The Top 4 Teas That Are Not Tea and Contain No Caffeine

Tea is one of the most popular drinks around the world, and for good reason – it’s delicious, refreshing, and can help you stay hydrated. However, not all teas are made with caffeine – in fact, many tea types don’t contain any ‘tea’ at all but are what are properly called infusions. Infusions are steeped in hot water like ‘normal tea’, but their leaves do not come from a traditional tea plant – a kind of Camelia. Check out this list of top 4 non-caffeine, non-tea teas to see which one is right for you.

1. Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is a type of herbal infusion that is sometimes mistaken for a true tea. It is made from the leaves of the red bush, which is a low-lying shrub that grows naturally on the Western Cape of South Africa. The first recorded pot of rooibos tea was around 300 years ago in colonial times, but it’s likely that its use by the indigenous civilization of the area predates this by millennia.

Those red bushes that give up their leaves lend rooibos tea an almost startling amber colour

Rooibos Health Benefits

Some of the health benefits of drinking rooibos tea include its ability to regulate blood sugar levels and relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

It’s likely that colonial settlers took to rooibos because of the punishing cost of importing black tea from Asia and, indeed, rooibos can be drunk with milk and sweetened like black tea.

2. Hibiscus Tea

One of the most popular teas that are not tea is hibiscus tea. Hibiscus is a flowering plant that grows in many parts of the world. The leaves and flowers of the hibiscus plant are used to make this tea which is commonly served cold or over ice and it is also used as a mixer for other drinks.

Like all herbal teas, Hibiscus tea contains no caffeine, which makes it a good choice for people who are trying to reduce their caffeine intake. Like rooibos tea, it is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help to improve your health. Hibiscus tea has a sweet taste that some people find appealing.

3. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is a type of herbal tea that is made from chamomile flowers. Chamomile is a member of the daisy family and is known for its calming effects.

Nature’s chill assistant – chamomile tea – is a good choice if you are looking for a drink that is free of caffeine and will also help you relax. Chamomile has been shown to have anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects. It can also help to improve sleep quality.

Some people prefer to drink chamomile tea before bed to help them get sleepy. Others like to drink it in the morning as an energy boost. Either way, chamomile tea is a great choice if you want to avoid caffeine.

4. Raspberry Tea

Raspberry tea is made from raspberries and water. It is a sweet, fruity drink that can be enjoyed cold or hot.

Raspberry tea is great for people who want a natural way to boost their energy levels. It is also a good choice for people who are looking for a drink that will help them relax.

Like chamomile, raspberry tea is a popular choice before going to bed because of its relaxing and sleep enhancing qualities. 

Raspberry tea is a great drink for when you want to avoid caffeine. This tea contains many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. If you are looking for a healthy alternative to coffee, raspberry tea is a great option. It contains few calories and no sugar, so it is a good choice if you are trying to lose weight or maintain your health.

What is Aspalathus Linearis and where do I buy some?

There’s a lot of buzz about the plant known as Aspalathus linearis, but you might not realise it is the scientific name of the South African plant otherwise known as Rooibos or Red Bush. Surrounding a well-understood therapeutic plant with an aura of mystery by using its Latin name feels a bit like the usual woo-woo scam to us, but wait: Aspalathus linearis – that is, Rooibos or Red Bush – is amazing and here’s why.

Apart from having an amazing light, sweet taste that is easy on the palate and which you feel you can drink all day, every day, Rooibos from the Aspalathus linearis has a few secrets too.

Aspalathus linearis is rich in flavonoids, which are believed to be responsible for its reputation for health benefits. Evidence is yet to be gathered that indicates without doubt that dietary flavonoids of the kind found in Aspalathus linearis affect cancer risk in general, but observational studies and clinical trials on hormone-dependent cancers (breast and prostate) have shown benefits. For example, analysis of 14 observational studies that examined breast cancer incidence in 369,934 women found an overall 11% reduced risk of breast cancer with the highest versus lowest intake of some flavonoids.

Meanwhile, a recent review has suggested that dietary intake of flavonoids is associated with a reduced risk of different types of cancer, including gastric, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.

The focus of investigations into the health benefits of Rooibos or Aspalathus linearis is Aspalathin, the plant compound that may help protect against free radical damage that leads to conditions like diabetes, heart disease as well as, potentially, cancer.

You can buy Aspalathus linearis here, rather than pay the inflated prices that come with its mystified Latin name at a health food store.

