Rooibos – is it really better than tea?

Rooibos – a powerhouse beverage for your health!

Rooibos (pronounced “Roy-boss”), is a plant grown solely in South Africa and is not related to the traditional tea plant (Camellia sinensis), yet we brew it just like tea. Known in Afrikaans as “red-bush” it is widely consumed in South Africa and has become increasingly popular in Australia.

The naturally caffeine-free plant Aspalathus linearis, is packed with many antioxidants and some specific ones that have been shown in studies to fight cancer, be anti-inflammatory, and protect blood cells from radiation.

Rooibos is very low in tannins and no oxalic acid, which in turn is easier on the gut than traditional tea and is suitable for people prone to kidney stones. Tannins in black tea have been shown to prevent the absorption of iron, especially non-heme iron from plant sources. Rooibos is therefore a better choice of drink if a person has an iron deficiency.

Micro-nutrients iron, zinc, copper and manganese are part of the rooibos leaf and studies have shown that low levels of these minerals are associated with anxiety and depression.  Calcium and magnesium are well known to increase bone strength, both of which are also found in rooibos.

Rooibos is well reported to the super-rich in a group of polyphenols called flavonoids. These powerful antioxidants have been reported as providing many significant health benefits. The types of polyphenols in rooibos are different from those found in abundance in green and black tea, so their health benefits would differ.

Quercetin and Luteolin flavonoids found in rooibos are really potent antioxidants. Lab studies indicate these antioxidants can force cancer cells to undergo programmed cell death. They may also act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents.

Another 2 flavonoids in rooibos Orientin and Rutin — were shown to protect human blood cells exposed to radiation from cancer-associated changes. In animal studies, orientin prevented oxidative damage to the liver and reduced damage to the bone marrow and gastrointestinal tract. Rutin may also help strengthen capillary walls.

Specifically, and only found in rooibos is Aspalathin. This makes up between 4-12% of the plant! Aspalathin has been shown to possess biological activity that imparts it with multiple health beneficial effects. These include antioxidant, antidiabetic, cardioprotective, antihypertensive and antimutagenic effects. Given its multiplicity of biological effects, aspalathin is a natural phytochemical and  drinking rooibos should be promoted.

In summary, rooibos is a plant that we brew like tea, yet is packed beyond its humble appearance, with many potential benefits. We stock organic rooibos and also a range of flavours, including the addition of berries or chai spices. Try this naturally caffeine free beverage and be comforted knowing that it’s truly helping you in your quest for improved health and wellbeing.

To buy our Rooibos – click here   Rooibos

To Brew :

  1. Scoop one teaspoon of dry rooibos leaves, per standard (250ml) cup, into an infuser*.
  2. Place the infuser into the cup
  3. Pour in freshly boiled hot water
  4. Allow to brew for  3 – 5 minutes to get a full flavour (adjust the time according to your preferred strength)
  5. Lift out the infuser from the cup
  6. Enjoy your freshly brewed rooibos!

Tips:

If you use a large cup or mug, adjust the “1 teaspoon per 250ml” guide accordingly.  A bigger infuser is better for larger mugs or travel cups.

Try not to overfill the infuser, as the water needs to be able to circulate around the leaves

If you choose to add milk, or mylk, to your rooibos– we suggest you add it in after it has been brewed, to ensure you only add as much milk as you like. Cups these days are robust enough not to need to add milk first to stop the china cracking from the heat of the water.

Rooibos makes an excellent iced tea and is fantastic for hydration. Try our Rooberry blend. Rooberry

Our favourite infuser for rooibos is a fine mesh style that fits over most cups and mugs and has a lid to keep the tea warm whilst brewing and a drip saucer to sit in between making cuppas. You can also re-brew rooibos leaves

*Our best-selling infuser is: Mug Infuser Stainless Steel with lid/saucer 

How do I make loose leaf tea in a cup?

If you want to explore the joys of drinking loose leaf tea but feel a little apprehensive on HOW to make a good cuppa, don’t fear, this is what you need to do:
Simply:
  1. Scoop one teaspoon of dry tea leaves, per standard (250ml) cup, into an infuser*.
  2. Place the infuser into the cup
  3. Pour in freshly boiled hot water (for black tea and herbals) or (ideally) 80-90oC  for green tea,
  4. Allow to brew for  3 – 5 minutes to get a full flavour (adjust the time according to your preferred strength)
  5. Lift out the infuser from the cup
  6. Enjoy your freshly brewed tea!

