The shame


I have to hang my head in shame but I am about to admit one of those things that are probably kept off the internet and away from the eyes of many.


I have started drinking Rooibos.

It is disgusting.

When I was a lass people in Durban did not drink Rooibos, they drank normal tea. We were simple folk.

When I was about 15 I tried my first cup of coffee, and since then I have been an addict. I have a dangerously addictive personality, which is why I avoid drugs like the plague. I drink far too much coffee and always have.

When I moved to Cape Town I was introduced to the tea snobbery that is drinking Rooibos. Nowadays everyone in SA drinks Rooibos and it is hugely popular in the UK too (Redbush). But back then it was like you were on a higher plane of existence (the Capetonian plane by the Mowwwntain) if you drank Rooibos. And it is disgusting. I cannot emphasise this enough. I have never been able to like it, no matter how eager I was to fit in.

When I first met the BFG he would offer me tea and I would say yes and ask for milk, assuming it would be normal, and he would being me milky Rooibos and I would drink it. One day while doing this I had a flash of clarity: this is disgusting. I shall never drink this shit again.


Yes, I also tried the non-milky version but it still tastes bad. Coffee all the way.

Until now, when I am starting to worry about my liver and the fact that I get the shakes and that if I can’t have coffee I start to panic…. this needs to stop.

I need the stuff in the mornings and it does not have any bad effects on me then, but if I have it in the evenings I am a wreck. So I have started drinking Rooibos in the evenings to become all healthful and serene and decaffeinated and free of radicals like the Mowwwwntain people.

It’s still disgusting though. This must be growing up.
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29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gillian
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 12:43:42

    it always tastes like medicine to me. Both my girls grew up thinking rooibos tea was "juice". Kaylin still loves her cuppa rooibos and its soo good for them.

    Reply

  2. Anonymous
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 13:47:36

    What are you talking about?!?!? lol people in Durban didnt drink rooibos??? from the age of about 6, 1986, I had a cup of rooibos every single morning, in Durban omg :P And it tastes delicious, this post has really befuddled me, even Gillian leaves a comment saying it tastes like medicin, WEIRD, do you guys put sugar in it??? As for the coffee, you should stop drinking it for a week and see how it feels, you'll get bad headaches as caffeine actually affects soem part of the brain (I can't remember it now but I read about it when I had the withdrawal headaches) then you have to wonder if it is such a good idea to drink coffee if it can have such a strong effect when you stop drinking it, just try and see :)

    Reply

  3. Cam
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 14:16:25

    Shame on you Po. You've…changed!:)

    Reply

  4. Damaria Senne
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 14:40:38

    I mostly rooibos. My grandma used to make it with loose leaves (not the teabag kind)and let it seep forever and 3 days. Then she'd put way too much sugar, no milk and back then, I thought that was heaven.. Now I drink it much weaker, less sugar and can't imagine starting a day without it. I don't drink coffee at all. love the smell, the taste of it, but I'm very energetic under normal circumstances, so watching me bounce all over the place on a sugar high was too tiring. eventually my sister and a friend had an intervention and asked me to please stop. It's been almost 15 years since I last drank coffee.

    Reply

  5. Damaria Senne
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 14:42:28

    meant to say " I mostly love rooibos"" and "caffeine high." LOL. I'm going to get another cuppa to kick-start my brain a little

    Reply

  6. 6000
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 16:29:14

    Try using Rooibos in your PCR gel tanks. Well – it can't be any worse, can it?

    Reply

  7. Prixie
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 18:11:21

    oh Po! You're too funny! I lurve rooibos! Yes, it is an acquired taste…

    Reply

  8. Louisa
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 18:30:31

    Hahahaha, I guess you either love it or hate it. I looove it – but can't stand the taste of normal tea – blergh! Even if you hate it Po, it must surely still be better than decaf coffee *hiss* I like my poison with all the nastiness still in it, or I won't bother.

