Best Cistus Tea Brew Method (Cistus Incanus / Rose Rock Tea)

Best Cistus Tea Brew Method (Cistus Incanus Tea / Rose Rock Tea)

Drinking Cistus incanus tea may keep mosquitos and ticks away. Here’s the best Cistus tea brew method.


Cistus incanus — It’s in the Brew

By now, you may already have read about the benefits of Cistus incanus (Rock Rose) tea. Or you’ve reviewed the many resources on our site that discuss the benefits of Cistus incanus tea. And now you’re ready to try it for yourself. If you got your first batch, the instructions state that you’re supposed to brew the tea three times. What a pain, right? If you’ve tried this three-step process, you’ve probably wondered if there’s an easier way.

Well, the good news is that there is an easier way. Best of all, the best Cistus tea brew method has science behind it.

Best Cistus Tea Brew Method in a Nutshell

How can you prepare an excellent Cistus incanus tea (also known as Rose Rock tea) without having to brew it three times? Start with 10 grams of tea to 1 liter of water. Use filtered water with no mineral content, and control your water temperature so it’s not less than 75c and not more than 90c for 35 minutes. That’s it!

Want to learn about the science behind this brewing technique? Read on …

Cistus Health Benefits — the Source

To understand the science behind the one-step brewing technique, it’s helpful to first understand the source of health benefits from Cistus incanus tea. The main active phytoconstituents of a Cistus decoction are flavonoid phenolic compounds, including gallic acid, rutin, and other flavonol glycosides based on quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin. For Cistus incanus, the diverse profile of phenolic substances provides strong antioxidant and other potential health benefits.

The goal of any Cistus brew is to maximize the flavinoid phenolic profile of the tea.

Tea Creaming

The traditional advice is to brew Cistus tea three times. Let’s take a minute to understand the reasons behind this advice. First, it’s important to understand a technical, if somewhat odd-sounding, term called “tea-creaming.” Tea cream is a precipitate observed in cooled tea. Said another way, tea cream is the elements that fall out of solution or fail to go into solution in the brew process.

Almost any tea or herbal infusion is susceptible to tea-creaming. For Cistus incanus, the tea cream precipitate has been found to contain quercitrin, ellagitannins, and gallic acid. To clarify, if these important compounds are left behind in the “tea cream,” those compounds don’t make it into your body when you drink the tea. That’s why many herbal practitioners insist Cistus must be brewed three times to capture its full health benefit.

To Precipitate or Not – Let’s Look at the Science

If there’s a way to prepare Cistus tea so that the healthy phytochemicals stay in the solution (the tea) during the first brew, you don’t need three brews to get the optimal benefit. So how do you prepare an optimal brew of Cistus incanus? Avoid precipitation (tea cream).

Generally speaking, the amount of tea cream is a function of (1) temperature, (2) the ratio of water to dry material, and (3) the pH of the water. For example, in regular black tea, a pH of 3.4 maximizes tea creaming. Cistus is different. For Cistus, it’s the mineral content of the water that’s critical.

An important 2012 study considered the effects on temperature brewing time and water mineral level on the total phenolic content of the resulting Cistus herbal infusion. We’ve long known that flavonoids and other phenolic compounds degrade rapidly at temperatures approaching 100c (boiling water). This study confirmed that the same holds true for Cistus.

The groundbreaking part of the study was its investigation into the effects of the mineral content of the brewing water. The researchers used three kinds of water: water filtered to have no mineral content, water with mineral content measured at a total water hardness of 1.0, and mineral water with a total hardness of 3.2. The pH for all three samples was essentially neutral, so alkalinity wasn’t a variable.

The results showed that higher mineral content in the water was responsible for up to a 62% decrease in the expression of flavonal glycosides (important antioxidants). Some compounds like gallic acid were completely absent in the infusions made with mineral water because they were left behind in the tea cream.

In a nutshell: Science backs using mineral-free water as the optimal method for making your Cistus tea.

Time and Temperature Also Matter

Beyond the mineral content of the brewing water, the temperature and duration of steeping also make a significant difference in the total phenolic content of Cistus tea. The optimal temperature was found to be 85 degrees Celsius, and the optimal brewing time was found to be 35 minutes.

Summary: Best Cistus Tea Brew Method

So what’s the best Cistus tea brew method? How can you have an excellent Cistus tea without having to brew it three times?

Start with 13 grams of tea to 1 liter of water. Use filtered water with no mineral content, and control your water temperature so it’s not less than 75c and not more than 90c for 35 minutes.

It’s Easier Than It Sounds

This process may sound more complicated that simply making three brews. It isn’t. Most decent decoction brewing pots control the temperature of the water well within the range that is optimal for Cistus. Filtering water to have no mineral content can be as easy as purchasing distilled water or as involved as installing a water filter system.

Hopefully, the best Cistus tea brew method information provided here will save you time and help you make a more potent, healthier brew.

Enjoy your Cistus tea! (Also check out our Immune Support Kit, which includes Cistus incanus extract, along with five other super-botanicals.) You can also learn more about all of our healthy herbal teas here.

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