How to make a perfect chocolate cake

Not a torte, not a mousse, not a pudding, but a cake which actually tastes of chocolate: fluffy and light enough to eat at tea time, rich enough to serve with a dollop of creme fraiche for dessert. What's your favourite type of of chocolate cake?
Cake is the symbol of happiness. Most o us love to eat cakes on special days of our life,It is believe that without cake your birthday is incomplete,and without cake your wedding anniversary is noting and without cake you are not able to celebrate special days of your life.Each cake has its own importance and value which is used for different purpose of life.For child birthday there are also some sort of special cake.


History
Chocolate cake is made with chocolate; it can be made with other ingredients, as well. These ingredients include fudge, vanilla creme, and other sweeteners. The history of chocolate cake goes back to 1764, when Dr. James Baker discovered how to make chocolate by grinding cocoa beans between two massive circular millstones.
In 1828, Conrad Van Houten of the Netherlands developed a mechanical extraction method for extracting the fat from cacao liquor resulting in cacao butter and the partly defatted cacao, a compacted mass of solids that could be sold as it was "rock cacao" or ground into powder. The processes transformed chocolate from an exclusive luxury to an inexpensive daily snack. A process for making silkier and smoother chocolate called conching was developed in 1879 by Swiss Rodolphe and made it easier to bake with chocolate as it amalgamates smoothly and completely with cake batters.
 Until 1890 to 1900, chocolate recipes were mostly for drinks.
Chocolate may be the “food of the gods,” but for most of its 4,000-year history, it was actually consumed as a bitter beverage rather than as a sweet edible treat.
The Duff Company of Pittsburgh, a molasses manufacturer, introduced Devil's food chocolate cake mixes in the mid-1930s, but introduction was put on hold during World War II. Duncan Hines introduced a "Three Star Special"  was introduced three years after cake mixes from General Mills and Duncan Hines, and took over 48 percent of the market.
In the U.S.A, "chocolate decadence" cakes were popular in the 1980s; in the 1990s, single-serving molten chocolate cakes with liquid chocolate centers and infused chocolates with exotic flavors such as tea, curry, red pepper, passion fruit, and champagne were popular. Chocolate lounges and artisinal chocolate makers were popular in the 2000s. Rich, flourless, all-but-flourless chocolate cakes are "now standard in the modern pâtisserie," according to The New Taste of Chocolate.

Simple Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
  • 175g (6oz) margarine or softened butter
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g (5oz) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 50g (1¾oz) of cocoa, sifted
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt 

For the simple chocolate icing
  • 100g (3½oz) of dark chocolate 
  • 100g (3½oz) of chopped butter
Method 
           
1. Heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Lightly grease an 18cm (7in) round cake tin with a little extra butter or margarine and cut a piece of greaseproof paper or non-stick baking parchment to fit the base of the tin.
2. Put all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or a hand-held mixer for 1 minute, or until just combined. It's important not to beat the batter too much - just long enough to make it smooth.
3. Pour or spoon the mixture into the tin, smooth the top and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 45-50 minutes. The cake is cooked when it looks well risen and golden; the top should spring back when lightly touched with a fingertip. Another test is to insert a skewer into the centre of the cake - it should come out clean.
4. Let the cake sit in the tin for 5 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.
5. For the icing, place the dark chocolate and chopped butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of very hot water until melted. Cool for 15 minutes, then spread over the top of the cooled cake.

I really believe this is the ultimate chocolate cake – fluffy and light enough to eat at tea time, rich enough to serve with a dollop of creme fraiche for dessert if you'd prefer. Most importantly, it actually tastes of chocolate – and that's rarer than you might think.

Popular variants on chocolate cake include:

  • "Traditional" Chocolate cake
  • Chocolate layer cake
  • Black Forest cake
  • Chocolate souffle cake
  • Devil's food cake
  • Ding Dong
  • Flourless chocolate cake
  • Fudge cake
  • Garash cake
  • German chocolate cake
  • Joffre cake
  • Molten chocolate cake
  • Red velvet cake
PS: Happy Chocolate Cake! ;)

Take a break with Cinnamon in Your Coffee!

