Roobois tea, or red tea, is naturally caffeine free, and antioxidant rich, and the Trade Aid blend produced by Heiveld Co-Operative is my favourite blend. It has a vibrant colour, and a rich flavour whether you have it straight, with honey, or with milk.
Normally, caffeine isn’t a big deal for me – my first priority for hot drinks (which I love with a passion) is always taste, whether it’s hot chocolate, coffee or tea. I go through stages in my life where I switch loyalties between my favourite drinks, and this tea has claimed a few of them.
I first discovered this glorious tea when I was a student, and after abusing my coffee supplies to the extremes where my long term sleep patterns were being affected, I switched to alternating between this tea, and a variety of hot chocolates. Roobois has a beautiful flavour that is strong enough to stand as a drink on its own without feeling like you’re drinking tinted water. It also doesn’t have the bitterness of some other herbal teas, and you can make it as sweet as you like with honey or other sweeteners.
The colour itself appears deep red in the cup, but almost golden when you separate out a little splash. The quality of this tea is amazing, and the bags are thick and sturdy enough to withstand a bit of old fashioned prodding, so you dont get the tears and leaf-spillages that I’ve found with lesser quality bags. Overall, I’m consistently amazed by the attention these producers have put into perfecting this blend.
The second, more recent phase of my life which has brought me back to this tea is when I was searching for caffeine-free and otherwise appropriate drinks to have whilst pregnant. I had also heard somewhere that the tannins in tea aren’t great for breastfeeding, and although I don’t understand the science of it, apparently roobois is also naturally low in tannins, which was an added bonus. A lot of other herbal teas aren’t safe (or ‘recommended’ at least) when pregnant/breastfeeding and it took so much research to figure out which ones I could and couldn’t have that in the end I just stuffed all my herbals into the back of my cupboard and went straight to roobois (again alternating with hot chocos!)
Generally I prefer to have my roobois with milk like a normal black tea, but occasionally I will drink it with just water and honey, especially if I’m sick. If you are a fan of ceylon (or black teas), however, you might also like to try this drink out as a more full bodied drink with a stronger and sweeter flavour.
These teabags are very reasonably priced at $3.99 for a box of 20 and available here for purchase from Trade Aid. They are organic and fair trade certified, and produced in South Africa.
If you’ve tried this tea as well (or would like to), or if it’s one of your favs, leave a comment!