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Favorite Rooibos?

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I was recently introduced to this African tea, and really enjoy it as an alternative to my usual lineup. In addition to having a unique flavor and beautiful deep red color, rooibos is supposed to be high in antioxidants and have all kinds of health benefits.

To me, the flavor is like a cross between a black tea and hibiscus tisane (unsweetened jamaica, for those who like Mexican drinks).

Do people have a favorite brand of rooibos? I haven't looked for it in a supermarket, but assume it's available at higher end markets and specialty food shops.

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  1. I like Adagio's brand (available online). It's very finely cut, and they offer it unflavored plus several different flavors (eg, rooibos with apricot).

    1. I've tried a lot of blends, but my favorite is still the Freshpak brand, which is one of the main brands of rooibos sold in South Africa. I haven't seen it in any of my local stores, but have ordered it in the past from shops that specialize in S. African products.

      The Republic of Tea sells 5 different rooibos teas; most are blended with herbs and are pretty good (the one with vanilla is my favorite).

      Trader Joe's also sells an Orange Spice Rooibos tea, blended with orange peel, cinnamon, chicory, anise, and cloves. It's tasty & less expensive than Republic of Tea, but is only sold at Trader Joe's.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Alison B.

        My husband likes Trader Joe's the best, and I've bought him about 8 different brands of it - all more expensive than TJ's. (Personally, I hate the stuff - even the grass in my backyard tastes better than that!)

        1. re: Alison B.

          I also enjoy the Orange Spice Rooibus from TJ's! Another favorite is Celestial Seasonings, Madagascar Vanilla Red Rooibus.

        2. I've only tried it from tealuxe, but it's my favorite herbal.

          Link: http://www.tealuxe.com/index.html

          1. Went to Whole Foods after reading the replies here, and I was surprised to see that almost every large commercial tea company had at least one rooibos blend.

            I ended up getting the Republic of Tea vanilla blend. It was the only one recommended here that I could find. Some of the ones found more often in South Africa never made it to the San Francisco Whole Foods (unsurprisingly).

            Compared to other versions I've had (once at a tea shop, another that my friend's cousin brought over from Holland), this one tastes too much like black tea. It smells wonderfully vanilla-y, but if I wanted that I'd just drink a vanilla black tea. It's a nice non-caffeinated substitute for other teas but doesn't taste unique.

            I'm going to have to continue my hunt for my personal favorite rooibos.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nooodles

              I have a friend that is really into tea. Blends her own stuff, gets looseleaf in bulk to play with, takes classes in brewing and holistic stuff. Anyway, she's pretty crazy about tea and might be able to help you find what you're looking for. Check our her blog or email me and I'll send you her email.

              Link: http://teaguru.blogspot.com/

              1. re: krissywats

                Cool! Thanks a bunch. I'll definitely send her an e-mail sometime.

            2. r
              RachelfromAtlanta

              I LOVE Rooibos! Yes, it is very good for you. Is good for everything from depression to fibromyalgia! I bought a blend called Lover's Cup Rooibus and they put lavender in there to relax me and help me sleep. WOW! It tasted as good as it helped.

              Like Green Tea though, the commercial brands use very low quality and it tastes terrible.

              If you don't have a propper tea store in your area, then I really recommend ordering online.

              There are SEVERAL great online retailers (Tealuxe and Adagio are both great)

              5 Replies
              1. re: RachelfromAtlanta

                Before I start clicking away: comparing the price per ounce at Adagio with price per ounce I've paid for, let's say, Republic of Tea, seems to indicate I'd be WAY better off ordering online. Example: 2.3 ouncesof ROT teabags for $9 was what I paid yesterday. That's about 40 teabags, each good for a huge mug but not good for a second brew.

                Adagio's rooibos is $10 for 8 ounces. I have no way of knowing how many cups that is, but it sure sounds like way more than 2.3 ounces.

                As a person who's ordered before, would you say it is a much better deal?

                1. re: nooodles

                  Definitely. The good thing about Adagio is that they sell little 2-ounce samplers, which yield about 10 cups. This way, you can try lots of different things. Also, they sell empty filters (I think $4 for a box of 100), so you can make your own tea bags.

                  1. re: Chorus Girl

                    Thanks for turning me on to Adagio...Love the two ounce samplers, love the packaging...Their Roiboos, tho, is terrible, (imho)...I opened it up, and could barely smell it, compared to a bag of Rishii I have that's 3 or 4 months old...I really wanted to like their's better, but it tasted old and flavorless. I guess I should have been warned, because the customer reviews were barely lukewarm; should've paid attention. i did get a sample of an expensive, yet wonderful green tesa, Moonlight Gyukuro, which i will buy again. In short, I'll buy from them again, but pay more attention to their consumer write-ups...

                    Rishii(bulk bag) is still in the lead of the Roiboos' I've tried...

                    Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

                2. re: RachelfromAtlanta

                  The rooibos I've had has been good to okay so I think I need to find a superior brand. I'm glad this posting reminded me. I have Alvita bags now, which are drab.

                  Please tell us more about the lavender, Rachel. Is it just dried lavender and you added a bit to the tea? Relaxing would be novel.

                  1. re: RachelfromAtlanta

                    Oops. My mistake. I reread your post and you said "they" put lavender in. I'll have a look for this.