When you drink cup after cup of coffee day after day, you might begin to get bored with what was once your favorite blend. Even the occasional coffee drinker might like to liven things up. You have plenty of options in this case; you can switch to a different coffee, add a splash of flavored syrup to your drink, mix in some chocolate for a mocha or even try adding a shot of whiskey. Not all modifications need to be so extreme, however. For a simple but satisfying shift in your routine, try adding some ground cinnamon to your coffee.
Cinnamon is a tasty herb that mixes particularly well with the flavor of coffee.
Studies show that cinnamon can lower blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetics .
Cinnamon  has long been considered a "wonder food" in various cultures and science has shown that its active oil components such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol do convey certain health benefits. While medical research is varied as to the extent of cinnamon's health benefits and the jury's still out as to whether cinnamon can truly combat disease, cinnamon does have a therapeutic role in certain ailments such as digestive troubles and minor bacterial infections or colds.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
Ground coffee to make twelve 6-ounce coffee servings
Enough water for twelve 6-ounce servings
Long cinnamon sticks
6 tablespoon(s) whipped cream
Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling

1.In the basket of an automatic drip coffeemaker, add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to ground coffee and brew coffee with water following manufacturer's directions.
2.To serve, pour cinnamon coffee into mugs. Place a cinnamon stick in each. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle lightly with ground cinnamon.

Tips: Store several cinnamon sticks with your whole coffee beans to give your future cups of coffee the faintest hint of cinnamon flavor.


Modify the rest of your future coffees to suit the cinnamon flavor if you enjoy it. Making coffee with plenty of cinnamon and eggnog instead of milk offers a warm flavor reminiscent of the winter holidays, for example. Mixing some cinnamon into an Irish coffee (coffee with whiskey) will provide an exceptionally warming and intense drink with an extra kick of spice. For a mellower coffee with cinnamon, add a glug of vanilla syrup. Its mellowness will complement the rich flavor of the cinnamon.
A sprinkle of cinnamon adds a little kick to your brew, and it can help you use more of the beneficial antioxidants that come in your coffee. An added bonus: cinnamon may help your body control your blood sugar throughout the day.
...And finally you enjoy cup of coffee!


You desire a turkish coffee? Make it!

Coffee preparation is the process of turning coffee beans into a beverage. Coffee is usually brewed immediately before drinking
Turkish coffee is a method of preparing coffee. Roasted and then finely ground coffee beans are boiled in a pot , usually with sugar, and served in a cup where the grounds are allowed to settle. At present, it is found in the Middle East, North Africa, the Caucasus, the Balkans, Bali, and Eastern Europe.
If you have been studying up on your coffee history, you will know that the Turkish culture played a big part of coffee’s past.
Turkish Coffee is an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Turks confirmed by UNESCO.

Short history!
The earliest evidence of coffee drinking comes from 15th-century Yemen.By the late 15th century and early 16th century, coffee had spread to Cairo and Mecca. In the 1640s, the Ottoman chronicler İbrahim Pecevi reported the opening of the first coffeehouse in Constantinople.

“Until the year 962 (sc. AH, that is 1554-55 CE), in the High, God-Guarded city of Constantinople, as well as in Ottoman lands generally, coffee and coffeehouses did not exist. About that year, a fellow called Hâkem (Hakam) from Aleppo and a wag called Şems (Shams) from Damascus, came to the city: they each opened a large shop in the district called Tahtakale, and began to purvey coffee.”


