea. (I use a glass teapot with strainer.)

Use filtered water for the best-tasting tea.

Cold brew rooibos tea

STEP 2: Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

You can cold brew for up to 24 hours.

RELATED: How to Make Hibiscus Tea Properly

Iced rooibos tea

STEP 3: Strain out rooibos solids and pour tea into a cup.

Adding ice is optional when it comes to cold brew since the tea is already chilled.

I prefer my cold brew without any sugar but if you like your iced rooibos tea sweetened, use simple syrup since it’s the easiest to incorporate into your cold tea.

Simple sugar is super easy to make at home. Just mix equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

Recipes with Rooibos

 

SAVE THIS TO PINTEREST

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Tea

Yield: Makes 1 serving

How to make rooibos tea properly, hot and cold.

Instructions

    1. Boil water.
      If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 208°F. Boil a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot.
      (Filtered water tastes best.)
    2. Warm up teapot.
      Pour some hot water into the teapot and cup and swirl it around a bit to warm up them up. Discard the water.
    3. Put rooibos tea into teapot and add hot water.
    4. Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
    5. Strain rooibos solids and pour hot tea into a teacup.

Notes

To make cold brew iced rooibos tea:

  1. Put rooibos tea and water in a pitcher or glass container.
    Filtered water is best.
  2. Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  3. Strain out rooibos solids and pour tea into a cup.
    Serve with or without ice.


To sweeten your tea:

If you want to sweeten your rooibos iced tea, use simple syrup.

You can easily make simple sugar at home by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

You Might Also Like...

1 Comment

  • 5 months ago

    One other benefit of rooibos: some life-long drinkers of this tea swear that it whitens their teeth! I wish I could say the same about Camellia tea.

Leave A Comment