Vanilla rooibos is a herbal tea made from the leaves of the rooibos plant (Aspalathus linearis), which is native to South Africa. It gets its name from the addition of vanilla flavoring, which gives it a sweet, creamy taste.
What is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos (pronounced ROY-boss) is an herbal tea that comes from the shrub Aspalathus linearis, which grows only in the Cederberg region of South Africa. The leaves are oxidized, which gives rooibos its signature red color and rich flavor.
South Africans have been drinking rooibos tea for generations, but it only began gaining popularity worldwide in the last few decades. It is high in antioxidants and contains no caffeine, making it a healthy beverage choice.
Benefits of Rooibos Tea
Here are some of the top health benefits of rooibos tea:
- Rich in antioxidants like aspalathin and nothofagin
- May help improve heart health
- Contains no caffeine
- Helps relieve stomach pains and indigestion
- May reduce risk of diabetes
- Anti-inflammatory effects
Flavored Rooibos Teas
Rooibos has a naturally sweet, nutty flavor. But it can also be enhanced with additional flavors like:
- Citrus fruits like lemon, orange, grapefruit
- Berries like strawberry, blueberry, raspberry
- Chai spices like cardamom, clove, ginger
What is Vanilla Rooibos Tea?
Vanilla rooibos combines the antioxidants and caffeine-free benefits of rooibos with the sweet aroma of vanilla. Vanilla adds a creamy, dessert-like quality to the earthy rooibos flavor.
Vanilla rooibos contains just two main ingredients:
- Rooibos leaves – Oxidized leaves from the Aspalathus linearis plant, which give rooibos its red color and antioxidant content.
- Vanilla flavoring – Natural or artificial vanilla extract added to infuse the tea with a sweet vanilla taste and aroma.
Premium blends may also contain real vanilla beans or vanilla pieces for a stronger flavor profile.
When describing the flavor of vanilla rooibos, common tasting notes include:
The vanilla pairs nicely with the inherent caramel notes in rooibos, creating a well-rounded, lightly sweet cup of tea. The finish is smooth without any bitterness.
One of the biggest benefits of rooibos tea is that it contains no caffeine. So vanilla rooibos is completely caffeine-free, making it a good choice for evenings or for people who are sensitive to caffeine.
How is Vanilla Rooibos Tea Made?
Vanilla rooibos is made using a very similar process to regular rooibos tea. Here are the basic steps:
- Rooibos leaves are harvested and bruised to start the oxidation process.
- The bruised leaves are left to oxidize, turning them red.
- Once oxidized, the rooibos leaves are dried to halt oxidation and preserve the leaves.
- Vanilla flavoring is added – natural or artificial vanilla extracts are sprayed or blended with the dried rooibos.
- The vanilla-infused rooibos is packaged and ready for steeping.
Higher quality vanilla rooibos may be made with actual vanilla bean pieces for a more gourmet flavor profile.
How to Brew Vanilla Rooibos Tea
Brewing vanilla rooibos tea is quick and easy. Just follow these steps:
- Boil fresh, filtered water – do not reuse water that was previously boiled.
- Place 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla rooibos leaves per 8 oz. cup into a teapot or infuser.
- Pour the boiling water over the leaves and let steep for 5-7 minutes.
- Strain the tea into your cup and enjoy!
Some tips for the best cup of vanilla rooibos:
- Use filtered water instead of tap water.
- Bring the water to a rapid boil for best infusion.
- Use 1 tsp leaves per cup for lighter flavor, or 2 tsp per cup for stronger flavor.
- Steep for 5-7 minutes before pouring.
- Can be enjoyed hot or chilled over ice.
Vanilla Rooibos Tea Nutrition Facts
Here is the nutrition breakdown for one cup (8 oz) of vanilla rooibos tea:
As you can see, vanilla rooibos is very low in calories and contains no fat, carbs, or protein. The antioxidants in the tea provide the health benefits rather than macronutrients.
Vitamins and Minerals in Vanilla Rooibos
Rooibos tea contains a wide array of antioxidants and phytochemicals, but is low in vitamins and minerals. Some of the key antioxidants in vanilla rooibos are:
These antioxidants are responsible for many of rooibos’ health benefits like lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and reducing inflammation. The vanilla flavoring adds sweetness without any additional nutrients.