 This is the story of two Syrian traders who brought the first coffee beans to Istanbul in 1555. 
Before the drink was invented, the berries of the plant were crushed, mixed with fat, then consumed. Later on, the beans were boiled and the “drink” of coffee was invented by Arabs. This drink became a large part of the Turkish culture and still remains so today. In the history books, you may read about elaborate coffee ceremonies, where the Sultans of Turkey were served coffee by “kahveciusta,” royal coffee makers and a large posse of servants. Would you even believe that men used women’s “coffee making skills” as criteria in choosing a good wife. Dating back to the 16th century, Turkish coffee preparation was invented long before the times of modern brewing methods, but has survived the test of time. People, still to this day, participate in this age old method of coffee preparation. You too, can easily prepare this dark, delectable brew, minus elaborate ceremony and servants.


And this is materials for make a perfect turkish coffee...
The first and foremost important part of making Turkish Coffee is getting your hands on an Ibrik, this is the traditional pot, usually made of copper or brass. They are typically smaller on the top and wider on the bottom, and have a long handle. The next, and also extremely important ingredient to gather is ground coffee. It is crucial to ground the beans on the finest setting to insure that you have grounds that are “powdery” and almost moist to the touch. Most commercial grinders actually are equipped with a “Turkish” setting, which again, would be the finest setting (even finer than espresso, or Italian) You will also need a heat source, sugar, optional spices (cardamom, cinnamon, or all-spice ) and cold water.

Here is any easy method of making your own Turkish coffee:

1. Put the ground coffee powder (approximately one heaped teaspoon per small  coffee cup) into a Ibrik. Add a small cup size of cold water for each cup of coffee you want to make.
2. Heat the brew on a low heat to allow the flavor to infuse and no stirring is necessary. When the coffee comes to the boil, remove the pot from the heat and let the froth reside a little, if there is a thick layer of foam at the top, it is a good sign.

3. Pour into the coffee cups (some use a tea strainer to reduce the sediment) and wait a minute for the grounds to settle. Add the amount of sugar you desire to take away the bitterness. Enjoy.

Tips
  • Invest in a Turkish coffee mill and grind the coffee just before you make it - it makes a huge difference to the taste of Turkish coffee.
  • Use milk (or cream,) instead of water if you would like a rich, creamy drink.
  • The sugar ratio is about 1 teaspoon of sugar to every 2 teaspoons of coffee grounds. Unless you like your coffee really sweet.

Drinking
Turkish coffee is always served with a glass of water. You drink water first to cleanse your pallet! 
Wait about half a minute or so to let the grinds settle to the bottom of your cup.
Find a comfortable spot in which to savor your delicious coffee and remember, drink this Turkish treat..sip by sip.




The Turkish coffee is also used for fortune telling, using the grounds left after drinking. The common method used is to turn the cup over on to the saucer to cool and the pattern that displays from the coffee grounds are used to fortune tell.

How To Make the Best Iced Coffee

It's summer, the time of year when we as a collective body of caffeine addicts all switch from hot cups to the refreshing crispness of coffee on ice. But it's so dang expensive (due to the fact that it actually takes more coffee, labor, and time to make it, but whatever).
It's time for that cuppa joe, but holy fried eggs on the sidewalk, it's too hot for hot coffee! You could get into your car and head to the nearest Starbucks, but the thought of those leather seats searing the backs of your legs is even less appetizing than sidewalk eggs. So why leave the comfort of your home? Make your own iced caffeinated beverage in your kitchen! It's very easy to do, and can save you time and money too. Read on: we'll show you a few ways to do this!

How to Make a Cold Brew French Press
(Makes 1 drink)
What You Need
1/3 cup whole coffee beans
1 1/2 cups cold water, preferably filtered
Ice, to taste
Milk, to taste
Sweeteners such as flavored syrups, caramel, or melted chocolate, optional
Equipment
Coffee grinder
French press

