“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Decaffeinated Tea „
Redbush tea (also known as Rooibos) is a caffeine free alternative to tea. It is made of 100% Rooibos. It is said to be as hydrating as water, and it is lower in tannin than other sorts of tea (although it does still contain some). Tannin inhibits the absorption of iron into the blood from food. This can cause lower energy levels, and in extreme cases can cause anaemia. Anaemia is a lack of oxygen in the blood, although many people think that it is lack of iron. In fact, it can be caused by lack of iron, hence the confusion. If you drink a lot of tea, it can be worth switching to redbush for at least some of the tea you drink, you may find that your energy levels become higher as your iron absorption increases. However, I would recommend switching slowly, as you will also be taking on board less caffeine, and suddenly cutting out caffeine can cause headaches and lethargy. Redbush tea comes from South Africa, and has long been used over there both as an alternative to tea, and as a medicine by African Bushmen.
THE TESCO VERSION:
Tesco Red Bush tea is grown in the Cedarberg region of the Western Cape of South Africa. This region is also well known for excellent red wine! To compare prices, I've listed the prices for both this and the alternatives available at tesco below:
Tetley Redbush- 40 teabags: £1.69
Tesco Redbush- 40 teabags: £2.41
Redbush brand- 80 teabags: £2.87
Tetley Redbush- 80 teabags: £3.19
Tesco Redbush- 80 teabags: £2.44 (currently on offer from £2.74)
I will cover the taste of Redbush below, but it's safe to say I've tried all of the brands and can't taste the difference in any of them, so you've only really got price to decide between them. The Tesco 80 teabags box is best value. However, the Redbush brand do state that they donate a percentage of their profits to the indiginous peoples of the Kalahari, so the more conscientious consumers amongst us might be tempted to pay the higher price for that reason!
MAKING REDBUSH TEA:
1. Boil freshly drawn cold water- the oxygen in the water brings out the flavour in the tea.
2. Use 1 tea bag per per cup, or in a teapot, one teabag per person and add one for the pot (or so they say).
3. Pour on boiling water and leave to infuse for 2-5 minutes according to taste.
4. Serve with or without milk and sugar.
Don't buy this expecting it to taste like English Breakfast or any other tea you've tasted, because it doesn't. Redbush tea has a very distinctive taste. It is best made quite strong, but with plenty of milk. It should look like normal tea but slightly redder. I wouldn't describe the taste as being anything like ordinary tea. I'm drinking a cup now and struggling to describe it really. I think I'd say it's got a slightly malty quality, and it's quite creamy. That's with milk. Obviously the creamyness goes when you don't use milk. You can also add sugar if you prefer it a bit sweeter. You can also buy Redbush with vanilla (too sweet for me), and Redbush with orange (quite nice but you can't use milk in it, and I find a cup of tea with milk somewhat comforting).
I would definitely recommend trying this, and perhaps persevering with a few cups if you don't think much of the first one. I think it's got a nice taste to it, and it's definitely a bit healthier than drinking ordinary tea (or coffee). If you're not a tea drinker, don't rule this out, it really doesn't taste like any other tea, so it's worth giving it a try. I hope you enjoy it.
I am rather partial to a cup of Redbush (or rooibos) tea. My usual brand is Tetleys, readily available and not too badly priced - whilst I prefer to buy supermarket own brand products, there didn't appear to be any making their own Redbush. And then a couple of months ago whilst browsing the tea aisle in Tesco (yes I like tea and like to browse!), I saw that they had their own Redbush.
The first thing I noticed was that the Tesco Redbush is available in packs of 40 and 80 teabags - I've never seen Tetley or any of the other brands in a pack larger than 40 bags, so this seemed to be a good decision on the part of Tesco. The larger size does not seem to be available on the website though.
The next thing I noticed was the price. I buy Tetley Redbush for £1.69 from Tesco. Their own brand version (same size, 40 bags) is priced at £2.41. I looked twice - this didn't seem right, an own brand product being that much more expensive than the branded equivalent. But no, Tesco Redbush teabags are 72p more expensive than Tetley. Still, I needed some Redbush teabags, so I decided to try it and into my basket it went.
As soon as I got home I put the kettle on - it was a hot day, I'd carried my shopping home (walked rather than got the bus, aren't I good?) and a cup of refreshing Redbush was just what I needed. I brewed the bag for about 3 minutes, gave it a good squeeze, removed it from the cup and added a splash of milk. Incidentally, milk is my preference but you can drink Redbush without it - although I would advise against adding sugar or sweetener. I have sweetener in regular and Earl Grey tea, but Redbush sweetened is foul.
As I always do with tea, I waited five minutes or so for the tea to cool down a little. Once I tasted it, I was pleased to find the same refreshing and clear taste of Redbush that I am used to. I always describe Redbush as being a healthy alternative to regular tea, and I honestly find the taste to be not dissimilar to a cup of regular tea. It is different, but I find it easy to substitute Redbush for normal tea in terms of taste. The colour is a little more red/orange than normal tea, but it's not bright so not off-putting. One of my favourite things about Redbush is that it doesn't leave a dry aftertaste like many types of tea, and so it really does feel more hydrating - I always feel very refreshed after a cup of Redbush. I'm happy to report that Tesco Redbush is also like this, a good taste comparable to regular teabags, and very hydrating.
The health benefits of Tesco Redbush are the same as with all Redbush varieties - caffeine free and rumoured to lower cholesterol, which is of interest to me but as it is not proven, consider it a bonus and not a definite benefit.
I've now finished that first box of 40 Tesco Redbush teabags, but I'm afraid to say I have switched back to Tetley. The product itself is very nice, and is in fact very similar to Tetley, but I see no point in paying an extra 72p for the Tesco version. I really don't understand this price difference - generally own brand products are cheaper, and this isn't superior to the branded product.
In terms of taste I would recommend this product, but there's no need to pay the extra, so best stick to Tetleys!
Tea / A naturally caffeine free infusion.