    Reply

  9. po
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 18:32:56

    Gillian: Yup it tastes like medicine to me too!Anon: haha well, no one I knew in Durbs drank it, but then I didn't know thaaat many people, opbviously I didn't know you! Yuck is all I can say. I know about the coffee, I want to quit altogether but I am scared of the cold turkey and also if I don't have coffee in the mornings I feel like a squashed slug. My work will suffer!Cam: I know! I must be getting old.Damaria: I love coffee so much, the flavour, the smell the everything! Also I am so badly addicted that I need help. Maybe if I start drinking decaf to fool my brain… but decaf tastes bad.6000: not a bad idea, hey, it may help, anything could help my PCR right now. Actually the other day I was drinking Rooibos in the bath, as you do, and didn't know what to do with the teabag so I just chucked it in the bath. The way people go on about it, it may make me look suddenly amazing. Dubious.Prixie: maybe I will acquire it? Never!

    Reply

  10. po
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 18:33:49

    Louisa: totally agree, the real coffee is too good. No one could be fooled by that decaf that indeed tastes like piss. Although how we would know that… I don't know.

    Reply

  11. Shannon
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 19:28:28

    No, you are right in your analysis: rooibos is horrible. Don't let anyone talk you out of what you know to be true. Fortunately every time I've been offered tea I've been given the option. Don't want to have it sprung on me!Stick with coffee. There are studies saying a cup a day is good for you. I might have made that up but I stand by it. Not Nescafe though right? I think waiters across Cape Town shake their head at me because I have become fanatical about avoiding instant coffee, and sometimes it goes by such deceiving names as "filter coffee" on the menu. (Is it made with filtered water? I am intrigued.) So I say, "I want coffee, NOT THE INSTANT KIND, NOT NESCAFE. Something you have to *brew* where the pot gurgles and steam comes out. Not just granules you stir in. REAL COFFEE." And I accompany it with hand gestures. They love that.

    Reply

  12. charlotteotter
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 21:28:29

    Is is any comfort to know that the Germans are crazy about rooibos? I can even buy it at Aldi, in a variety of interesting flavours. Strawberries and cream rooibos, anyone?

    Reply

  13. EEbEE
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 21:31:06

    I drink loads of the stuff. with milk, black, with honey, vanilla, cinnimon. I'm even quite fond of dunking a Marie or Tennis in there.BUT!i would NEVER call rooibos 'tea'. it's just grass… therefore compared to other grasses i guess it's pretty awesome.

    Reply

  14. po
    Feb 09, 2010 @ 04:28:34

    Shannon: actually although I am a true coffee lover and find that very few companies have decent beans, that part of my addiction needs satisfaction very seldom. There is a very good company at the train station, their coffee tastes a bit like caramel, hmmmm.Most of my addiction is mental, and when my brain says it wants coffee, usually all I have is nescafe, and if I had any crap (even ricoffy, although koffiehuis might be pushing it) it would be fine as long as my brain felt satisfied.Also I wish I could stick to just one cup. But that is the problem. I am an adddiiiiict!Charlotte: bleeeeegh that sounds disgusting! Here they sell green tea rooibos which is beyond disgusting, and mint rooibos, and in South Africa I had Earl Grey rooibos. It is getting out of hand!EEbEE: I get no satisfaction out of dunking anything in that crap flavour. Yuck.

    Reply

  15. yodasmith
    Feb 09, 2010 @ 11:01:57

    I have not tried my Wisdom of the Ancients rooibos, but I think this might be the first time I have heard of someone not liking rooibos.

    Reply

  16. Helen
    Feb 09, 2010 @ 11:33:30

    I like Rooibos sometimes, as long as it's really strong and boiling hot. But it always feels a bit pointless, why drink something with no caffeine? What for?Coffee all the way!

    Reply

  17. LadyFi
    Feb 09, 2010 @ 15:28:32

    I like Roiboos! Going to South Africa is what got me hooked!