Instructions
Grind the coffee beans: Grind 1/3 cup of coffee beans until they are coarse enough to be filtered by the French press, yet fine enough to infuse well. On my burr grinder, I grind right in between middle and fine.
Combine the ground coffee and water in the French press: Pour the ground coffee into the French press and top with 1 1/2 cups of water.
Stir to incorporate: Gently stir the coffee with the water until well blended.
Put on French press lid: Make sure the plunger is in the up position.
Place the French press in the refrigerator and steep overnight: Leave the plunger in the up position so the grounds infuse the water overnight.
Plunge to separate the coffee from the grounds: The next morning, plunge the French press to separate the coffee from the grounds. 
Make your iced coffee: Fill a glass with ice cubes and fill partway with milk. Fill the rest of the glass with iced coffee. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Recipe Notes
Large Batch Iced Coffee: If you have a larger French press, you can make a larger batch of iced coffee using the same ratio of ground coffee to water. Plunge and transfer any unused coffee to a new container. Iced coffee can be kept refrigerated for about a week.
Iced Coffee Variations: If you have a sweet tooth like me, you may want to stir in a spoonful of cajeta caramel or chocolate fudge. Sea salt or cinnamon also make a nice touch.

Tips
If you prefer sugar with your iced coffee, mix it in while the coffee is hot, as it will blend better; or try mixing the sugar with the milk before mixing it with the coffee.
Take any left over or unused coffee and fill into an ice cube tray, that way your next cup won't be diluted.

Warnings
Do not put a hot coffee pot directly into the refrigerator, the glass may crack, spilling coffee inside your refrigerator. This is called thermal shock, though you may use different words to describe it.

Cheers! 

What is Kopi Luwak

Ever heard about that coffee where cats or civets from Indonesia would eat coffee berries and defecate the beans, and have them picked up, collected, and processed by farmers and coffee producers?
If not, it’s called Kopi Luwak, also known as the most expensive coffee in the world.
Kopi luwak , or civet coffee, refers to the seeds of coffee berries once they have been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet . The name is also used for marketing brewed coffee made from the beans.
Producers of the coffee beans argue that the process may improve coffee through two mechanisms, selection and digestion. Selection occurs if the civets choose to eat coffee berries containing better beans. Digestive mechanisms may improve the flavor profile of the coffee beans that have been eaten. The civet eats the berries for the beans' fleshy pulp, then in the digestive tract, fermentation occurs. The civet's proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids.Passing through a civet's intestines the beans are then defecated with other fecal matter and collected.
The traditional method of collecting feces from wild civets has given way to intensive farming methods in which civets in battery cage systems are force fed the coffee beans. This method of production has raised ethical concerns about the treatment of civets due to "horrific conditions" including isolation, poor diet, small cages and a high mortality rate.A 2013 BBC investigation of intensive civet farming in Sumatra found conditions of animal cruelty.Intensive farming is also criticised by traditional farmers because the civets do not select what they eat, so the beans are of poor quality compared to beans collected from the wild. According to an officer from the TRAFFIC conservation programme, the trade in civets to make kopi luwak may constitute a significant threat to wild civet populations.
Although kopi luwak is a form of processing rather than a variety of coffee, it has been called the most expensive coffee in the world with retail prices reaching €550 / US$700 per kilogram. The price paid to collectors in the Philippines is closer to US$20 per kilogram. The price of farmed (considered low-grade by connoisseurs) kopi luwak in large Indonesian supermarkets is from US$100 per kilogram (five times the price of a high quality local arabica coffee). Genuine kopi luwak from wild civets is difficult to purchase in Indonesia and proving it is not fake is very difficult - there is little enforcement regarding use of the name "kopi luwak", and there's even a local cheap coffee brand named "Luwak", which costs under US$3 per kilogram but is occasionally sold online under the guise of real kopi luwak.
An investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia found fraud to be rife in the kopi luwak industry, with producers willing to label coffee from caged civets with a "wild sourced" or similar label. A BBC investigation revealed similar findings.
Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago. It is also widely gathered in the forest or produced in the farms in the islands of the Philippines (where the product is called kape motit in the Cordillera region, kape alamid in Tagalog areas, and kape melô or kape musang in Mindanao island), and in East Timor . Weasel coffee is a loose English translation of its Vietnamese name cà phê Chồn, where popular, chemically simulated versions are also produced.


