If you haven’t yet been introduced to rooibos tea, it’s time. This mellow tea has so many nutritional advantages. It is very high in antioxidants, contains no caffeine, helps your digestion ( along that same line, it’s been used to help babies with colic) , has low tannin levels (which allows you to brew this tea for a long time without getting a bitter aftertaste) and it contains no oxalic acid, which makes it an excellent choice for those prone to kidney stones. I will have to do a separate post to list some of the other exciting research done with rooibos.
But, most exciting of all, we love it.
We have been drinking it through the winter hot, and it’s delicious! When the hot weather hit, we occasionally drank it iced, which was quite nice. But then, I noticed at Elana’s Pantry (a lovely blog), that she had a few recipes for ice tea using rooibos. One was a Thai Iced Tea. Her recipe sparked interest, so I researched a little more about Thai iced tea and read that Thai iced tea is often brewed with cinnamon, star anise, and vanilla. I decided to set out to make my own Thai Rooibos tea recipe using that flavor combination.
We are now hooked. I don’t know how many quarts of this I have drunk now. It’s so refreshing on a hot day, and the flavor combination really adds a much more complex flavor. Now, of course, you can just ice any rooibos tea and it will be very nice. But I like this version better. I have also just done the vanilla and cinnamon, and that was very nice as well. I use my coconut milk tonic in this recipe, but you can use just regular coconut milk for a even richer result. Cream or half and half could be used as well, though the coconut milk seems to be even more refreshing on a hot day.
Thai Rooibos Iced Tea
You can use any type of vanilla rooibos tea (including tea bags), but I really like the Good Hope Vanilla Rooibos, because is contains real vanilla beans in it. The longer you steep this, the more flavorful it will become (and rooibos doesn’t become bitter), so keep that in mind. I have used it after 15 minutes of steeping, and after 45. It’s your choice. The type and amount of sweetener is totally up to you. I even like this tea unsweetened, though I usually will add a few drops of liquid stevia to mine. My husband adds about a tablespoon of agave syrup and a few drops of stevia to his for a sweeter version. We have tried honey as well with excellent results.
6 Tablespoons of Good Hope Vanilla Rooibos loose tea (or other vanilla rooibos, you can use tea bags instead, as well)
7 cups of boiling water
1 1/2 inch long cinnamon stick
2 star anise
Sweetener of choice-I usually use stevia and agave syrup (though others sweeteners would work as well)
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk tonic or coconut milk, whisked smooth
While the water is being brought to a boil, add the tea, cinnamon and star anise to a heat safe jar, or jug (I used a 8 cup mason jar, but you do have to be careful not to shock the glass because it could crack). Add the boiling water, and steep for ten minutes. After ten minutes, take out the cinnamon and star anise and steep for another 5-40 minutes, until it reaches desired flavor (or when you just can’t wait any longer!).
Fill a large cup with ice, add about a tablespoon of agave syrup and a few drops of stevia, and 1/4 cup of coconut milk tonic or coconut milk. Fill the rest of the cup up with the brewed tea and enjoy.
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