Tips:

If you use a large cup or mug, adjust the “1 teaspoon per 250ml” guide accordingly.  A bigger infuser is better for larger mugs or travel cups.

Try not to overfill the infuser, as the water needs to be able to circulate around the leaves and most leaves will swell.

If you choose to add milk, or mylk, to your black tea – we suggest you add it in after the tea has been brewed, to ensure you only add as much milk as you like. Cups these days are robust enough not to need to add milk first to stop the china cracking from the heat of the water.

 

Our favourite infuser is the style that fits over most cups and mugs and has a lid to keep the tea warm whilst brewing and a drip saucer to sit in between making cuppas. It’s often fine to reuse leaves – especially good quality tea like from the Art of Tea!

*Our best-selling infuser is: Mug Infuser Stainless Steel with lid/saucer 

 

Tasmanian Grown Tea

People ask us all the time – Does tea grow in Tasmania? The answer is Yes!

The Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub that grows slowly but surely in our Tasmanian climate.

Where does tea grow in Tasmania? At 43 degrees latitude, the most southerly tea plantation in the world is 25km southwest of Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.

This small commercial plantation, at Allen’s Rivulet, is at an altitude of 200m above sea level and receives an annual rainfall of about 1350mm. The half-hectare crop can be harvested up to 4 times a year, between November and February. The plantation was established in the mid 1990’s as a trial to see if and where the tea plants would grow in Tasmania, lucky for us they do, and locally, even if it is only a small yield per year.

Tasmania does not have a warm and humid climate, better known in the Northern hemisphere tea growing regions, and we also get our fair share of winter frosts, hence the lower yield, but the Camellia sinensis does grow successfully on our island State. These slow-growing plants are hardy like most Camellias. In fact, Camellias are one of the most popular flowering plants grown in people’s gardens in our State, so it makes sense that the tea variety “Camellia sinensis” will also grow. But if you live in the State and want your own tea crop dont expect a big bounty from your own tea plants, nor quickly.

Fortunately, the art of tea stocks the Tasmanian grown tea. We have the straight green tea and black tea, plus two blends made from the green tea – one with Tasmanian grown raspberries and the other with Tasmanian grown lavender.

These locally grown teas from the only commercial tea plantation in Tasmania are enjoyed by people who prefer a lighter brew.

Try the Tasmanian Grown teas here:

https://www.artoftea.com.au/product-category/tasmanian-grown/

Read about the growers here:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-03/tasmanian-tea-farm-viable-rival-wine-industry/7216322?nw=0

 

Can tea help weight loss?

Tea is well known, researched and documented regarding its range of health benefits. But can it help with weight loss? With our “COVID Curves” and “COVID Kilos” on our lips, or should I say hips, we are looking now to shed the extra weight gained in the last 6 months.

The art of tea has always had a range of green teas, including the latest limited release Spring Sencha, blended with your health and enjoyment in the forefront of our minds. https://www.artoftea.com.au/product/green-tea/spring-sencha/

We also have, now 100% organic Slimming Aid that includes a blend of oolong, dandelion root, alfalfa, lemon balm, nettle and Australian Lemon Myrtle. https://www.artoftea.com.au/product/herbal/slimming-aid/

But does any of these ingredients help weight loss? We checked out some articles for you to read to outline why oolong, green tea and these  herbs can help you :

Can oolong help with weight loss: https://rb.gy/njg4wx

Oolong versus green tea in weight loss? https://rb.gy/9mkkqr

Green Tea and Weight loss: https://rb.gy/ypvcba

How dandelion, ginger, licorice, ginger also help weight loss! https://rb.gy/r3saai

These ingredients are in our Organic Licorice and Peppermint, Organic Lemongrass and Ginger, Energy Boost and Dandelion Chai blends, to name a few!

Tea – the way to boost your health and weight goals.

Can I decaffeinate tea myself?

