An epicurean adventure to: South Africa
If you're a Rooibos tea lover and haven't tried a Red Cappuccino yet, this is your chance to make one at home, the cheat's way. A cappuccino tea? Yes! Such a thing exists, and it's delicious!
Best of all, this is a caffeine-free alternative to your normal cappuccino. It's satisfyingly creamy and flavourful. So, read on to find out how to make this delicious hot drink at home.
We also list several ways you can froth milk without an espresso machine or the need for any fancy equipment.
- Fast facts - South Africa
- What's to love about this recipe
- Where is Rooibos tea from?
- Key ingredient notes and substitutions
- Drinking vessels
- How to make Red Cappuccino
- How to froth milk
- The skin benefits of Rooibos tea
- Other drinks you might enjoy
- Treats to enjoy with your Red Cappuccino
- Recipes that go with Red Cappuccino
Fast facts - South Africa
|Southernmost tip of the African continent. It is bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and Lesotho.
|South Africa has 11 official languages, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana, Pedi, Venda, Tsonga, Swati, and Ndebele. English is widely spoken and is the language of business, while Zulu and Xhosa are the most commonly spoken African languages.
|Circa 60.2 million
|The South African town of Hogsback is believed to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's magical realm of Middle-earth in "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit." Its enchanting forests, misty landscapes and quirky attractions add a touch of fantasy to the country.
What's to love about this recipe
- This is an easy, cheat's way to make a Red Cappuccino without an espresso maker or Red espresso powder.
- It's a comforting, satisfying drink the whole family can enjoy.
- It's an excellent choice for a caffeine-free hot drink.
Where is Rooibos tea from?
Rooibos tea is grown in the remote Cederberg Mountains in the Western Cape, South Africa, along the Rooibos Route that extends from Citrusdal to Clanwilliam. It's made from the leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant, which happily thrives in the sandy soil and scorching heat.
Rooibos tea has achieved the prestigious status of a geographic indicator, joining the esteemed ranks of iconic beverages like champagne, Colombian coffee and Darjeeling tea.
Rooibos, contrary to popular belief, is not your typical tea but rather a herb. Its dried leaves are carefully brewed, resulting in that deep red herbal infusion known as a tisane.
This herby tea has been cherished by South Africans for centuries and now it's making waves around the globe.
Red Cappuccinos, as well as Red lattes, made their debut in coffee shops across the country a few years ago, and it has gained a significant following ever since.
Key ingredient notes and substitutions
You can use either rooibos teabags or loose-leaf Rooibos. The latter is of higher quality, so let it be your first choice if you have it available.
You will need pure Rooibos tea and not something mixed with lemon or other flavours.
Here in the UK, to make a Red Cappuccino, we have to make do with just making a super strong 'Rooibos espresso' with teabags first, but it works great!
Apologies to any Red Cappuccino aficionados reading this post, sometimes needs must.
Use full-fat or semi-skimmed milk if using cow's milk. Low-fat or skimmed milk just doesn't froth well at all.
You can also use soy, almond or oat milk. The ones with the higher fat contents work better for frothing.
Use your favourite, whether that be honey (excellent with Rooibos!), sugar, brown sugar or none at all.
Completely optional, but I can say as someone who doesn't really like cinnamon in hot drinks, it's surprisingly good with rooibos, but, just a tiny pinch of it!
You can use ordinary coffee mugs or cappuccino cups. For that cafe-style look, transparent ones show off the layers better.
How to make Red Cappuccino
- Boil the water for the Red Cappuccino. Pour 125ml into each mug. You can also do this step in a teapot first.
- Place the teabags in the hot water (2 x teabags per mug), or in the teapot.
If using loose-leaf, brew the tea in a teapot as you normally would and strain it into the mugs when ready.
- Give the tea a stir and let it steep for a good 4 minutes minimum, or until you have a very strong, dark tea. The point is, it should be a lot stronger than your usual rooibos tea.
- In the meantime, start frothing the milk with your desired method until the milk has doubled in volume.
See the blog post further down for ideas on how to froth milk without an espresso machine.
- Remove the tea bags from the mugs. If using a teapot, strain the tea into the mugs.
We are using a 50/50 ratio of tea to milk, so don't go over the halfway line in the mugs to allow enough room for the milk to be added.
