bush tea, noun phrase

Forms:
Formerly also busch tea.
Origin:
South African DutchShow more Probably translation of South African Dutch bosjesthee, see bosjesthee.
A tea made from the dried leaves and twigs of various aromatic shrubs, especially Aspalathus linearis, and Cyclopia species; the shrubs themselves; bosjesthee. See also berg tea (berg sense 1 b ii), honey tea, rooibos tea (rooibos sense 1). Cf. Bushman’s tea.
Note:
Widely used as a drink, this tea is believed by some to have medicinal properties.
1768 Holyoke Diaries (1911) 30Began to take Bush Tea.
1838 J.E. Alexander Exped. into Int. I. 141He regaled Mr. Schmelen and myself on boiled salt beef and bush tea.
1857 R. Gray Jrnl of Visitation to Diocese of Graham’s Town 66He tells me that he is living upon mealies and upon bush tea for which he pays 6d. a lb.
1889 A Housewife of the Colony Col. Hsehold Guide 12The Cape bush tea is better when used alone for being made in an earthenware teapot; it requires being stewed awhile before using.
1902 X.C. Everyday Life in Cape Col. 122In most of these Colonial stores ‘bush’ tea can be bought. It costs sixpence a pound, looks like the clippings of a privet hedge, including the twigs, and is said to be a tonic.
1907 J.P. Fitzpatrick Jock of Bushveld 81We had..nothing to drink but bush tea — that is, tea made from a certain wild shrub with a very strong scent.
1916 Farmer’s Weekly 20 Dec. 1472 (advt)Supplied direct to the consumer. Raisins, Dried Fruits, Bush Teas, Grape Vinegar.
1919 Dunell, Ebden & Co.’s Price List 30Tea..Colonial...Ordinary Bush, per lb. 1¾d.
1928 N. Stevenson Afr. Harvest 12The English and Dutch nations were blending extraordinarly well, as, for instance, China and busch tea blended to give an excellent flavour.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 324Bush Tea (Rooibosch tea), Aspalathus sp. obtained from the Cederberg is quite generally used in the Western Province as a beverage and possesses recognized tonic properties.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 55Bush tea is popular in the fashionable cafes of the United States. They call it ‘Kaffir tea’ over there.
1958 A. Jackson Trader on Veld 36Rooibos (bush) tea was another popular line carried by the vrugtesmous, a very cheap and healthy herb from the Cedarberg and elsewhere, much used by our farmers in sickness and in health.
1979 Heard & Faull Our Best Trad. Recipes (1979) 19As for South Africans today, many like to mix bush tea with ordinary tea, anything up to half of each; while thousands drink it as their forefathers did.
1982 Fox & Norwood Young Food from Veld 225Other edible Fabaceae (Leguminosae):..The ‘bush tea’ with the finest aroma is said to be Cyclopia buxifolia...Aspalathus linearis..is used as a ‘bush tea’ in the Piquetberg district.
1989 J. Hobbs Thoughts in Makeshift Mortuary 17They crooked their little fingers above their mug handles and took dainty sips with pursed lips at their strong sweet bush tea, just as her mother did at her fine Ceylon.
1994 [see vlei tea vlei sense 2].
A tea made from the dried leaves and twigs of various aromatic shrubs, especially Aspalathus linearis, and Cyclopia species; the shrubs themselves; bosjesthee.
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17681989