Recently I received a tea-themed, 4-piece measuring spoon set [pictured below] as a hostess gift. They're made by Ganz, with measurements of tablespoon, teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon. Aren't they cute?
When my girlfriend joined me and another friend for our October Afternoon Tea at O'Mara's, she brought us each a gift bag containing a box of shortbread cookies and Rooibos tea.
Rooibos [pronounced Roy-boss] is sometimes referred to as red tea, but it really isn't a true tea since it doesn't come from the camellia sinensis plant. Rooibos is made from a bush that grows in South Africa. It has become very popular in recent years due to its health benefits of vitamins, minerals, high levels of antioxidants, low tannin levels, and its lack of caffeine.
Rooibos leaves are processed like tea leaves, and have a distinctive needle-like, reddish-brown color. The brewing instructions on the package was to pour boiling water over the teabag and steep for 5-7 minutes. A tea room owner told me many years ago that to attain the maximum flavor from Rooibos the leaves need to be "cooked." Following her instructions, I brought 1 1/2 cups of water to boil and placed the tea bag in the gently boiling water for five minutes. Then I removed the bag and poured the steeped Rooibos in a teacup. It was delicious, and makes a wonderful non-caffeinated evening beverage.
I enjoyed my Rooibos in a teacup that comprises a trio set that belonged to my mother. The shortbread cookies were the perfect accompaniment.
Bone China Trio
Thanks Ruth and Sandy for your kindness and thoughtfulness!