2013 was the first time I went to Cape Town. There and then was the first time I ever heard of, and tried, rooibos espresso. Rooibos is also known as red tea, a little bit wrongly so since it is in fact rather a herbal infusion prepared from the South African Rooibos bush, unlike tea which originally comes from Asia. Red “tea” however, doesn’t contain any caffeine (or theine to be more correct) unlike other actual teas which all contain different levels of aforementioned.
Red espresso is just like rooibos tea made from the Rooibos leaves and stems but prepared into a finer ground. It is produced to be used in coffee appliances such as espresso machines, French brewers and coffee brewers putting it under higher pressure. The combination of the cultivation and preparation style allows to extract way more of the flavour than when preparing it like tea.
And then? Well, then it’s just to prepare it like any coffee-styled drink such as a red cappuccino, latte, macchiato, or americano. Or, if you prefer it as an espresso and make it in a proper espresso machine you’ll even get a golden crema on top.
This gives an opportunity for non coffee drinkers or the ones avoiding caffeine to have coffee-style beverages (or for coffee-style beverage addicts to have their drink fix after coffee time of the day), full of antioxidants giving a health boost.
I recently came across the idea to use it in smoothies as well. Well worth a try when the weather allows for more chilled drinks. But for now, I’ve prepared it like a latte together with steamed and foamed oatmilk. The oatmilk itself adds a bit of sweetness to this drink, but otherwise it combines perfectly with a dash of honey and cinnamon.