Teas coming from different parts of the world make some of the most delicious beverages. They are thought to be way more flavourful than generic teas. Pick any tea to taste, the Turkish tea, the Ceylon, or the Earl Grey, and you certainly won’t be disappointed. Thanks to globalization, we can charm our taste buds with them.
All these teas together make a huge list out of which most are thoroughly loved. Not just flavours but they also bring different aromas and benefits to the platter. Thus, entrants of new variants of teas are always encouraged by people the world over. One such gifted continent is Africa and the teas that come from its vast land.
Popularly called the Mother continent, the land harbours its long list of tea. Most of them are extremely famous and hold tons of health benefits. You would be missing loads if you are unaware of them. Thus, here we are going to spill everything you need to know about African teas.
Often known for Coffee, Africa also houses some of the world’s best teas. Existent for a long time, but their tea industry developed only in the 20th century. Now it mainly produces black tea but other teas are also available in plenty. The African teas taste earthy, natural, flavourful, and warm, reflecting their growing atmosphere.
There is no one plant from which the tea leaves are obtained. The different teas across the continent are differently produced. But coming from the same land, all of them are collectively referred to as African tea. Thus, let’s now talk about the individual teas.
Top 5 Finest African Tea
The African lands encompass various kinds of tea starting from Herbal to Black tea. While some of them are extremely well known across continents, others are simply regionally famous. All these teas come from different countries of this giant continent. Talking of that, Kenya is the 3rd largest producer of tea in the world. Other African countries like Uganda, Zimbabwe, Congo, Mauritius, etc also produce tea.
Red Rooibos Tea
One of the most famous herbal teas worldwide is Rooibos. It is exclusively grown as a South African tea in the small mountainous region of Cederberg of the Western Cape province. The tea started gaining international popularity in the 2000s. Since then it acquired various names like Bush tea, African Red tea, or Redbush tea in other parts of the world.
The Red Rooibos has a strong and earthy flavour, which blends well with spices, fruits, flowers and chocolates. It is one of the healthiest teas with high levels of antioxidants, zero caffeine content, and a gorgeous colour.
Green Rooibos Tea
Green Rooibos is nothing but another variety of Rooibos tea, way fresher and unfermented. It can be called the herbal version of green tea with zero caffeine in it. But, unlike green tea it is not bitter, instead has a lightly sweet flavour and is much fresher. Brew hot or have iced Green Rooibos, both are equally satisfying. Containing lots of health benefits and much more antioxidants than the Red Rooibos, it is a tea world darling.
With a beautiful purple colour, this tea was developed by the Kenyan Tea Research Foundation. Grown in Kenya, Purple tea is the only known cultivar to have high levels of anthocyanin. This is a flavonoid that gives the tea leaves a fine purple colour. It can also be used to make black tea or green tea. Though, Purple tea is a medium-bodied, subtly sweet variety that does not fall under any category of tea.
This black tea is another delight coming from the country of Kenya. Also known as Kenyan Black Tea, it is exceptionally full-bodied. The country has a lot of black tea varieties to offer, most of them serving well as morning tea. The strong, hearty and smooth taste is enough to get you to start working in the morning. Many of the varieties have small pellet-shaped leaves and are used to make the traditional Chai tea.
Honeybush tea is a herbal South African tea with multiple health benefits. It looks very similar to the Rooibos tea but is made from Cyclopia plant species. The tea is full-bodied, grown in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. With no caffeine, the tea tastes sweet, lightly roasted and floral, much like honey. Some also describe it to be woodier and less medicinal or earthy in taste. There exist many flavours of Honeybush tea, like fruity, etc which are pretty popular.
Brewing Method of African Red Tea
Being one of the most famous teas, the answer of – ‘how to make African Red tea?’ might seem complicated. That is not the case. Thus, here is a detailed recipe using which you can make and enjoy this world-famous tea at home.
- 1½ cup of Water
- Rooibos Tea (leaves or tea bags)
- Milk (optional)
- Sweetener (optional)
- Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Add a tablespoon of Rooibos tea leaves to the boiling water. At this point, add sweetener according to your taste. (If using tea bags, steep one tea bag in the water)
- Now, turn the flame to medium and simmer the leaves for about 30 minutes. When ready, strain the tea leaves.
- Pour the tea into a cup and add a dash of milk if you want. Stir it and enjoy!
In case you are using sweeteners, try and stick to the natural ones, like stevia or honey. They will keep your calories in check and add the required sweetness to your tea.
Health Benefits & Side Effects
All the teas straight from the African lands have numerous health benefits. Loaded with antioxidants, they are proven to help protect cells from damage by free radicals. Most of them are free of caffeine, oxalic acid and are also low in tannins. These are harmful to the overall body when consumed for a prolonged period. Moreover, African teas, mainly Rooibos, may reduce the risk of cancer, heart problems and help balance blood sugar levels. These benefits are not properly proven but users vouch for them.
The side effects of these extremely delicious African teas are a rare sight. But even then, unregulated consumption of any of them can lead to troubles. A case study showed that large amounts of Rooibos tea can lead to a liver problem. Certain substances in these teas are also known to stimulate the production of female sex hormones. This is the reason why people with hormone-sensitive conditions like to avoid them. But keeping aside these infrequent instances, mild consumption of African teas is still proven healthy.
Africa is blessed with too many types of teas and we have touched upon only a handful of them. The rest remains, and we assure you they are equivalently delicious and beautiful. So start with our 5 best suggestions for African teas. And later on, I bet you would be compelled to explore the other varieties too.