Expert tips on how to pair and brew your tea the right way. Picture: Pexels

Tea enthusiasts from the South African Rooibos council and Yswara tea give expert tips on how to pair and brew the perfect cup.

Rooibos pairing: 

Rooibos is one of the most crowd-pleasing varieties of tea and is used by many celebrity chefs as a flavour enhancer. 

  • You can pair it with white, nutty cheese or chocolate.
  • It’s great to use with other sweet flavours and desserts such as crème brulée, panna cotta, éclairs or sorbets. 
  • You can also use it in soups and pasta sauces or when braaing.

Brewing:

  • You can use tap water, but experts advise using spring water or filtered water when brewing rooibos tea, as the tea will have the purest taste possible. 
  • Avoid using distilled water as it won’t release the intense flavour of rooibos tea properly. 
  • Once the water is boiled, pour it into the cup and then add the tea bag. 
  • Steep rooibos tea for at least 5 minutes, but studies have shown that steeping it for 5 to 10 minutes greatly increases the amount of antioxidants and nutrients in the finished cup. 
  • Enjoy on its own or add milk, sugar or other spices.

Yswara pairing:

  • Pairing of our teas works well with both sweet and savoury dishes depending on the tea itself. Example, Olomuabi will pair very well with a rich, organic chocolate cake while Pole can be successful with a Chai curry dish. 
  • Nandi and Makeda will pair well as iced tea with a fruit sorbet.

Brewing:

  • Each tea classification has its own brewing or steeping time and it is best to know what the steeping times are for each tea type that will give the best cup of tea. 
  • Example, black, green and white teas have a steeping time of 1.5 to 2 min maximum, then the tea leaves should be removed from the pot.
  • Herbal teas have a 5 to 8 minutes steeping time and it is not essential for the leaves to be removed from the pot.