5 facts about rooibos we love

We’ve been celebrating all things South African thanks to Heritage Day, and what better product to write an ode to, than our homegrown rooibos? We asked Monique Ethelston, marketing director and co-founder of Red Espresso, why it’s so fabulously healthy.

#1 You can enjoy rooibos tea all day long with no negative side effects

You may need your cup of coffee to help you start your day, but once you’ve got your kick of caffeine, it’s healthier to move onto a caffeine-free beverage. Ceylon tea contains caffeine, but rooibos is naturally caffeine free. “Too much caffeine has been linked to increased anxiety and sleeplessness. Because rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, and contains the unique antioxidant, Aspalathin, it has been known to have a relaxing effect on the central nervous system and alleviate insomnia and irritability,” says Monique.
Unlike black and green teas, which have high levels of caffeine, rooibos is, in the strictest sense, not a tea but a tisane (herbal tea). Because it is naturally caffeine free, it is also safe and healthy for children, babies, pregnant and breastfeeding moms to enjoy as well.

#2 It’s bursting with antioxidants

Rooibos contins the powerful antioxidant Aspalathin – found only in rooibos – and flavonoids including a mimic of the super antioxidant enzyme Super-Oxide Dismutase (SOD), explains Monique. Because of this, rooibos is believed to be a potent immune system booster with anti-viral, anti-carcinogenic and anti-ageing properties. Furthermore, a red espresso brew delivers even higher doses of antioxidants than regular rooibos. “Red Espresso rooibos has 10 times more antioxidants than traditionally-brewed rooibos tea,” she says. CANSA backs this up, saying: “Rooibos tea elevates blood glutathione levels (the master antioxidant in the body) which counteracts the process of ageing, the decline of the immune system, heart disease and the risk of cancer.”

#3 It can help you chill out

Rooibos is widely used as an herbal tea for enhancing wellbeing, supporting the immune system and combating stress. During stress, which is characterised by anxiety, sleeplessness and depression, there is an increased production of stress hormones. “Current research is underway to validate the anti-stress potential of rooibos. These studies focus on the influence of rooibos on lowering the production of cortisol – the ‘stress hormone’ – in the body, thereby lowering the effect of the body’s stress response,” says Monique.

#4 It can assist with weight loss

Rooibos tea is calorie free. It contains no fat or carbohydrates and its weight-loss properties further extend to inhibiting fat-storage hormones within the body. “Aspalathin helps to reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage, typically associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. In a nutshell, rooibos tea can prevent the body from storing and even forming new fat cells,” explains Ernest du Toit, spokesperson for The South African Rooibos Council. Plus, rooibos tea is naturally sweet so there is no need to add extra sugar, which also assists with weight loss, according to Monique.

#5 It can out “froth” coffee

Red espresso became a worldwide hit when the team behind it delivered up frothy rooibos tea. “The extra fine grind of red espresso creates the beautiful saffron coloured crema when expressed,” says Monique. “Just like coffee espresso, red espresso can be enjoyed on its own or added to milk for a red cappuccino or red latte, making it a whole lot easier for people to reduce their caffeine intake by simply switching one of their favourite beverages for another with no compromise to the café lifestyle or drinks that they love,” she says.


Red espresso is offering one lucky subscriber to the BODYTEC newsletter this bumper prize. It includes one of each of the caffeine-free, sugar-free flavours in the Rooibos Flavour Collection for Nespresso machines (including the very popular Chai), the Ground Rooibos product for use on espresso machines, stovetop espresso makers and French Press, a red espresso barista apron and a drinks recipe booklet with recipes for smoothies, iced teas, red cappuccinos, red lattes and more.

To enter, simply sign up to the newsletter at www.bodytec.co.za (if you haven’t already) by 31 October 2016 and email [email protected] with your name, address, telephone number and the subject line ‘Red Espresso Win’. The winner will be announced on Facebook in November 2016.

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