Naturally caffeine free

South Africa

Fruit and Herbal Infusions

Season: September - October

Availability: In Stock

Price: £3.30

  • Description
  • Tasting Notes
  • Pairings
  • Brewing Instructions
  • Ingredients

Honeybush, also know as heuningbos in Afrikaans,  grows on the mountain slopes situated in the south west and south east of South Africa. It comes from the plant genus Cyclopia and whilst several species are used to produce this herbal beverage the most commonly harvested one is cyclopia intermedia, also known as mountain tea or bergtee.

Honeybush was first noted as growing in this area by a botanist collecting information in 1705 on the flora and fauna of the region. There is no evidence it was consumed as a beverage by the local people however, with the advent of colonisation it was soon noted honeybush could be used as substitute for tea (camellia sinensis), which was being traded around the Cape at that time from China and later India and Sri Lanka. 

Honey bush is difficult to cultivate and was only harvested commercially as late as 1996. Honeybush is mostly gathered from wild bushes and regenerates itself after harvest (or fires), every 3 years. 

This caffeine free infusion is cited as having many health benefits. The traditional use of honeybush was to treat coughs, sinus problems and as an expectorant which could be put down to the fact it contains pinitol (which is also found in pine trees). However it is now being found pinitol helps with insulin sensitivity and is being considered as a drug for diabetes. 

 It is also loaded with the anti-oxidants isoflavanes and coumestans which are classified as phystoestrogens and are useful in the treatment of menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. 

Try blending honey bush with rooibos for a delicious drink or cold brew for a great summer beverage. Using the same ratio of water to weight as for a hot infusion firstly cover the infusion with boiling water from the measured out amount and leave for 5 minutes. Then top up with the remaining volume in cold water. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight and then serve over ice.

The small pieces of dry honey bush leaf are an appealing mixture of different colours of brown, ranging from pale beige to a deep rich chestnut. The infusion steeps a deep red bronze colour with a gentle, sweet aroma and a slight spiciness reminiscent of rooibos. On sipping the mouthfeel is smooth with a warm earthiness and a gentle fruit spiciness. Honey bush is often described as a softer and sweeter version of rooibos.

Lamb. Desserts and cakes.

3g/1tsp   200ml   100c  Steep for 5 -10 minutes

Infusion Accessories

Brew by the cup using an infuser or brew using a teapot and strainer