This herbal tea , with its earthy-sweet palate, is available in conventional (red) and unfermented (green) versions. The conventional type, known as rooibos ('red bush') because of its reddish-amber colour. Rooibos tea or red tea is a herbal beverage that is acquired from the Aspalathus linearis bush plant that is found in South Africa. According to the South African Rooibos Council, rooibos is not a true tea, but an herb. Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and low in tannins.
Rooibos grades are largely related to the percentage "needle" or leaf to stem content in the mix. A higher leaf content results in a darker liquor, richer flavour and less "dusty" aftertaste. This needle-like indigenous plant from South Africa's west coast is creating considerable interest among Asian tea lovers and importers. In 2013, the largest markets for rooibos were Germany, Japan, the UK, the Netherlands and the US.