- $14 for four Groupons, each good for $6 worth of Elixirs or Coffee ($24 total value)
Rooibos Tea: South African Sweetness
An herbal beverage rich in antioxidants, rooibos tea has become a recent mainstay in many cupboards. Check out Groupon’s overview to learn more about rooibos’s surprisingly sweet flavor.
Rooibos tea has an unusual name, since it isn’t actually tea at all. True tea—whether black, green, or oolong—all derive from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Rooibos, however, is technically a tisane—an herbal infusion made from the needle-like leaves and stems of the rooibos bush, which grows exclusively in the Cedarburg Mountain region north of Cape Town, South Africa. Yielding bold, sweet flavors and a bounty of antioxidants, the leaves and stems are bound, milled, and bruised by rollers to stimulate chemical oxidation. This process is what gives rooibos its distinctive red color, earning it the nickname “red-bush tea.” Some also call it a coffee-drinker’s tea because of its light tannins and earthy sweetness, making it a common ingredient in dessert teas often blended with vanilla, dried fruits, or smelted gummy bears.
The indigenous Khoikhoi people likely were the first to make an herbal beverage from rooibos stems, back in the 1800s, partly because of its supposed properties as a medicinal cure-all. Although studies haven’t shown any significant benefits for humans, the caffeine-free concoction has demonstrated a few life-giving uses, preventing cancer in mice and even serving as a sterile environment for raising endangered frogs.