Myths regarding a better brew with cat poop coffee
Many coffee brewers and processors believe that having cats create Kopi Luwak results in a better coffee product. They believe that since the cats choose to eat the coffee berries, the cats must be choosing the best coffee berry possible. After the cat eats the coffee berries and then poop them out, their digestive mechanism is then believed to improve the taste and flavor profile of the coffee.

Where is the Cat Poop Coffee Produced?

Kopi Luwak is mainly produced in Indonesia. The Indonesian island of Sumatra is the world’s largest regional producer of the coffee. There are also a few of these coffee farms in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Coffee that comes from cat poop can’t taste good, right?
Many people have mixed opinions regarding the taste of Kopi Luwak. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, this coffee just tastes like normal coffee beans.  However, most coffee drinkers are able to distinguish a distinct taste. The coffee has low acidity and little flavor, but it is very smooth.
Another thing about the taste of this coffee is that no two cups will taste exactly the same. Since the coffee beans go through a different cat’s digestive system, the tastes will vary. Since every cat/civet is different, it’s overall diet and even personal health is also different. These factors all can change the end taste of the defecated coffee beans.

Many people believe that this coffee is only sold and drank for it’s unique story (cat eating and pooping the beans), not the overall taste and superior quality. Essentially, it’s just known as novelty coffee that people like to buy and drink because it’s so unique.

In popular culture

  • In 1995, an Ig Nobel Prize was awarded to John Martinez of J. Martinez & Company in Atlanta, Georgia, for "Luak Coffee, the world's most expensive coffee, which is made from coffee beans ingested and excreted by the luak (aka, the palm civet), a bobcat-like animal native to Indonesia."
  • Kopi Luwak is also mentioned in The Bucket List (2008) as Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) reveals with great amusement of how the Kopi Luwak — enjoyed by Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) — was produced; eaten and defecated by a jungle cat. Cole reacted in surprise "You're shitting me!" and Carter replied in jest "No, the cats beat me to it!".
  • Kopi Luwak coffee makes an appearance in History Channel's reality TV series, Pawn Stars (18 July 2013), with several characters refusing to drink it after learning how it is made.
  • In Franklin and Bash, Season 3 Episode 9, "Shoot to Thrill", associate lawyer/germaphobe Pinder and his law partner Stanton Infeld each drink Kopi Luwak. After Pinder learns of the coffee's origin he begins to vomit due to his extreme germaphobia.


Because of the rarity of this coffee, the price is quite outrageous. If you can find a vendor, the current cost for a pound of Kopi Luwak is around $300 or more. Some more adventurous coffee houses are selling it by the cup, but you won't likely find it at your local coffee shop just yet. The coffee isn't so spectacular that it's truly worth that amount of money. You are paying for the experience of enjoying such an unusual and rare delicacy.


How to Make a Banana Split

A banana split is an ice cream-based dessert. In its classic form it is served in a long dish called a boat. A banana is cut in half lengthwise (hence the split) and laid in the dish. There are many variations, but the classic banana split is made with scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream served in a row between the split banana. In no particular order, pineapple, strawberry and chocolate sauces are spooned over the strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream. It is garnished with crushed nuts, whipped cream, and maraschino cherry.
The banana plant is not a tree, but actually a very large herb.

