Rooibos tea has a herbal, nutty and sweet taste. When brewed for the right time, rooibos tea has an attractive red color.
Some tea lovers use dried fruits, cinnamon, honey, and sugar to lift its flavor.
How long should you steep rooibos tea to achieve the best results?
Measure the appropriate amount of tea leaves and put them in a teacup. You should ideally use one teaspoon of tea leaves for every cup of tea you brew.
Put one cup of water in a teapot and heat it until it boils.
Add the hot water into the teacup containing the tea leaves. Put enough water such that the tea leaves are submerged.
Leave the mixture to steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
How to steep iced rooibos tea
While brewing iced rooibos tea, you should use double the amount of tea leaves that you use in the necessary instructions.
Add the tea leaves to a pitcher or jar of cold water. Cover the pot with a lid and put it in a cool area.
Leave the mixture for about 8 hours. The tea leaves will release their flavor to the water slowly. You can prepare the mixture before going to sleep or while going to work. As such, it will have enough time to steep.
Sieve the mixture as you serve.
You can add ice into the teacup. You can also store the tea in the fridge.
You can add your sweetener of choice as you serve to make it sweeter.
How long should you steep rooibos tea?
If you are preparing a basic cup of hot rooibos tea using tea leaves, you should steep it for about 3 to 5 minutes.
The same applies when you use tea bags to prepare your tea.
If you are brewing a cup of iced rooibos tea, leaving the mixture of cold water and tea leaves for eight hours is enough.
Why is steeping time essential?
For the type of teas that contain caffeine, e.g., black and green tea, steeping time determines the amount of caffeine consumed. The longer you steep your drink, the more caffeine is extracted.
Rooibos tea is caffeine-free. Thus, you do not have to worry about caffeine quantity.
However, it contains other components, such as tannins. Tannin is the component that is responsible for the bitterness in tea.
The amount of tannin in your teacup depends on the length of time you steep the tea. If you want your rooibos tea with a strong flavor, then you should steep it for long. As such, more tannin will be extracted. This will make it bitter and vice versa.
Benefits of tannin in tea
Tannin is often misrepresented as a harmful product in tea because of its bitterness. However, if taken in moderation, tannin offers a lot of health benefits. These include:
1. Anti-carcinogenic properties
Tannin is an antioxidant. Therefore, it prevents cancerous cells from developing in the body.
2. Promotes heart health
When you ingest tannin, it works wonders in dilating the blood vessels. This helps in enhancing blood flow and deals with high blood pressure.
Tannin also helps in preventing blood clotting. A clot in the blood vessels inhibits the flow of the blood and can lead to stroke.
Additionally, tannin comes in handy in suppressing the production of peptides. Production of peptides makes blood vessels harden, which makes it hard for blood to circulate.
Tannin enhances metabolism, digestion, and absorption of nutrients. It also deals with diarrhea symptoms and can help deal with stomach pains.
Additionally, it enhances bowel movements to prevent or alleviate constipation.
4. Oral hygiene
Tannin helps to fight bacteria in your mouth that can cause cavities. Therefore, tannin strengthens your teeth by preventing cavities.
When mixed with milk, it also prevents your teeth from staining.
On the downside, tannin inhibits the absorption of some crucial nutrients such as iron into your body. To counter this, you should avoid taking rooibos tea while eating. Instead, you should wait for about 30 seconds after eating.
Can you reuse rooibos loose tea leaves?
You can re-steep or reuse loose tea leaves 3-4 times.
However, the steeping period will increase depending on the times you reuse the tea leaves.
The ability to reuse the tea leaves will depend on the size of the tea leaves, shape, and quality. For instance, reusing tea bags may not offer any satisfactory results. Teabags are of low quality, and they are broken into small pieces.
You may notice some subtle changes in the flavor, color, and aroma of the tea if you reuse tea leaves. However, if you reuse them too many times, the tea leaves will become weaker and less tasty.
How long you steep the tea depends on the strength of flavor that you want. If you want a strong flavor, then you steep for a more extended period and vice versa.
Note, the longer you steep rooibos tea, the more the tannin that is extracted. As such, your drink will have a bitter taste. Though tannin makes your tea bitter, it also offers some health benefits.
For instance, it enhances oral hygiene and digestion. It also inhibits the absorption of crucial nutrients such as iron. As such, you should not take rooibos tea while taking your meal.
You can reuse your rooibos tea leaves 3 to 4 times without losing the aroma or flavor. Be sure to increase the steeping time as you reuse the tea leaves.