Why Rooibos and chocolates are a billion dollar match

If Rooibos tea and chocolate are two of your favourite things, chances are you haven’t thought about pairing the two. 

Well, now you can. 

Chocolatiers and candy-makers are adding Rooibos flavours to their treats as new flavour trends emerge.


Rooibos has dominated tea markets and coffee shops around the world and now it’s also breaking into the chocolate industry.
 

New flavours that are sure to excite chocoholics this season include florals, like lavender, healthy spices such as ginger and turmeric as well as chai and coconut milk.
 
There is also a big move among chocolatiers to include super-foods, such as spirulina, goji berries, reishi mushrooms and of course, Rooibos in this delicious treat.


Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council says it’s a real coup that the $103 billion (about R 1,4 trillion) chocolate industry has taken notice of Rooibos, which is a proudly South African product. 

“Health-conscious consumers that are concerned about their wellness are looking for healthier chocolate options, and the chocolate industry has responded by turning to ‘functional foods’ such as Rooibos as a solution,” Du Toit says.

Swiss master chocolatier, Daniel Waldis, founder and owner of the local chocolate franchise, Le Chocolatier says he has been experimenting with Rooibos for some time.


Daniel says Rooibos and chocolate share many similar characteristics – from the fruity, floral and nutty aromas to the slight levels of astringency, making it an ideal match.

“Rooibos tea pairs particularly well with white chocolate as its citrusy undertone cuts through the richness of the chocolate, while the smokiness of Rooibos also compliments the nuttiness of hazelnut milk chocolate.  Globally, more chocolatiers are starting to use Rooibos in chocolate bars, drinking chocolate and in sugar-free and vegan chocolate alternatives. Similarly, master tea blenders are infusing chocolate chips with Rooibos which provides a luxurious mouthfeel,” says Daniel.

For those wanting to experiment with Rooibos in chocolate at home this Easter, Waldis recommends using the tea in its pure form and to not infuse it with a flavoured Rooibos tea. 


“You don’t want overwhelming aromas and too much going on, on the palate. Rather use the tea as is to allow the true Rooibos flavour to surface,” he adds.

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