History
David Evans Strickler, a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist at Tassel Pharmacy, located at 805 Ligonier Street in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, who enjoyed inventing sundaes at the store's soda fountain, invented the banana-based triple ice cream sundae in 1904. The sundae originally cost 10 cents, twice the price of other sundaes, and caught on with students of nearby Saint Vincent College. News of a new variety of sundae quickly spread by word-of-mouth and through correspondence and soon progressed far beyond Latrobe. A popular recipe published in 1907 called for a lengthwise split banana, two cones of ice cream at each end and a spoon of whipped cream in between with maraschino cherry on a top, with one end covered with chopped mixed nuts and another with chopped mixed fruits.
Strickler went on to buy the pharmacy, naming it Strickler's Pharmacy, while keeping his office on a top floor.
The city of Latrobe celebrated the 100th anniversary of the invention of the banana split in 2004 and, in the same year, the National Ice Cream Retailers Association (NICRA) certified the city as its birthplace. It is the place of an annual Great American Banana Split Festival and a keeper of the original soda fountain where the first now famous throughout the world confection was made.
Shortly after its invention by Strickler, a Boston ice cream entrepreneur came up with the same sundae, with one minor flaw — he served his banana splits with the bananas unpeeled until he discovered that people preferred them peeled.
Wilmington, Ohio also claims an early connection. In 1907, restaurant owner Ernest Hazard wanted to attract students from Wilmington College during the slow days of winter. He staged an employee contest to come up with a new ice cream dish. When none of his workers were up to the task, he split a banana lengthwise, threw it into an elongated dish and created his own dessert. The town commemorates the event each June with its own Banana Split Festival.
Walgreens is credited with spreading the popularity of the banana split. The early drug stores operated by Charles Rudolph Walgreen in the Chicago area adopted the banana split as a signature dessert. Fountains in the stores proved to be drawing cards, attracting customers who might otherwise have been just as satisfied having their prescriptions filled at some other drug store in the neighborhood.

Ingredients
1 banana
4 scoops of ice cream of choice (chocolate, strawberry, etc.)
Mini M&M's or any other candy of your choice
Whipped cream
Cherries
Chocolate, Strawberry, or caramel syrup
Sprinkles


Steps
1. Take a banana and peel the skin. Get a bowl and place the banana into it.
2. Get two scoops of your ice cream of choice and put them on one side. Get two more scoops and add them to the other side.
3. Get some flavored syrup and zig zag it around. (chocolate, strawberry, or caramel and/or all three).
4. Whip up some whipped cream and spray it across.
5. Sprinkle some sprinkles on top.
6. Finish the job by putting a cherry on top.

Banana split pie
The banana split pie was created by Janet Winquest, a 16-year-old resident of Holdrege, Nebraska. In 1952, she won a $3,000 prize in Pillsbury's Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest for the recipe.







Enjoy
Get a spoon and dig in.

Rooibos Tea- The Red Bush of Africa

Best of all, Rooibos red tea naturally contains protective antioxidants, as well as calcium, zinc and other nutrients. Discover for yourself how each of our soothing Rooibos red tea blends resonates with the wonders of Africa! 
Rooibos teas are a naturally sweet and sometimes nutty herbal tea made from the South African Red Bush often referred to as Red Tea or African Red Tea.  The rooibos tea processing method involves harvesting the red bush leaves, followed by grinding and bruising of the leaves. Then the rooibos is left to ferment and dried to yield a reddish brown needle-like tea.  Green rooibos tea does not have a fermentation step and thus has a lighter taste than red rooibos teas.  Both varieties of rooibos tea are caffeine free. 
The generic name comes from the plant Calicotome villosa, aspalathos in Greek. This plant has very similar growth and flowers to the Rooibos plant. The specific name linearis comes from the plant's linear growing structure and needle-like leaves.    

Production
Rooibos is usually grown in a small area in the region of the Western Cape province of South Africa. Generally, the leaves are oxidized, a process often referred to as fermentation in accordance with tea processing terminology. This process produces the distinctive reddish-brown color of rooibos and enhances the flavor. Unoxidized "green" rooibos is also produced, but the more demanding production process for green rooibos (similar to the method by which green tea is produced) makes it more expensive than traditional rooibos. It carries a malty and slightly grassy flavour somewhat different from its red counterpart.

Use
In South Africa, it is common to prepare rooibos tea in the same manner as black tea and add milk and sugar to taste. Other methods include a slice of lemon and using honey instead of sugar to sweeten.
Several coffee shops in South Africa have recently begun to sell "red espresso", which is concentrated rooibos served and presented in the style of ordinary espresso. This has given rise to rooibos-based variations of coffee drinks such as red lattes and red cappuccinos. Iced tea made from rooibos has recently been introduced in South Africa, Australia, and the United States. A variant of a London Fog, known as a Cape Town Fog, can also be made using Rooibos steeped in steamed milk with vanilla syrup.

