All you have to do is take just one sip of peppermint bark tea to experience just how tasty it is. Its gorgeous taste is derived from the green rooibos plant that it’s created from. It’s a singularly unique plant, too, heralding from the continent that is South Africa
Traditionally harvested from an area North of Cape Town known as Cedeberg – where it’s still grown today – it’s associated with some of the most bio-diverse parts of the world. As such, locals have been brewing beverages from the plant for hundreds of years.
Peppermint Bark Tea Is Created From Legume Plants
Aspalathus Linearis is the genus that the rooibos plant belongs to, which is actually a member of the legume plant family. The plant enjoys significant rainfall in the Cederberg region – something that contributes to the unmistakable flavor the peppermint bark tea offers.
The rooibos plant has long leaves – rather like needles, in fact. In early spring, its blooms come through with a distinctive yellow coloring. Inside each of these flowers, you’ll find one seed that shows itself when ripe, and harvesting involves simply picking them up off the ground around the plant’s base.
Interestingly, way back in history, people would use anthills to find rooibos seeds, as they’re a particular favorite of the insect. Taking around 18 months from being planted to become a fully-harvestable rooibos plant, it’s a crop that usually comes to fruition during the Summer wotpost.
How Rooibos Tea is Processed
When it comes to processing, the rooibos plant is typically refined using a similar method to the one used for the Camillia Sinensis plant (found in traditional tea blends). Unlike mass-production techniques used in other areas of the world, rooibos is harvested by hand, after which the stems are bunched together into tight bundles.
The oxidization process is helped along by cutting or ‘bruising’ these bundles – something that helps in drawing out the plant’s inner essential oils. These oils are responsible for the tea’s bold and rich flavor, as well as its deep and distinct red color after brewing.
In fact, the redder the color, the sweeter its taste. If the oxidization process is shortened, a greener tea is produced. Some people prefer one over the other, which is why both are created on a widescale basis.
Peppermint Bark Tea – A Brew Like No Other!
As with most other types of herbal tea, the intensely sweet and enjoyable taste is brought out by simply steeping it in hot water. The great thing is that it provides a pick-me-up without the need for caffeine to be involved in the equation. While many teas and coffees shouldn’t be drunk after a certain point in the day for fear of insomnia – that’s not required with rooibos-based peppermint tea.
You’ll have to buy some and try it for yourself to truly understand the depth of flavor offered by this tea, but a few that certainly fit include; floral, sweet, vanilla and smoky. The good news is that this type of tea is readily available in the US, and thanks to internet shopping, just a click of your mouse is all that’s needed to have some appear on your doorstep.