Rooibos is indigenous to and grows only in Cederberg, South Africa, just north of Cape Town, in the Fynbos ecoregion where there is an incredible diversity of plant life. The rooibos bush has long branches covered with soft, long needle-like leaves. Once per year the branches are harvested, chopped, left to oxidize to a deep brick-red color, then spread on drying beds to sun-dry.
Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and has a high mineral content. Its somewhat neutral flavor profile makes it an excellent foundation for flavoring, or blending with other ingredients. Here, a light mandarin orange flavor has been added to the leaves.