“ Brand: Tic Toc / Type: Herbal Tea / Food quality: Organic food „
I've been drinking Tick Tock Rooibos or Redbush tea for nearly 10 years now. It has a wonderful latin name of Aspalthus linearis, and a superb clean taste with a magical temperature point of 55 degrees Celcius at which you can drink a whole mug full in one go and feel totally refreshed! There's nothing else like it....I've tried a number of different varieties but always come back to Tick Tock..
When I was first introduced to Redbush tea, the product was known as Eleven O'clock Tea. Then, several years later, the distributors changed it to its present name.
It has an amazing history and is the mainstay for many South African workers who rely on the fact that Rooibos Tea bushes thrive in the mountainous terrains of the Cedarberg Mountains and less so in other parts of the world.
All main supermarkets stock it in the normal 40 bag box and some larger stores stock the 80's size. As other reviewers have pointed out, Tick Tock is the one to choose especially if you drink it naturally without milk or sugar. I have tried various makes with Vanilla which makes a refreshing change but I always come back to the good old 'naked' Tick Tock.
I have also tried their Tick Tock Redbush with Green Tea but I do struggle with Green Tea of any sort! (I realise its good for you but so is Redbush!)
I have introduced many people to Tick Tock Redbush Tea and everyone of them has been a convert so far.
Its a versatile tea infusion, hot, cold or iced. Try it in baking too... Its so easy to make, especially in a flask. Just pop in the bag and top up with freshly boiled water and your flask will last all day without that dreaded stewy taste of black teas. And if the phone goes or the door bell rings when you've made a cup and then forgotten to drink it... just pop it back in the microwave and voila! That freshly brewed taste is back immediately - this tea is truly magical and so versatile. They even give it to babies with colic because its so natural and safe.
And how long does it take someone to convert over?... well usually 1 cup will suffice and then they're hooked.
And if you have trouble sleeping at night then try Tick Tock before bedtime...before you know it you'll be counting sheep...
Very low tanin, caffeine free, organic, Vitamin C and over 37 anti oxidants and several minerals, its a versatile, healthy, simple to make, refreshing drink... and has been proven to reduce ageing and combat heart disease... We all need at least 8 glasses of water a day and this is one way of hydrating and looking after your body..
One final mention - about 5 years ago I had the misfortune to open a box of Tick Tock Redbush which tasted a little bitter and not to normal standards... One phone call to Tick Tock Teas formally Westbray Ltd, an apology from their customer services team and several days later a large box of Dragonfly teas for me to sample... now thats how customer service should be - as great as the products they sell.
And if you were wondering... no, not had a bad box since!
A Satisfied customer!
Tick Tock Original Rooibos Tea is Red Bush tea made by Drangonfly Teas. It is a caffeine-free alternative to real tea which is why I have started drinking it - I was told by my doctor to quit drinking caffeine but I didn't want to give up my habit of drinking several cups of tea a day. There's nothing better than a nice cup of tea to soothe my jangling nerves when I'm stressed or simply to take a break at work or to warm up after being out in the cold. So I asked around about alternatives to tea and my mother suggested I try Rooibos.
I picked the Tick Tock brand over the others in the supermarket probably because of the nice packaging it comes in. The carton is a bright, shiny red colour in front with blue and white writing with cream-coloured accents on the sides. There is also a nice drawing of a table set for a traditional tea with teapot and cakes. I find this design charming. It is retro and cheering at the same time and the picture of the tea and cakes made me feel this tea would not be too different from regular tea. For the most part this turned out to be correct.
To brew a mug of Tick Tock Rooibos tea, put the tea bag into the mug and add boiling water, just as you would do to make regular tea. You could also of course use a teapot. To me the main difference between brewing this tea and regular tea is that this tea brews more slowly and doesn't get quite as strong. If you like your tea really strong you are probably best off brewing it in a teapot with an extra teabag.
You can drink this tea the way you would drink normal tea. That is, if you usually add milk you will probably want to add milk to this as well. You can also drink it plain or with lemon. I drink mine with a splash of soya milk.
The flavour is very pleasant. It has its own slight natural sweetness which isn't overpowering at all. I never took sugar with my tea and I don't find this tea to be too sweet. It's a bit weaker than regular tea which is too bad as I like my tea strong, but it's a very enjoyable drink and does a great job of replacing my daily cuppas.
It doesn't seem that long ago, that tea choices were comparatively limited. You were faced with a much smaller selection than today and, coffee took over from tea as the British drink of choice.
Coffee bars sprung up everywhere with a range of delights to tempt us. I know of only one tea shop, (in Bath), offering as much choice of teas and it was there about a year ago that among their extensive menu, I discovered Rooibos. I wasn't feeling great on the day concerned, so when I read the health giving benefits of Rooibos on their menu, it was the obvious choice.