The benefits of Aspalathus Linearis

With its aspalathin, if you’re looking for a naturally occurring substance that can help improve your health, Aspalathus linearis could be a good option for you. Science itself has marked Rooibos and its plant compounds as warranting further investigation. Some of the purported benefits of Aspalathus linearis include:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving digestion
  • Supporting the immune system
  • Lowering blood sugar levels

There is growing scientific evidence to support these claims and more research is needed

What’s the difference between Aspalathus Linearis, Red Bush and Rooibos?

When it comes to Aspalathus linearis, Red Bush and Rooibos, they are one and the same a plant that is native to South Africa, a naturally caffeine-free, shrub-like plant grown on the Western Cape. The leaves of the Rooibos plant are cut and are either oxidized (fermented), producing what we know as Red Rooibos, or are unoxidized (not fermented), producing what we know as Green Rooibos. Green Rooibos has more aspalathin than red.

Drinking Aspalathus Linearis

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy drink, look no further than Aspalathus linearis. native to South Africa. It has a refreshingly sweet taste and is rich in antioxidants.

The Rooibos tea that is made with Aspalathus linearis is available here at I Love Decaf and it’s available in eight different flavours:

If you are looking for a flavoursome way to kick caffeine or try more interesting tea that is as refreshing (some say more refreshing) as a cup of ‘normal’ tea, why not give one of them a try and see if you enjoy the taste of health Aspalathus linearis as much as we do.

Rooibos or Red Bush: Tea or Not Tea?

That is the Question

Rooibos or Red Bush tea is not, strictly speaking, a tea at all. True teas – from Breakfast to Earl Grey, Typhoo to Tetley and many more besides are all variations on a theme based on a type of camelia, the tea plant. The ‘tea’ leaves of Rooibos (Afrikaans for ‘Red Bush’) are the leaves of a Southern African shrub – Aspalathus linearis – that have been fermented and sun-dried to an autumnal red.

Red Bush Teatime

South Africans have been drinking Red Bush tea for over 300 years, since Europeans settled the Cederberg area of the Western Cape. 

There are no records of pre-colonial Rooibos use, but someone must have shown that picking leaves, thrashing them against a rock and leaving them out in the sun to dry was a fantastic idea and not, as logic would suggest, a spectacular waste of everyone’s time.

Green and black tea from India and China were expensive to import for European settlers, so Rooibos taken with milk and sugar (or honey) was adopted as the next best thing. I Love Decaf sells a classic South African Rooibos that has bags of character, is naturally sweet and slightly nutty but – like all red bush teas – contains no caffeine and very little tannin.

White with one lump or two isn’t the only way to drink Rooibos. The sweet, malty notes of red bush blend very well with all kinds of fruits and spices for an exceptional, often sublime, cup of un-caffeinated tea.

2 Birds in a Red Bush Tea

A bird in the hand is worth two in a bush, right? If it’s a Red Bush and the bird is the notoriously demented South African Ostrich, things can get out of hand fairly pronto. On the other hand, a cup of this sweet and slightly nutty Rooibos tea is worth more than all the barking mad ostriches you can carry. Stay grounded and smooth, with an earthy caffeine-free drink that makes you unflappable.

The Red Bush Melting (Tea) Pot

As if South Africa isn’t already a global crossroads, Red Bush has some inspirational cross-cultural blending going on. While the colonial powers were moving tea from east to west, Europeans were spreading vanilla – slowly – in the opposite direction from Aztec Mesoamerica to Asia and Africa. Nowadays, vanilla is grown in Madagascar off the east coast of continental Africa, but in the settlers’ time red bush and vanilla was nothing but a wild and fragrant dream. Wake up and smell the vanilla.

Vanilla Flavoured Rooibos Infusion

A gorgeous and subtle mix of sweet orange and light clove notes make for a naturally caffeine free, delicious and bright infusion with excellent antioxidant properties.

Meanwhile, mixing cool peppermint – often used in North African cuisine – with Rooibos tea grown in the Cederberg area of the Western Cape unites two Mediterranean climates half a world away from each other.

Minty Rooibos Tea

Make sure your everyday is as good as it can be with this delicious tea. Adding a sweet minty flavour to the malty, earthy Red Bush, this tea is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up or a relaxing evening drink. Get your hands on our 1kg bag of Minty Rooibos tea and enjoy a cup whenever you want.

From pick-me-up to put-me-down, Rooibos is the perfect calming blend. After a hard day shouting at ostriches on the veldt, the Red Bush drinker wants nothing more than to relax into the evening, rejuvenate and wind down for the next day’s ostrich intimidation. Fortunately, Rooibos is versatile enough to mix beautifully with aromatic herbs, fruits and flowers for a soothing cuppa.

