South African Red Bush Snob here. And today, I would like to speak openly with you about the state of Rooibos Tea in America.
Not really. I just want to review a Rooibos that’s actually decent—and available in the U.S.A. After having fallen in love with tea time, and specifically Rooibos, while visiting South Africa for a missions trip in 2004, I have grown accustomed to a certain level of quality in my Rooibos. 95% of what I have found in the States doesn’t remotely live up to my standards.
But there’s a pre-bagged, reasonably easy to come by brand that I can endorse. The Hyson Tea company’s Rooibos.
Rooibos is a naturally caffeine free herbal tea made from a plant found only in South Africa (natively at least). This is known as Red Bush tea. True Rooibos only comes from South Africa.
Rooibos has a delicate and earthy sweet flavor, too often corrupted by add-ons by other brands (such as Celestial Seaonsings’ Madagascar Vanilla). Twinings offers Rooibos as well, but I am unimpressed. However, Hyson, a brand I recently discovered I had already been drinking for a couple of years, offers a pure, unadulterated choice in Rooibos that even this purist snob can approve.
Hyson’s process and packaging (out of Sri Lanka) has kept the smoothness of what one could get in South Africa, while leaving the strength of flavor, and the delicate aroma intact.
So, if you’re looking for a good Rooibos and don’t live in South Africa, try Hyson.
Overall rating: 5 out 5 stars for tea you don’t personally obtain in South Africa