    Reply

  18. Luke
    Feb 09, 2010 @ 17:28:52

    I think that Rooibos is rather nice (without milk, of course; milk makes it taste HORRID). But I know that there are many out there who hate the stuff. Now you should try the next great South African invention: Honeybush tea! That's good stuff!

    Reply

  19. po
    Feb 09, 2010 @ 19:26:13

    yodasmith: no come on it tastes terrible there must be other people who don't like it! Unless you have all been brainwashed by how "good" it is for you?Helen: Totally agree, and if it tastes bad then there is no point. Coffee all the way, except when it is roobos time :(Ladyfi: noooooo the Mowwwntain people got to you too! Luke: argh tried it, it is even more tasteless than rooibos. There is no hope for me, I have never enjoyed the taste of anything healty in my life.

    Reply

  20. Kirsty
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 03:52:26

    I love rooibos, but it might be to do with having it as a child with a bit of sugar. I still like it quite sweet, otherwise it can taste a bit herby. Have you tried it with ideal milk??

    Reply

  21. po
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 04:01:34

    Kirsty: oooh no, but everything tastes better with ideal milk!

    Reply

  22. Dora
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 04:28:45

    Now, just because you say it's so disgusting…I am eager to have a go myself! Where can I find that stuff here?I do the same with coffee. I love the smell of coffee, but can't stand the taste. So once in a while, I have a sip of Nasty's coffee and then wince and spit at the taste, just to remind myself why I hate it….Either I'm wierd, or I just have really bad memory….

    Reply

  23. po
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 04:42:48

    Dora: you gan get it anywhere, it is dripping off the shelves. Tescos, Asda, Sainsburys etc. It is mostly called Redbush in the UK. There are multiple brands but Tick Tock is good. You don't like coffee? You must be ill!!!!!!!

    Reply

  24. Delboy
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 07:07:21

    I love Rooibos too. No milk and 1 sugar. But it's quite expensive in Aus, so I don't drink that much.I'm a bit of a coffee addict too. MUST have one in the morning. Plus after meals, one in the afternoon and one at night before bed. And one for morning tea. And whenever I get offered one… pretty much any time of day.And don't bring any of that herbal tea cr@p near me! Yuck!

    Reply

  25. Linda
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 23:30:40

    I`ve been reading about this tea but never tasted it. Someone said "it has shown a good effect on infant colic, and can relieve many different ailments of the digestive system in both children and adults, for example. constipation, nausea, vomiting, heartburn and ulcers."Is this correct?

    Reply

  26. po
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 01:46:23

    Delboy: but is rooibos not in theory "herbal"? I have always wondered what exactly a herb is. It seems to me to be dried leaves that we use for food/drinking? I don't know a correct definition though.Linda: well lots of people say rooibos is so good for you etc. I think I read somewhere that the Khoisan people in the Western Cape used to use it for the purposes you list. But I am not sure myself, since I never tried it to cure any of those things.

    Reply

  27. Shannon
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 12:08:55

    Po, I am fascinated that you are both a connoisseur of good coffee and yet will make do with Nescafe/Ricoffy. I am not a sophisticated coffee drinker–I want it to be proper coffee, with no tell-tale layer of film on it that suggests the granules were stirred in, but I'm going to put a lot of milk and sugar in it regardless. Also, much like wine, I will not be able to taste oak or cherry or caramel in it. I taste coffee in coffee and wine in wine, and that is all.You are like the Barack Obama of coffee–highbrow on occasion, but able to get down with a beer and a basketball game as well. Well done.

    Reply

  28. po
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 17:13:35

    Shannon: I think it is a case my tastebuds loving pure nutty, caramel flavoured coffee, but my liver loving the dishwater stuff :)

    Reply

  29. Laura
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 04:05:59

    I tried rooibos for pretty much the same reasons as you – cutting caffine too close to bed time, concern about the amount of coffee I was drinking.But it is still a trial!A better option I have found is drinking lemon juice in boiled water. I drink it quite strong and it's actually pretty nice :)

    Reply

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