Drink Rooibos

Posted by on August 18, 2011

This summer, I lost air conditioning mere days before a 90+ degree, month-long heat wave. Some might say it was my fault for selling my window AC on Craigslist a few weeks too early in anticipation of a move to a climate-controlled building, but the fact remains that it was HOT. Without any sort of air cooling, I resorted to drinking large quantities of cold beverages, with lots of ice, to stay cool and hydrated. 

Rooibos

I frequently make iced tea in the summer, but until recently, it has been primarily random green and black teas that I wanted to get rid of. Inevitably, the brew timing would be off (it's difficult to extrapolate tea quantities and steeping times from cups to gallons) and the tea would end up either too weak or overpoweringly astringent. Furthermore, the caffeine content of even green tea was too much for me to drink at night, so my iced tea would often sit in the refrigerator for weeks at a time while I drank bland water to keep from drying out.

At the beginning of this heat wave, however, I found myself with several tins of rooibos in iced-friendly flavors (cocomint, if you must ask). I boiled 2 gallons of water, added about a half cup of tea to a spice infuser bag that I had laying around (although a tea ball would work just fine), and let it steep for about 4 hours. One of the beautiful things (which I knew beforehand) about rooibos is that its low tannin content means that it is impossible to oversteep. Boil, dunk, and let it cool on the stove. Presto!

The resulting brew is a tad sweet, simply from the natural sweetness of the plant, and full of all sorts of nutritional benefits. The dark, almost wine-red color is packed with antioxidants, and it has no caffeine, so it's great for drinking at any time of the day. It comes in just about any flavor you can imagine — cocomint was perfect, although Adagio Teas has many others — and is one of the least expensive teas out there.¬†

I fill up 2 pitchers at a time, and can get through both of them on a hot week. You'll love it.

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