It is a natural, (and in this instance), organic caffeine free tea which is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants can help protect your immune system against free radicals.
It is also an aid to restful sleep.
Rooibos tea was founded in 1903 and hasn't changed since - other than it can now be found in teabags. Tick Tock organic is still harvested by hand and cured naturally in the Cederberg air.
Now I must point out that Rooibos can be an acquired taste, that you will either like or you won't. I bought some straight after my first taste in the tea rooms and somehow at home I didn't feel as inclined towards it as I had originally. But, I persevered, mixing it with my normal brew and before I knew it, it had grown on me and I now drink several cups a day.
The pack I am reviewing, and that I now purchase contains 80 teabags- but if you are new to Rooibos tea and just want to try it, there is a 40 bag pack available.
I first bought this tea when I was looking for a tea that was caffeine free. I have not been disappointed. I am a big tea drinker, but also not great at sleeping, so I needed something caffeine free to drink in the evenings.
The packaging is very appealing, and has a retro design. It is bright red and very eye catching. The price is good at £1.89 for a box of 40 teabags. I bought them at tesco, and have seen them in many other supermarkets and health food shops.
Rooibos tea is gentle and soothing and has a distinctly different mild, woody taste. it is naturally caffeine free and is high in antioxidants which can protect your immune system from free radicals. I enjoy it with milk, but a friend of mine drinks it with lemon. The box states that it is good served as iced tea with mint. I must try this, sounds lovely.
The tea is made by adding freshly boiled water and allowing it to brew for 2-4 minutes.
if you are looking for a tea that is caffeine free and a bit different then give it a try.
My blood pressure went through the roof from just generally living like an idiot and rooibos has been a great help in getting it back down. Everything including dandelion, liquorice, green tea etc. has undesirable stimulants and if anything, having a hot drink that has no sugar, caffeine, tanin or any other nasty surprises is a godsend in itself.
The taste isn't to everyones liking, when I heard about it and after working my way through the herbal teas finding each more digusting than the next I wasn't very optimistic about the taste but I love it and drink 4/5 cups a day in work. A colleague tried it and really disliked the taste of it but it is the favourite among a lot of herbal tea fanatics and mine isn't the only box in the office.
There is a lot of almost anecdotal evidence testing the affects of rooibos on rats with cancer but I think a pinch of salt is required when praising this as anything more than a damn good herbal tea.
Rooibos tea, or redbush as it is sometimes called, is a great caffeine free alternative to conventional black tea or coffee, and particularly rich in antioxidants. It has a very unique taste and an interesting historical background. Just incase you were interested, it is generally pronounced roi-bos or sometimes roo-i-bosh. Who knows!
Grown only in a small region called Cedarberg in the Western Cape of South Africa, it grows as green leaves which are then oxidised to produce the red leaves that are dried for use in red Rooibos tea, like Tick Tock Original Rooibos tea. Organically produced, it can be drank with or without sugar and/or milk, but is also very enjoyable as a drink in itself.
Tick Tock Rooibos Tea is produced from a line of tea manufacturers linked to the original pioneer of Rooibos teamaking, Benjamin Ginsberg. Traditionally locals would climb the mountains of this remote region to cut the fine, needle like leaves from wild rooibos plants and would carry them back down to villages on donkeys before leaving them to dry in the sun. Ginsberg persuaded a local doctor, Dr. le Fras Nortier to experiment culivating the plant eventually leading to the profitable industry that saw the price of seeds rearing £80 per pound and the establishment of tea farms.
Interestingly, the global craze for rooibos tea has also been seen in its country of origin. South African coffee shops have begun to sell "red expresso", as a concentrated rooibos drink served like coffee expresso, aswell as odd and specialised concoctions called "red lattes" and "red cappucinos".
Tick Tock Original Rooibos Tea has a really unique flavour, and I am a big herbal tea drinker so I guess I should know! It tastes much more like black tea than other herb or fruit teas, so it might suit your taste if you are usually a big black tea drinker. That said, I really like my Rooibos pure and unadulterated without milk or sugar, when you can really taste its earthy woodiness and smooth, dreamy finish. I can see why the box advertises rooibos as a great bedtime drink as it's really calming, but I generally happen to drink it mostly in the morning when I first wake up! I guess it just is good any time of the day!