History of Rooibos Tea
In 1772, Swedish botanist Carl Thunberg found the people of the Cape of South Africa were making tea from local plants, specifically, the rooibos plant.  By the 1900s, settlers of the Cape refined the curing process to make African red tea, employing similar methodologies of green tea processing. Soon after cultivation of rooibos red bush tea spread throughout South America and more recently, has broken into the American tea market for its unique taste and variety of flavors.

Rooibos Tea Preparation
Making rooibos tea is very similar to preparing any other herbal tea.  1.5 tsp of rooibos tea should be added for every 8 oz cup of boiling water.  The rooibos tea should steep for 5-6 minutes.  If left to brew longer, the rooibos tea should not become very bitter, as this type of tea has steeped for days in some South African households.  Many rooibos teas also taste great as an iced tea.  To make rooibos iced tea, just double the amount of tea used, steep at the same temperature and for the same length of time, then pour the tea directly into a glass full of ice.

Health Benefits Of Rooibos Tea
Caffeine free – The rooibos plant grows naturally without any caffeine.  This is important, as it means it does not need to undergo a chemical process to remove the caffeine.  It also means that anyone can drink it, including those who do not want to drink caffeine such as children & pregnant women.  The other key benefit of no caffeine is that rooibos tea can be drunk in unrestricted amounts, in fact, the average South African will consume 5-6 cups per day.
Contains powerful antioxidants – Rooibos tea contains a huge array of antioxidants, which help to protect the body in a number of ways.  Two polyphenol antioxidants called aspalathin and nothofagin are found in high concentrations in rooibos tea.  These antioxidants protect the body by fighting free radicals.  These are unstable cells, which attack healthy cells in order to stabilise themselves.  The polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties and can safeguard against heart disease.
Prevents against some cancers – Some studies have demonstrated a link between consumption of rooibos tea and a reduction of cancer-causing chemicals.  This is because of the high level of dominant antioxidants, some of which have anti-mutagenic properties.  This means that they defend cells & DNA against damage and inhibit them from developing into cancer.
High mineral content – One of the key health benefits of rooibos tea is that it contains several minerals that are vital to health.  These include: magnesium – essential for the nervous system, calcium & manganese – essential for strong teeth and bones, zinc – important for metabolism and iron – critical for helping blood & muscles distribute oxygen.
Improves circulation – One of the many potent antioxidants in rooibos tea is called Chysoeriol.  It can improve circulation by preventing the activity of the enzyme that triggers cardiovascular disease.  Drinking rooibos tea also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
Relieves stomach complaints – As rooibos tea contains high levels of flavonoids, especially one called quercetin, it has the ability to relieve numerous abdominal ailments such as cramps, diahorrea and indigestion.  This is because the flavonoids help to reduce spasm, inflammation and allergies.  It has also been widely stated that the health benefits of rooibos tea extend to alleviating colic in babies.  As it is totally caffeine free, it is perfectly safe for them to drink rooibos tea.
Aids absorption of iron – Unlike most black teas, which prevent the body from absorbing iron effectively because of the tannins they contain, rooibos tea supports the body in absorbing iron.  This is because rooibos tea contains less than half the tannins of black tea.
Can relieve skin conditions – A more recent discovery of the benefits of rooibos tea is that it can help you to look more beautiful!  Rooibos tea contains phenyl pyretic acid, which can help to improve acne, psoriasis and eczema.  You can apply a freshly brewed and cooled tea bag to the affected areas and it will soothe and heal any inflammation.
Can protect against Parkinsons/Alzheimers disease – drinking rooibos tea regularly can protect against a process known as lipid peridoxation.  This is where free radicals damage brain cells and nerve tissue.  If this is prolonged, it can lead eventually to progressive and deteriorating brain disease, such as Alzheimers.  Laboratory tests on rats showed little difference in brain function from a group of older rats given rooibos tea to the brains of newborn rats.
Encourages restful sleep – One of the many health benefits of rooibos tea is that it can be drunk as often as you wish and at any time of day.  Many people choose to drink it before bedtime as it can help with insomnia.  Due to its high mineral content and lack of caffeine, it helps people to feel calm and relaxed.

