Imagine the colour of deep amber; this flavoured Herbal Infusion from South Africa has the taste of bitter (but not acid bitter) almond and marzipan underlined with the soft, fruity notes of prickly pear.
Rooibos, pieces of apple, chopped almonds, blackthorn berries, blackberry leaves, lemon grass, flavouring, coconut shavings, rose petals (this would make an amazing chocolate bar) the end result is a real amaretto delight.
Rooibos is mostly grown in the Cederberg, a smallish mountain area within the Western Cape region of South Africa. The leaves are oxidized (or fermented) this process results in the deep redish brown colour of the rooibos and is said to enhance the flavour. Green rooibos, which has a malty, grassy flavour is unoxidized and entails a much more demanding process; this is not disimilar to the method applied in the manufacture of green teas; this in turn increases the cost of the green rooibos above the red. It is reported that the common practice that the preparation of rooibos tea in South Africa is the addition milk and sugar to taste. You could, instead, add a slice of lemon and use honey as a sugar substitute (we prefer this method). It is also reported that some coffee shops in South Africa have begun to offer rooibos espresso; concentrated rooibos presented as you would an ordinary espresso. We have not, as yet, tried this method of serving. Apparently, this has started a trend of offering variations on classics such as, lattes and cappuccinos, which we also have not tried. We have, however, made up a rooibos-based iced tea, which was particularly delicious. Also reported is a Cape Town Fog, using rooibos steeped in steamed milk with vanilla syrup, this one we will try at a later date.