It is said to be very high in antioxidants as well as low in tannins, especially compared to conventional teas/coffee. Tannins are known to interfere with iron absorption and thus the avoidance of tea and coffee to those suffering with anaemia is advised, and can be remedied as such, with the drinking of rooibos tea instead. It is also thought that vitamin C can reduce the negative effects of tannins, so if you take lemon juice with your tea then this will be even better. In fact, lemon juice in rooibos tea is just delicious! Perhaps blend rooibos tea with lemon, mint and ice for a delicious iced tea! Yummy!
This particular product comes in a lovely cream and red box, emblazoned with "TICK TOCK" across the front, and is seemingly old fashioned and attempting to involve the consumer in its endearing history. There are 40 tea bags in an average 100g box and it can be bought from most supermarkets these days, as well as health food shops or anywhere that happens to stock herbal or caffeine free teas. It costs around £1.70 for this amount. It also comes in a 80 bag box weighing 200g that retails at around £3.40. So its a fair bit more pricey than black tea or some herb teas- but its still not too bad.
On the box is also a little logo, showing a table with cups and saucers (full of rooibos tea, one presumes!), a teapot and a big victoria sponge cake. Now theres an idea- how often do we get time for afternoon tea anymore?
So I've given up caffeine.
I used to have a coffee addiction to rival Mr Starbucks himself, with a personal motto of "no caffeine, no point". Giving up caffeine was a big deal for me. I'm still not entirely sure why I did it, but I've stuck to it with dogged determination and hope not to fall back off the wagon.
Anyone who's given up coffee will know that the first few days are horrible. Smelling coffee around the office and trying not to nod off or scream isn't easy when caffeine is your heroin. Luckily for me one of my MSN buddies (what do you mean I should be working?!) was giving up at the same time and pointed me in the direction of Rooibos tea. If he hadn't, I would currently be talking ten to the dozen and typing a good deal faster.
Rooibos, he told me, is his coffee substitute of choice because it is quite full bodied in flavour and doesn't taste of wee, like green tea can. This all sounded good to me - I don't much like the face-adjusting, tooth-hurting bitterness that green tea brings to the table, and that's got caffeine in it anyway. So at lunchtime I trotted down to Sainsburys and picked up some Tick Tock Rooibos tea.
Now for the science bit - concentrate!
Rooibos (pronounced "Roy-boss" and sometimes called Red Bush) is a pretty rare plant which only grows in a certain part of South Africa's Western Cape. Attempts have been made to cultivate the plant in other areas, but it has stubbornly refused to relocate. It has been used in South Africa for medicinal purposes for years and years, being touted as a remedy for hayfever, eczema, asthma, heart burn and stomach ulcers. Recent studies on rats have also found that Rooibos helps to slow the growth of cancerous tumours.
Rooibos has no caffeine, is low in tannins and absolutely teeming with antioxidants. It is actually recommended that you have a cup of Rooibos before bed, as it has a soothing affect on the central nervous system - this also means it is good for when you're feeling tired and irritable, stressed, tense or nervous. It has been shown to have a positive affect on mild depression.
"So," I thought, "this tea will give me smooth skin, help my hayfever, stop me getting cancer, fight ageing, destress me, help me sleep and never let me have indigestion again... AND I'll get rid of all the nasty caffeine symptoms? I bet it tastes like armpits."
Well the good news is that it doesn't taste like armpits. It is, however, an acquired taste. But think about it, coffee is also an acquired taste - did you like it when you were a nipper? Bet you didn't!
I have heard the taste of Rooibos described as "nice, woody and nutty - not as weak and watery as normal herbal teas" and "wet socks". I must say, on first taste I wasn't too taken with it - it's inoffensive, but not the nicest taste sensation you'll ever have. It's a darn sight better than some green teas I've tasted though! I'd describe the taste as fairly strong (good for the coffee lovers among us) and quite earthy. It's quite sweet, but not in a sugary way.
Rooibos tea tends to be drunk without sugar or milk in the UK, but in South Africa it is often drunk with both. I find it just as enjoyable with or without my soya milk. It is also fairly nice cold or iced - and won't need as much sugar as black tea to make a nice iced tea drink.
The Tick Tock brand is one of the most widely available Rooibos teas, and also one of the oldest and most recognised brands around. It comes in boxes of 40 bags for around £1.70. Tick Tock is organic, and has a nice deep and earthy flavour that can be lacking in other brands (oh yes, I've tried a lot of brands - I'm a true Rooibos convert!). The tea comes in a distinctive retro-styled red and white box - you can't miss it on the shelf.
All in all, I think Tick Tock is going to remain my Rooibos brand of choice - it's reasonably priced, tasty and easy to find.
As for my health since giving up caffeine and taking up Rooibos - I feel great! I'm sleeping better, I'm calmer, I'm happier, my digestive system is happier and my skin is clearer. I'd recommend the change to anyone.
