Monday, June 7, 2010
The Elixir of Life
This tea from South Africa is the elixir of life. Let me explain: 'rooibos' literally means 'redbush'. And anyone who has read Alexander McCall Smith's The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, has met Mma Ramotswe, will know of her penchant for redbush tea. It is a cool refreshing drink, but the reader never discovers whether this is in fact 'rooibos' or an imposter, since the rooibos only grows in the Western Province. Be that as it may, I only discovered this tea when I started university. At home we drank Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong and of course Ceylon tea. Initially I used to drink it with a little bit of honey, but that soon ended, as this tea has such a refreshing taste. All my friends agreed that Freshpak rooibos is the best brand (off the supermarket shelf), and although I have tasted some rooibos teas here in the US, they have been quite horrible. So, Freshpak has been a staple throughout my migrations. Any friends visiting from South Africa know to bring along a couple of boxes. Unfortunately customs do not like leaf tea, so teabags have to do.
On my last visit to SA, I brought back 10 boxes of rooibos. Eight hundred teabags might sound a lot, but they disappear very quickly. I try and drink at least 2 large glasses of this per day. This tea is naturally caffeine-free, and it's health benefits are huge! From insomnia to colic, from it's anti-aging properties to soothing the tired tried soul, this tea is truly the elixir of life! I usually leave the bag in, so as to drain every last ounce of vitality from this tea. On my last visit, I also had another great find - rooibos yoghurt!
Let it be said that this was fantastic as well! It was a double whammy of rooibos AND yoghurt. Whilst it is not so easy to find fat free and unsweetened yoghurt in SA, (plain or Greek are usually the only options), this was a great find. Having said that, I am sooo impressed with the wonderful range of yoghurts on offer here in the US. Possibly the most sinful has to be the 'chocolate underground' by Stoneyfield. Although it is fat-free, I suspect it has a rather high sugar content. Anyway, nuff said on this. A tall glass of rooibos is the perfect drink after a run, when you are relaxing on the sofa.