What’s the Difference?
The Scoop on Rooibos and Honeybush Teas!
Here at Gathering Place, we carry two main types of tea: Rooibos and Honeybush. Both are caffeine-free and indigenous to South Africa. And both have gained world acclaim for their health benefits. But which should you choose?
First things first. When you buy from Gathering Place, you are buying the highest quality and most ethically produced teas on the market. We direct source from two single origin family farms and have been doing this for the last 20 years.
“Direct Source” means we know our farmers and “Single Origin” means we exclusively source from the same farm year after year. In addition, both our Rooibos and Honeybush farms are multi-generational which means they really know what they’re doing when it comes to tea farming!
Rooibos (Aspalathus Linearis) is the sweetheart of South Africa–rosy and hearty–and equally delicious hot or iced. It’s also fabulous plain, with oat milk, or with lemon and honey. It has an earthy, slightly sweet taste that is mild, making it a great base tea for blends (check out all our blends here!).
Rooibos grows in the Western Cape in an area known as the Cederberg Mountains. A semi-arid landscape with little vegetation, the deep-rooted Rooibos has staked a claim to the region for all of human history. The indigenous Khoi and later Khoisan people naturally fermented their Rooibos, and this tradition has continued until this day. When Rooibos is not fermented, and is instead immediately dried in small batches after harvesting, it is called Green Rooibos and has a lighter colour and milder flavour.
Rooibos contains numerous antioxidants and is loaded with minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, and zinc. It’s safe for all ages and can result in improved cardiovascular health, blood glucose control, and a stronger immune system.
Honeybush (Cyclopia) is the lesser known cousin of Rooibos–wild and nourishing–and is also delicious iced or hot with any milk. It has a carmel (or honey-like), slightly citrus taste and unlike Rooibos, has many different varieties.
The one we source is the best tasting (in our humble opinion!) and is called Wild Mountain Honeybush (Cyclopia Intermedia). It grows wild in the pristine, remote environment of the Kouga Mountain Range in the Eastern Cape region. The fourth generation family farm is surrounded by a Nature Reserve, which preserves the natural organic integrity of the tea.
Like Rooibos, Honeybush is high in minerals and antioxidants and also has phytoestrogen properties making it an excellent hormone balancing tea for women.