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Green Rooibos is a fairly new way of making the traditional rooibos "red tea," which has been, by all accounts, processed by oxidation and bruising for what we know of its history. To avoid the dark, bitter, tobacco-y notes of red rooibos, some farmers have taken to processing the leaf with heat by either steaming or pan-firing it like a green tea, resulting in this lovely drink. Much like red rooibos to black tea, green rooibos is highly reminiscent of green tea, insofar as it has the distinctive grassy & vegetal flavors. However, it carries strong earthy notes, an undertone of alfalfa, a crisp flavor that gives it more presence than many green teas, and a perfectly smooth body.

 

One of the nice things about green rooibos is its friendliness to all tea drinkers. It doesn't matter whether you make it spot-on perfect or leave it in the kettle for an hour, whether you catch the water at perfect green tea temperature, or if you throw it in at boiling. This tea will come out tasty no matter what. It's fool-proof. If you stick to the formula, it will come out delicious, but it's very difficult to ruin.

 

This particular green rooibos has a beautifully elegant & smooth body, high notes of earth with undertones of grass, wheat, and crisp mountain air. Exemplary of the genre, for certain.


The Name
Rooibos is an interesting little plant in that it is very difficult to grow outside of its natural conditions. It grows in the Cederberg region, specifically the Fynbos range, which is mountainous, hot, somewhat dry, and covered in wildflowers. The local ecology is known for being hardy and flourishing after a fire. Rooibos is no exception, burning quick and growing back in a flash after a bush fire. In fact, it's an entirely necessary process, as herbalists found out after decades of study.

 

In order to grow rooibos, you need a fairly acidic soil and hot temperatures, and the seeds generally won't grow properly unless they're damaged, a process called Scarification. What seems to work best, go figure, is to scorch the seeds before burying them. The scorching gives the seed a kickstart and starts it growing.

 

As such, I wanted to convey the beauty that comes out of such a difficult process. While red rooibos is appropriately dark, scarred, and reminiscent of tobacco and smoke, green rooibos is notably calmer, smoother, less agitated. A solace to be found from surviving a wild brush fire. A diamond in the rough.

Solace of the Scorched Seed — Fried Green Rooibos

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1 Ounce
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    • Use 7g (≈1 tbsp) of leaf per ½ liter (≈17 oz)