October is Fair Trade month and as part of the celebration, Cafe Virtuoso was featured in a Podcast with Jubilee Economics.
Jubilee Ecomomics mission is to promote practices, ideas, and stories for living economically on Earth, our one-planet home. For more information visit their website at
Listen now to “Coffee As A Virtue”
Pronounced roy-bos, is Afrikaans for “red bush”. Growing exclusively in South Africa, rooibos provides a delicious non-caffeinated alternative to traditional teas. Rooibos, Aspalathus linearis, not being a true “tea” because it does not come from the “tea” plant, however, it is sometimes (and inaccurately ) called red tea. Not to be confused with red honeybush, which will be covered in a later entry.
Rooibos has a very high level of antioxidants and is said to have various curative properties; I find it soothing before bed as it is a subtly sweet and delicate with a faintly minty aroma.
Most popularly found in its’ oxidized state (red) it is actually green when picked. Green rooibos is far less popular with a very mild flavor reminiscent of grass or hay. The freshly harvested needle-like leaves are cut and then lightly bruised to initiate oxidation then quickly fired just as most green teas. This process is usually referred to as fermentation however, this is completely inaccurate–there is no actual fermentation taking place, only oxidation. Nevertheless, the result is the light red-amber tisane you will quickly fall in love with as soon as you try it!
Rather tolerant of various temperatures, I suggest starting with filtered water at 190-200F and steeping 4-6 minutes. The flavor is rather delicate, so you need not worry about over-steeping, as it will only become slightly more concentrated without becoming bitter or astringent. Rooibos also blends extremely well (be creative): add a peel of orange or tangerine or dried cranberry to add a subtle tangy tartness; or add steamed milk and vanilla syrup for a tasty treat.
Treat your tastebuds to an educational adventure of exotic cheeses, organic teas and unique organic coffees. Pairings were developed in cooperation with the cheesemongers of Venissimo and one of our own roasters. After several trials to create unforgettable combinations, we want you to share this experience. In the process, you will undoubtedly increase your knowledge about all three delicacies. To sign up and learn more, visit:
Postponed until further notice
Venissimo Cheese, San Diego Downtown East Village
871 G Street
San Diego, CA 92101
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