- Slowly pour the milk onto the tea and scoop any leftover foam on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you wish and serve with your desired sweetener.
How to froth milk
Here are some ways to froth milk without an espresso machine, or the need for a speciality milk frother.
Electric hand mixer
Heat the milk in a saucepan and whisk the milk with the whisk attachments until doubled in volume.
A French press
This is a really effective way of frothing milk and provides an excellent froth. Simply pour the hot milk into the French press, put the lid on and pump vigorously for about 15-20 seconds. Careful not to over-fill the container as the milk will double in volume.
A lidded jar
Pour the hot milk into a jar, careful not to overfill. Place the lid on tightly and shake like a madman until the milk has doubled in volume. Don't burn your hands, so use oven gloves or a cloth to hold the jar. This doesn't give you the best of froth, so try one of the other methods instead if you have the equipment.
These are handy little things for all sorts of kitchen jobs. They are battery-operated and quite delicate looking, but they are very effective at making a good quality froth (if you don't know what I'm talking about, it's the device shown further up in the ingredients photo).
A pump frother
I have fond memories of using a pump frother for 'making milkshakes' when I was a child, so they've been around for a while! It's very similar to a French press and pretty much does the same job with frothing.
A stick blender
Otherwise known as an immersion blender. Just ensure you use a really deep container for the milk because it does spray the milk around a fair bit. Pump the blender up and down in the milk until the milk has doubled in volume.
You can use a standard kitchen jug-style blender or anything that will normally be used for making smoothies.
Whisking with a hand whisk
This method requires some elbow grease, but you can achieve froth with a hand whisk, the quality is just not as good as the other methods.
Rotating push whisk
A rotating push whisk is a contraption made with strong, thick wire. As you push down on it, the whisk head rotates. It's entirely mechanical, quite an innovative little device, and cheap. Delivers pretty good froth and is the perfect choice if you fancy frothy milk on a camping trip with no electricity.
The skin benefits of Rooibos tea
Without sounding like a TV ad for a skincare product, here are some excellent reasons why Rooibos is really good for your skin.
In South Africa, you will find several skin care houses making Rooibos tea products. You can even just rinse your face in it or use it like you would a toner!
- High antioxidant content - Protects skin cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Rich in alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) - Helps exfoliate and improve your skin's texture.
- Anti-inflammatory properties - Soothes skin irritations such as acne or eczema.
- Naturally caffeine-free - It won't dehydrate your skin like caffeine-containing beverages can.
Treats to enjoy with your Red Cappuccino
Recipes that go with Red Cappuccino
Red Cappuccino - Rooibos tea cappuccino
- 1 milk frother of choice - see blog post on how to froth milk without an espresso machine
- 250 millilitre boiling water
- 4 rooibos teabags - or 4 heaped teaspoons of loose-leaf Rooibos
- 250 millilitre semi-skimmed or full fat milk
- Optional: Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
- Optional: Sweetener of choice like honey, sugar etc
Make the Rooibos 'espresso'
- Boil the water for the Red Cappuccino. Pour 125ml of water into each mug. You can also do this step with a teapot first.250 millilitre boiling water
- Place the teabags in the boiled water (2 x teabags per mug), or in the teapot. If using loose-leaf, brew the tea in a teapot as you normally would and strain into the mugs when ready.4 rooibos teabags
- Give the tea a stir and let it steep for a good 4 minutes, or until you have a very strong, dark tea.
Froth the milk
- In the meantime, heat the milk. Don't boil it. The ideal temperature would be around 68℃/150℉. This will give you the best froth.250 millilitre semi-skimmed or full fat milk
- Start frothing the milk with your desired method until the milk has doubled in volume. See blog post for ideas on how to froth milk without an espresso machine.
- Remove the teabags from the mugs. If using a teapot, strain the tea into the mugs. We are using a 50/50 ratio of tea to milk, so don't go over the halfway line in the mugs to allow enough room for the milk.
- Slowly pour the milk onto the tea and scoop any leftover foam on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you wish and serve with your desired sweetener.Optional: Sweetener of choice like honey, sugar etc, Optional: Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
**Nutritional data disclaimer**
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is calculated by a third party and we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We try our best to give you the most accurate information, but we do not take responsibility for errors that may be present. Also, the nutritional value of the recipe may change depending on the exact brands and products used. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice on your dietary needs.