3 African Tea’s Worth Savouring And Their Health Benefits
I have a confession: I love tea! Near obsessed with it. I’d like to think of myself as a tea connoisseur, but that would be a hyperbole. In my novice experience of tea, I’ve come to discover Africa has one of the most exceptional leaves in the world.
Africa, while not as well-known in the global tea trade as nations like India and China, yet a handful of African countries are responsible for producing some of the world’s finest tea.
Here are 3 African Tea’s, where they come from and their health benefits.
TANZANIA USAMBARA OOLONG TEA
Produced to the east of the Usambara Mountains in the high plateau of the Masai Steppe.
The area is one of great bio-diversity and rain-forest of the Amani Nature Reserve.
The bold dark leaves, laced with silvery tips, are fragrant with the scent of sweet cocoa. A warm toasty note complements a hint of almond in the aroma. A silky smooth mouth feel lingers long into the finish, which echoes with a light suggestion of flowers.
Benefits: Oolong tea may not be as well known as green or black tea, but it has similar health benefits. These include benefits for heart, brain, bone and dental health. In addition, it may boost your metabolism, decreases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and protect against certain types of cancer.
SOUTH AFRICAN ROOIBOS TEA
South African Rooibos is a naturally caffeine-free tisane grown in a small area in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape province.
It is made using leaves from a shrub called Aspalathus linearis, usually grown on the western coast of South Africa.
Benefits: Rooibos is associated with health benefits due to its high levels of health-promoting antioxidants, which include aspalathin and quercetin. Antioxidants may help protect cells from damage by free radicals. Over the long term, their effects may reduce your risk of illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.
MOROCCAN MINT TEA
Moroccan Mint tea is a green tea prepared with spearmint leaves and sugar, traditional to the Greater Maghreb region.
All around the world Moroccan mint tea is probably the most famous emblem of Morocco..
The ingredients are fresh mint, sugar, water and gunpowder tea. Gunpowder tea is a type of green Chinese tea in which each leaf has been rolled into a small round pellet. When the round pellets are hydrated they become surprisingly large.
Benefits: Relieves the symptoms of colds and flu. Mint can help with nasal allergies. It can relieve congestion, head colds, and headaches. Act as a mild sedative and has calming properties. Relieve minor aches and pains such as muscle cramps and sprains and can combat bad breath.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN MOROCCAN MINT TEA
3 tbsp Chinese gunpowder tea (see Note) or green tea
1 bunch mint, leaves picked
165 g white/brown sugar, or Honey (optional)
Place tea in a large metal teapot with 250 ml boiling water. Swirl to combine, then strain and discard water, leaving tea in pot (this cleans and removes the bitterness of the tea).
Pour 1 litre boiling water into the pot, then place over high heat and bring to the boil for 1 minute to develop the flavours.
Add mint leaves to the pot and cook for a further 1 minute or until tea almost begins to boil. Remove from heat, stir in sugar until it dissolves, then, using a tea towel to protect your hands, pour tea into a glass, then pour it back into the pot. Repeat two more times (this allows the tea to properly mix and infuse).
Pour half the tea among 4 glasses. Start pouring from high up, then lower towards the end to create froth. Fill each glass to about 3 cm from the top to allow the glass to be held.
- Chinese gunpowder tea is available from Asian food shops and specialist food shops.