I've known Rooibos tea for more than a decade now. I got introduced to it first by my South African college mates and it has been my favourite tea drink since. I'm not in favour of over-manufactured teas so I looked around before deciding which red tea brand to choose.
Why did I choose Tick Tock?
What I like about it over other brands is
- its full and slightly woody, rich fruity (like pomegranate) flavour.
- its rich and bright mahogany colour (it doesn't look cloudy like
green and black tea)
- unlike other brands, it doesn't get bitter when the teabag is left in the brew
- there are 40 bags in the pack, so its economical and good for the environment unlike other brands which only contain 20 bags
- the packaging is not 'lying' or overly decorated like other brands
- the box looks 'vintage', 'homely' and also comes in a rectangular tin box. I collect tin boxes so I'll generally buy a tea brand if it has a matching tin box. It also nice to present the teabags in the tin box to your guests.
- its traditional quality
- it's 100% organically produced
- it comes without any additives, flavourings or preservatives
- it's Fairtrade (information from www.fairtrade.org.uk)
What I don't like about Tick Tock is
- the teabags are flimsy and break sometimes whilst in the packaging (I never had a teabag break in the brew)
Why Rooibos (Red Bush) Tea?
I prefer red tea to those herbal infusions that have a gorgeous smell but practically taste like water. They also tend to be just 'nice' and have very little if any health benefits. If someone asked you which tea had the most important health properties, then you'd probably first think of green tea and its active ingredients such as flavonoids, minerals or antioxidants. But like most teas that come from the tea plant, green tea also has less desirable properties that can even be harmful to you.
Red tea vs. Green / Black tea
Rooibos, the name of the plant meaning 'red bush' originates from the fact that the leaves cut from the plant and left to dry in the sun, acquire a reddish brown colour when ripened. Because red tea doesn't come from the tea plant, it doesn't have two of the 'unhealthy' properties of green and black tea (and coffee of course) namely tannin and caffeine.
Both green and black tea contain caffeine. Red tea is caffeine free, so it won't disrupt your natural body rhythm. In fact, it actually helps you relax at night and keep you stimulated during the day. Our bodies can't digest caffeine so our liver will step up and try to eliminate it. This high rate of metabolism gives us an unnatural heightened alertness. We pay the price later for it when our metabolism goes back to normal and we experience a sudden drop in concentration and alertness.
Tannin is responsible for the bitter taste and dark tint in tea and coffee. Both green and black tea contain high amounts of tannin and surprisingly this amount is even higher in green tea than in black tea! The percentage of tannin in green / black teas varies between 10 and 25 percent. The tannin content in Red Tea is between 1 and 4 percent. Tannin is used as an astringent in dentistry but have both anti-cancer and carcinogenic characteristics. Whether one or the other is activated in someone's body will depend on the their own biological makeup.
When I learned about this fact, there was no question about me choosing Rooibos over green tea or black tea. Coffee has been long off the list because of the high caffeine content.
Tribes in South Africa have been drinking Rooibos tea for its rich, refreshing flavour for centuries but it took until 1984 for its healing properties to be discovered.
It has been found to ease depression and stress and headaches. It's efficient in combating stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting and constipation, heartburn and colic in infants.
It also contains iron which ensures that red blood cells are replenished and is especially beneficial for pregnant or breast-feeding women.
It also helps lessen allergies, eczema or skin irritations when used as a compress directly on the affected area.
The Japanese call it Long Life Tea and have done extensive research in the 1990s on the healing properties of Rooibos. The results showed that Red Tea contains a 50% more anti-oxidants than green tea, a substance known to fight free radicals in our body, which are the main cause of cancer, heart and other diseases.
A versatile drink, you can drink with or without milk, with a touch of cream, or even lemon.
Most times I drink my brew natural so that I can enjoy the full bodied, woody taste of red bush. I do not add any sugar or milk to it. I do add honey sometimes, and a trickle of honey will sweeten it enough.
I love my Tick-Tock with a hint of vanilla. I add a few drops of vanilla essence into the tea after I've just poured it into the mug. You can get a small bottle of vanilla essence at most supermarkets at the baking ingredients section.
If you do not like the woody taste of Rooibos tea, try adding a drop or two of lemon or lime juice. This will take off the edge of the stronger taste. Make sure you only add the drops when the tea is ready to drink as too much heat destroys the vitamin C.
Make a usual brew than when cooled, add twice as much water, so you'll get 1 part of brew and 2 parts of water. Add sugar / honey / lemon to taste.
Where to buy
Online from dragonflyteas.com
Holland and Barrett £1.89 / 40 bags
Thanks for reading my review.
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