If you are looking to replace coffee based lattes with something that is naturally caffeine free and absolutely delicious, I would suggest that you try a (red) rooibos latte.
Rooibos lattes are very popular in coffee shops in South Africa, which makes sense given that the rooibos, or redbush, plant is native to that continent.
South Africans have traditionally used rooibos tea for centuries. The Dutch settlers in the area used it as an alternative to expensive black tea. In addition, black tea was not always available as supply was dependent on trading ships from Europe.
Also called red tea, rooibos has an earthy and a slightly nutty flavor that you will likely find extremely appealing after just a few cups. Rooibos tea benefits primarily revolve around the fact that it is naturally decaffeinated and loaded with antioxidants. Other health pluses include anti-fungal as well as anti-mutagenic properties. Rooibos is also of benefit to immune system modulation and assists with nervous tension, skin problems, and digestive complaints.
I’ve been drinking rooibos tea for many years, but have only recently begun enjoying it as a latte. It is my favorite hot drink to enjoy in the evening, although I tend to stick with plain rooibos tea first thing in the morning.
Making a rooibos latte is extremely simple. The first step involves concentrating the amount of rooibos in 3 standard cups of tea down to a half cup of water which suprisingly does not result in a bitter taste like with black tea.
The sweetener chosen is based on your personal preference. I prefer a pinch or two of low glycemic coconut sugar or a drizzle of raw local honey. Freshly ground cassia cinnamon (Saigon tastes incredible) adds a sweet and yet fiery boost that surpasses the flavor of any pre-ground cinnamon on the market, no matter if ceylon or cassia.
While steamed milk is a typical addition to a latte, I only warm mine to 117 F/47 C which is hot enough to please the palate and yet low enough to preserve the precious enzymes and probiotics in my creamy and delicious pastured raw milk. The latte still turns out nice and foamy, perhaps not as foamy as if I steamed it, but good enough for my tastes.
Rooibus Latte Recipe
3 tsp (or 3 tea bags) organic rooibos tea (quality sources)
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 cup whole milk, preferably raw and grassfed
1 tsp coconut sugar
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cassia or ceylon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground (quality sources)
Bring filtered water to a boil preferably in a tea kettle instead of the microwave. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water into a large coffee mug and add rooibus tea using a tea infuser (I use this one). Let steep for 3-5 minutes until tea is almost black with just a hint of red. Sprinkle in coconut sugar and stir.
Pour 1/2 cup milk into a small saucepan and turn on medium heat. If using raw milk, heat only to 117 F/47 C and then remove from the heat and promptly pour into the coffee mug to top the triple strength rooibos tea. Otherwise, if using pasteurized milk, heat the milk to a steamy, frothy state and then top.
Sprinkle on freshly ground cinnamon to taste.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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