YES. It is possible to prepare ordinary tea so as to remove most of the caffeine from the finished product. Caffeine is very water-soluble, more so than many of the flavour components in tea. So a very brief infusion can remove much of the caffeine while preserving flavor.

Here’s how to do it: boil enough water for twice as many cups as you intend to drink. Pour the normal amount of water over the leaves, then infuse for twenty to thirty seconds. Pour off the resulting brew and discard, retaining the leaves. Bring the water to a boil again and pour it over the same leaves, this time infusing for the normal three to five minutes. This infusion should be caffeine free.

Can I buy decaffeinated tea?

Tea is available that has been decaffeinated but unfortunately the quality is compromised. It is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to remove caffeine from tea without degrading its quality.

Does drinking tea during pregnancy affect the baby?

Questions surrounding caffeine intake and risk of miscarriage and health of the fetus continue to be raised by pregnant women.

A study published in the journal of American Medical Association found no evidence that moderate caffeine use increases the risk of spontaneous abortions, growth retention or account for other factors. Another seven-year epidemiological study on 1,500 women examined the effect of caffeine, during pregnancy as well as on subsequent child development.

Caffeine consumption equivalent to approximately 3 ½ to 5 cups of tea per day had no effect on birth weight, birth length and head circumference of the baby. A follow-up examinations at age’s eight months, four and seven years also revealed no effect of caffeine consumption on the child’s motor development or intelligence.

A number of factors influence the metabolism of caffeine and the individual’s response to caffeine indigestion. These include pregnancy, age, sex, body weight, diet, exercise, and stress smoking and alcohol consumption.

Pregnancy hampers caffeine metabolism. For example, in non pregnant women the break-down of half of the caffeine takes an average of 2.5 – 4.5 hours, 7 hours during mid-pregnancy and 10.5 during the last few weeks of pregnancy. As caffeine retention is longer during pregnancy, women sensitive to caffeine may be affected. As a result a moderate consumption of approximately 3-4 cups a day, is recommended for women during pregnancy.

Does green tea have the same caffeine level as black tea?

Green tea, as well as oolong, white tea, & black tea, are the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. Caffeine is naturally occuring in the Camellia sinensis, however the caffeine (or theine in tea) is a third to a half the amount found in a standard coffee. Black tea has more caffeine than green tea, and green tea has more than white tea varieties. White tea has minimal caffeine. Oolong has between green and black teas in caffeine content.

Unlike the rush and crash from caffeine in coffee, it is claimed that 80% of the caffeine in tea remains unabsorbed by the human body, yet it can have a number of benefits such as stimulating the nervous system & improving circulation.

Theanine  in high quaity green teas can also improve mental cognition, lift the mood, and increase brain seratonin and dopamine levels.

How much caffeine is there in tea?

Caffeine from natural sources has been consumed and enjoyed by humans throughout the world for centuries. The widespread natural occurrence of caffeine in a variety of plants undoubtedly played a major role in the long-standing popularity of caffeine incorporated products, especially the beverages.

The human body requires a certain amount of caffeine and research indicates that up to 8 cups of tea daily will not have any detrimental effect on the body. The species or the variety of the tea plant determines content of caffeine in tea, as it is a genetic feature. Camellia sinensis has caffeine levels of approximately 2.5 % to 4%. However the distribution of caffeine in the plant depends on the part of the plant it is derived from and the conditions that the plant is grown in.

The quantity of caffeine in tea, on dry solids basis, is more than the quantity of caffeine in an equal weight of dried coffee beans. However, as a result of getting more cups of tea from a unit quantity of black tea than from an equal quantity of ground coffee beans, the quantity of caffeine per cup of tea is less than the caffeine in an equal cup of coffee.

Excessive caffeine is said to have adverse effects on the human system and brewed tea has only half the caffeine levels in brewed coffee. However, it is important to note that research proves that the presence of caffeine in tea does not produce unhealthy results due to its combination with tea polyphenols.

What are the effects of caffeine?

Since it is a stimulant, caffeine increases alertness and quickness of response, and often briefly improves mood. It is a mild diuretic. In large doses, it can produce jitters, anxiety, and insomnia. As with any stimulant, the period of enhanced alertness and heightened mood is generally followed by a period of depressed mood and ability.

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