BA15: South African Rooibos (Red Bush) Super Grade

Tea type
Rooibos Tea
Rooibos Leaves
Cedar, Cherry, Cherry Wood, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cinnamon, Nuts, Wood
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea and Cheese Lover
Average preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 7 oz / 207 ml

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From Upton Tea Imports

The top grade of Rooibos is denoted as the Super Grade. The superior flavor and quality of this grade are noticeable.

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5 Tasting Notes

4 tasting notes

My former Red Rooibos was a store brand tea bag. I always drink this when I’m not feeling well. It never fails to make me feel better. I knew the loose leaf would taste better, but I never expected it to be as flavorful as it is. I’m in love with this tisane! The tea bags are going in the garbage. ;)

Boiling 8 min or more

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49 tasting notes

A real nice one! Woody but not in a bad way. I am no connoisseur of wood, but I would say it tastes a bit how cedar might taste. Hints of cherry, but not sweet. Texture is smooth, not chalky.

Flavors: Cedar, Cherry, Cherry Wood

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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292 tasting notes

I’ve been delving back into rooibos lately after years of being sidetracked by teas less familiar to me.

Rooibos is valued quite differently in the USA, where I live, and its origin country, South Africa, where I lived for half a year in my early twenties. Here it is relatively new on the market, and is viewed as a casual drinking tea and a health item. In South Africa, it’s a staple of culture that has a long history and is a part of daily life for many people. Some are purists about how it is prepared and pride themselves as much on preparing rooibos as they do on preparing a braai (open-fire outdoor cooking). There, it is not uncommon to have rooibos boiled and prepared on the stove rather than steeped in a cup, and some will accuse you of criminal activity if you drink your rooibos without a generous dose of milk and enough sugar to sweeten it to your tastes.

All that considered, it is very difficult to find information on the ideal way to brew and drink rooibos tea. You’ll see highly varied opinions. Thankfully, it’s an extremely versatile tea that is impossible to overbrew, so it is easy to experiment with. I certainly haven’t tried enough methods yet to feel I’ve found my ideal brew, but currently I’ve found myself preferring about 2 teaspoons of loose tea in a 6 ounce cup, steeped with boiling water, covered, for 4 minutes. Everywhere I look, I do see people saying that rooibos is better the longer it is brewed. I’m not sure I’m convinced of that yet, but I resteep my tea plenty of times and do enjoy repeated infusions of rooibos. I tend to prefer the first infusion though, so I don’t necessarily think it gets better the longer you wait. What I’ve found is that using a generous amount of leaf gives it a thick body and full flavor even if you only steep for 3 minutes, and that is what is most important to me. No matter how long you steep a teaspoon of rooibos in a teacup, it will still have a thin body. Throw in another teaspoon or two and you’re set up for a mouthwatering thick cup.

This Super Grade rooibos smells better dry than any rooibos I’ve ever encountered, flavored or unflavored. It has a nice woody scent with a strong hit of cinnamon and a creamy dessert quality like toasted creme brulee or butterscotch. It also reminds me of spiced cookies like ginger snaps or pfeffernusse.

The brewed rooibos has lots of delectable scents on the nose, honey, caramel, chocolate, mollasses, tobacco. The flavor is sweet, nutty and slightly woody. It’s quite relaxing and complex, and it tastes very pure. There’s a good thick body to the tea that really coats the mouth and there isn’t a drying feeling after drinking. There is, however, a slight tanginess that lingers for quite a while.

I added some sugar and cream to the second infusion of this tea and I am bowled over by how good it is. It really brought out some of the buttery, creamy qualities of the rooibos itself. This rooibos is fantastic straight or with cream and sugar. You really can’t go wrong. I hope Upton continues selling this product because I very rarely find a company that sells different grades of rooibos and this one clearly excels above others I’ve had.

A final note… I see so many people complain of a medicinal kind of cough syrup taste in rooibos, and I’m not too sure what they are talking about. I’ve never gotten that except with flavored rooibos teas that are flavored with oils that can border on alcohol flavor, so I blame the flavoring. In any case, I don’t feel this rooibos has that kind of quality, and I think its flavor is quite superior to other rooibos that I’ve had, so I think it’s worth a try even for the haters out there.

Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Cinnamon, Nuts, Wood

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Leah Naomi

Thank you for the educational read on rooibos! I realized it doesn’t really inspire the same cultural education about it in the USA as Asian based tea does. It was cool to read. I LOVE rooibos with milk, and there is always a rooibos chai in my collection at any given time so I can have it allll day. :)


Great tasting note! I’m very tempted to order this one now.


Leah, I think rooibos and milk go so well together. There is even a rooibos espresso product now which is a ground up rooibos that you can brew in an espresso maker and use the rooibos to make cappucinos or lattes. It’s called Red Espresso, if you get curious to check it out. It’s a product out of South Africa, so the only way to find it in the US is to order it on Amazon usually. It’s pretty new and I don’t know of any US companies that stock it.

Anlina, I think this is the rooibos lover’s rooibos. The price was really exceptional for the amount you get. At the time of this review… it was about 5 dollars for 4.5 ounces. I can drink this daily without feeling guilty. :3

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