First of all, unlike green and black tea, rooibos is not known as a ‘true tea’ because it does not come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Instead, rooibos is a type of herbal tea. Rooibos tea comes from the dried leaves of the rooibos plant, also known by the scientific name of Aspalathus Linearis. To make rooibos tea, the leaves of the plant undergo an oxidation (fermentation) process. During this fermentation process, an enzymatic process occurs which causes the leaves to turn the rusty red color that rooibos is famous for. The leaves are left to dry in open fields under the sun. However, it is worth noting that rooibos tea comes in two distinct forms; green and red. The green version does not undergo an oxidation process, but it is more challenging to produce and has a strong bitter taste . For this reason, red rooibos tea is significantly more popular (and prevalent) than green rooibos, and it is the focus of this article.
Rooibos has a light flavor, and it does not have the same bitter notes as green and black tea because it contains fewer tannins
.Although it is difficult to describe the flavor accurately, rooibos has a fruity, nutty, floral, and slightly sweet taste.