Aromatic Luxe Red Bush Tea

Find your perfect night-time tea. This delicious infusion is the perfect partner to help you relax and rejuvenate after a hard day. Blended with soothing Rooibos and aromatic lavender, apple and orange, it’s a wonderfully warming tea that will help you to both relax and rejuvenate. Our Tea Masters add just enough apples to complement the earthy notes of the rooibos, making for a deliciously clean but comforting cuppa with warming aromas.

Rooibos Tea Cosy Blend

This winter blend of red bush tea, cinnamon orange, almond cloves and cornflowers is a tea cosy for your mind. An inspiring brew to battle the cold with confidence, so you can go about your day.

We have yet more delicious blends of Rooibos tea on the way, from a pirate-inspired blend of spiciness to a liquid gold infusion as lavish as watching the sun set over the Great Karoo.

Spiced Pirate’s Rooibos Tea

A Rooibos pirate blend that it is one-part ahhh and one-part arrrr! With cinnamon, blackberry leaves, orange blossom, safflower petals, clove buds, cardamom and ginger extract, this treasure chest of Rooibos and spice is a pirate’s punch of flavour where X marks – but T hits – the spot.

All Seasons Luxe Red Bush Tea

A deluxe wrap-around warming blend of Rooibos, with the added spicy tang of cinnamon orange, the sweet, smooth textures of almond cloves and cornflowers. A comforting, tranquil cup for all seasons.

Another Mother Nutty Rooibos 

Still naturally caffeine-free, Another Mother is a nuttier alternative to our flagship South African Rooibos infusion. With excellent antioxidant properties and a delicious, sweet orange and light clove character, Another Mother pours as a liquor as bright and rich as a South African sunset.

What is Bubble Tea?

And do you have the tapioca balls for Boba? 

Bubble Tea, or Boba, shops have become the High Street’s latest fashionable infestation and the kids – not forgetting men-children with messenger bags and grown-gurls – are loving it too. Here at I Love Decaf, we support the wilder edges of tea drinking where our broad selection of decaf and no-caf can bring something extra to the mix.

What is Bubble Tea or Boba?

Bubble tea is evolved from iced white tea – a popular drink in East Asia – but also contains a measure of tapioca. Before Boba, tapioca was a common ingredient of hot desserts in Asia, but sometime in the mid to late 1980s a dessert merchant in a Taiwanese night market added it instead to chilled milk tea – a local favourite often made with condensed, evaporated, whole or soya milk. The new drink quickly became popular and spread rapidly to other Asian countries. 

It’s a craze that has taken quite a long time to get to the west. While the first bubble tea was brewed in Taiwan in the mid to late 1980s, it took until 2003 for London’s Chinatown to get its first Boba shop. The most recent spread now sees Boba bubbling up in every city in Europe and North America. And that just means it’s time to bring it to the decaf mainstream right now.

Flexi-bubble tea

One of the best things about bubble tea is that it is very flexible. Those first brews of Boba were made using black, green and oolong tea varieties. But there’s nothing stopping you from trying almost any tea or infusion in your own bubble tea. In Boba culture, creativity and experimentation is encouraged – it’s how the entire world of bubble tea came into being, after all.

Bubble tea with tea oil

One option is to flavour your bubble tea with tea oils. I Love Decaf has dozens of flavours of tea oil with many organic choices. You should use a single drop per pot – tea oil is super concentrated – but it’s one of many ways to put your own stamp on bubble tea.

There are no rules to decaf bubble tea

There are no rules, there are infinite recipes, but there are some guidelines. The bubbles in bubble tea aren’t really bubbles as you probably imagine them. For one thing, they are slightly chewy and that’s because they are made of black tapioca pearls. You can get these from any Asian supermarket, or they are also readily available online. They need to be lightly boiled for 5 minutes to get that perfect slightly chewy texture – sometimes known as ‘QQ’. 

Generally, the process is as follows.

  1. Bring the tapioca pearls to boil and simmer for five minutes
  2. Steep the tea at the same time
  3. Sieve the tapioca and sweeten it in a bowl (or leave as is)
  4. Let everything cool to ambient room temperature.
  5. Add a spoonful of tapioca pearl mix to the bottom of a cup or glass
  6. Add a single drop of tea oil to a full pot
  7. Pour in the tea over the tapioca, leaving room for milk, coconut, soya or regular milk
  8. Add a few cubes of ice 
  9. Add milk, cream, condensed or evaporated, nut milk, soya milk, whatever floats your boat.

What milk, how you sweeten the drink and what tea you use are all up to you. You could try a red berry fruit tea or bubble-up an odd cuppa of lemon and apple. Or stick with standard black, oolong or green decaf, it’s entirely up to you.