Health Benefits of Vanilla Rooibos Tea
Drinking vanilla rooibos tea provides the same excellent health benefits as regular rooibos, with the added bonus of delicious vanilla flavor. Some science-backed benefits include:
Rich in Antioxidants
Rooibos is packed with powerful antioxidants like aspalathin and nothofagin. These compounds help neutralize free radicals and may lower oxidative stress in the body.
Supports Heart Health
Studies show the antioxidants in rooibos support heart health by improving blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood circulation.
May Aid Diabetes
Animal studies indicate rooibos may help improve insulin secretion and blood glucose levels, which could benefit people with diabetes.
Traditional medicinal uses of rooibos show it can help relieve stomach pains, nausea, and constipation.
The flavonoids in rooibos have demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory abilities, which may reduce overall inflammation.
Rooibos contains chrysoeriols that may help activate immune system cells and improve immune response.
Promotes Healthy Skin
With its antioxidant content, rooibos may protect skin cells from damage. Applying it topically could reduce inflammation and soothe conditions like eczema.
Potential Side Effects of Vanilla Rooibos
Rooibos tea is generally safe for most people to drink and has very few reported side effects. However, some things to keep in mind are:
- Since it’s caffeine-free, there are no negative stimulant effects like jitters or insomnia.
- Rooibos contains tannins that may interfere with iron absorption. People with low iron should avoid drinking with meals.
- Rooibos is not recommended for pregnant women due to possible effects on hormones.
- Some people report mild stomach upset or diarrhoea when drinking large amounts.
- Those with kidney or liver conditions should exercise caution and consult their doctor first.
Always drink rooibos tea in moderation to avoid potential issues. Stop drinking it if you experience any negative symptoms or allergic reactions.
Where to Buy Vanilla Rooibos Tea
Here are some places where you can buy high-quality vanilla rooibos tea:
- Adagio Teas
- Palais des Thes
- Art of Tea
- Whole Foods
- Trader Joe’s
- Harney & Sons
- Local tea shops
Browse different brands to find your perfect vanilla rooibos flavor. Buying loose leaf tea instead of tea bags provides the freshest taste.
Popular Brands of Vanilla Rooibos
Here are some top rated brands producing delicious vanilla rooibos tea:
Harney & Sons Vanilla Comoro
– Sweet Madagascar vanilla blended with rooibos
– Includes vanilla pieces
– Also available in sachets
Teavana Rooibos Vanilla
– Rooibos with bourbon vanilla flavor
– Well-balanced sweetness
– Loose leaf tea
Twinings Vanilla Rooibos
– South African rooibos
– Madagascar vanilla
– Sold in tea bags
DAVIDsTEA Forever Nuts
– Blend of rooibos, vanilla, coconut, almond, pecan
– Sweet nutty flavor
– Loose leaf tea
Trader Joe’s Organic Vanilla Rooibos
– USDA certified organic
– Economical choice
– Tea bag option
Incorporating Vanilla Rooibos into Your Diet
Here are some tips for enjoying vanilla rooibos tea as part of a healthy lifestyle:
Drink vanilla rooibos in the evenings instead of caffeinated beverages. Its warm, comforting flavor promotes relaxation.
Brew vanilla rooibos hot then chill overnight for refreshing iced tea. Add lemon, mint, or fruit for extra flavor.
Use vanilla rooibos to infuse cakes, cookies, breads with subtle flavor. Or blend into smoothies.
Apply cooled vanilla rooibos tea directly to skin or add to bathwater. Its antioxidants promote healthy skin.
Kids will love the sweet vanilla taste of this caffeine-free tea. Serve it warm or over ice.
If you enjoy the sweet aroma of vanilla paired with the antioxidant benefits of rooibos, then vanilla rooibos tea is a perfect choice. It provides a creamy, well-rounded flavor that makes a soothing hot drink or iced tea. Try different brands of vanilla rooibos to find your favorite way to incorporate it into a balanced diet and lifestyle.