US trademark controversy
In 1994, Burke International registered the name "Rooibos" with the US Patent and Trademark Office, thus establishing a monopoly on the name in the United States at a time when it was virtually unknown there. When the plant later entered more widespread use, Burke demanded that companies either pay fees for use of the name, or cease its use. In 2005, the American Herbal Products Association and a number of import companies succeeded in defeating the trademark through petitions and lawsuits; after losing one of the cases, Burke surrendered the name to the public domain.

Grading
Rooibos grades are largely related to the percentage "needle" or leaf to stem content in the mix. A higher leaf content will result in a darker liquor, richer flavour and less "dusty" aftertaste. The high grade rooibos is exported and does not reach local markets, with major consumers being EU, particularly Germany, where it is used in creating flavoured blends for loose leaf tea markets. In development within South Africa are a small number of specialty tea companies producing similar blends.

Threat from climate change

The Rooibos plant is endemic to a small part of the western coast of the Western Cape province of South Africa, forming part of the fragile fynbos biome. It grows in a symbiotic relationship with local micro-organisms, and past attempts to grow Rooibos outside this area, in places as far afield as the United States, Australia and China, have all failed. Now, climate change may threaten the future survival of the plant and the R600-million Rooibos industry. Increasing temperatures and decreasing rainfall may result in the extinction of the Rooibos plant within the next century.

Legal protection of the name Rooibos
If passed by the parliament of South Africa, the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill of 2008 will provide for the protection and restriction on commercial use of the name Rooibos in that country. Similar legislation (protection of the names Champagne and Port for example) already exists in Europe. This is despite Rooibos South Africa's decision to contest the Burke trademark on the grounds that "rooibos" is a generic term, rather than claiming it as a geographic indication.

Did you know? 
  • In fact, Rooibos ice-cream was even served at the wedding of celebrity couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.
  • Simon Le Bon, lead singer of top 80s band, Duran Duran, never goes on stage without drinking a cup of Rooibos first. (Then it must be good for the voice as well!)
  • Italian company, Bvlgari, has a series of tea-based perfumes with a hot seller called Eau Parfumee au The Rouge . This unique fragrance features notes of bergamot, orange, pink pepper, fig pulp, Yunnan red tea, walnut, musk, and of course Rooibos. 
  • At Stellar Winery, situated at Trawal north of Cape Town in Rooibos country, Hanepoot grapes are dried on a bed of straw and Rooibos tea before being crushed and made into organic wine. This infuses the grapes with the fragrance of Rooibos for their dessert wine aptly called “Heaven-on-Earth”. This might just be the secret recipe that helped Stellar to numerous awards at the BioFach International Organic Wine Awards in 2007.
  • Rooibos Espresso (trademarked as red espresso) has caught the world’s eye as an innovative product that makes tea trendy and cappuccinos healthy. It is Rooibos tea specially ground to be used in espresso machines and has won various awards such as the America Specialty Coffee Association’s ‘Best New Product’ in the Specialty Beverage category in 2008.
  • The Cederberg area, where Rooibos is grown, is one of the richest regions of Southern African rock art. The rock art, left behind by the San people who originally inhabited the area, is said to be from 300 to 6000 years old. Maybe drinking Rooibos tea inspired them.   
"Harvested from the mountainous Cederberg region of South Africa, Rooibos is a mellow and relaxing herb whose slightly nutty flavor offers hints of cherry and toffee. Moroccan Pomegranate infuses Rooibos with scarlet-red pomegranate flavor and tart hibiscus to create a delightfully fruity caffeine-free blend that you’ll savor both iced and hot." - Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster

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...and a  Rooibos Tea!