Red Espresso is Espresso Style Rooibos

I recently received something interesting to review. It is a product called Red Espresso. Red Espresso is a finely ground rooibos, which can be used to make a concentrated “espresso.” Before I begin the review, let us bring everyone up to speed on what rooibos is.

Rooibos is not a coffee – nor, technically, is it a tea, although it is sometimes known as “bush tea” or “red tea” or “redbush tea”. Tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant. Rooibos actually comes from the legume family. It originates in South Africa, and it has no caffeine and an antioxidant level that far exceeds tea or coffee.

Prepare the Red Espresso Shot

If you’ve never had rooibos before, it has a rich sweet taste that is similar to tea, or even a sports drink. It tastes good hot and cold. And although I am not a parent, I could see serving a cold-brewed rooibos to kids instead of the sugar-based drinks typically handed to children.

Back to Red Espresso. Red Espresso is a finely ground version of pure rooibos, which makes it possible to pull espresso shots. As a fan of rooibos and an espresso fanatic, I was excited to try this product. It delivered. I pulled several shots of espresso experimenting with dosage and tamping. Here is what I learned.

  1. Only tamp enough to level out the shot. You are not packing it like regular espresso.
  2. Because you aren’t packing the shot, don’t overfill. It just needs to be level.

Red Espresso was able to deliver the rich, full, espresso-like taste with rooibos. I made shots for several rooibos fans, most of whom were not coffee drinkers, and they all enjoyed the rich flavor. It was a hit.

Red Espresso Ground Rooibos Tea, 8.8-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 2) – Amazon USA

Before completing my tests, I decided to pull espresso shots of regular rooibos tea that had not been ground as fine as Red Espresso. It was a mess and failed to yield the same rich flavor. Stick with Red Espresso. I did not experiment with grinding my own rooibos. There is no way in hell I’m putting rooibos in my Rocky grinder.

Red Espresso vs Regular Rooibos

I also experimented with making lattes and latte art using the Red Espresso. I’m not that good at latte art, so my attempt looked like someone mutilated the old Cingular logo. I contacted Red Espresso asking if they had been successful making latte art with their product. They have and forwarded me the photo below. Pretty sweet.

Red espresso Latte Art
Red Espresso Latte Art

My “latte art” attempt. Yikes. 

I am a fan of rooibos and espresso. Now I am a fan of Red Espresso. It brings the depth of espresso taste to rooibos. And the fact that it has no caffeine makes an ideal drink for late in the day.

Red Espresso Shot


A Coffee Lover’s Guide to Tea – INeedCoffee article on tea written for coffee fans.

Red Espresso – Official site for Red Espresso.

Coffee a top source of healthy antioxidants – MSNBC article.

Red Espresso on Amazon – Product page on

Roobios – Wikipedia page on Roobios.

Disclosure: The author of this article received product in exchange for this review.

Michael Allen Smith

Michael Allen Smith fell in love with coffee while attending college. Shortly after graduating college, he found himself in the Tampa Bay area far away from the good coffee he had at The Ohio State University. That is when he starting home roasting coffee. Less than a year later in April 1999, he launched the coffee website has been going strong ever since with hundreds of articles and tutorials submitted by over one hundred contributors.

In 2007, Michael moved to America’s coffee capitol Seattle, Washington. He has visited over three hundred different coffee places in Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and San Francisco and met many of the top roasters and baristas in the country. Since 2009, Michael has been the Organizer of the Coffee Club of Seattle, which is a Meetup group of over 1,400 coffee enthusiasts. Besides the social aspect of the group, the Coffee Club of Seattle partners with local coffee professionals for educational events such as coffee cuppings, brewing demonstrations and roasting tours.

Latest posts by Michael Allen Smith (see all)

Powered by WPeMatico