rooibos tea and honey ice cream

Rooibos tea ice cream

Rooibos tea ice cream

Rooibos tea ice cream

The idea to make a Rooibos tea ice-cream came about during a conversation with a friend a little over a year ago and I’ve been meaning to make it ever since. I love using tea as an ingredient in my recipes, and Rooibos tea, despite being distinctively South African, has a lovely smoky flavour that is so unique. It lends itself well to desserts, and I often wonder why it is not used more often in them. Honey is the perfect sweetener with it too.

I adapted my favourite vanilla ice cream recipe which is a Ben & Jerry’s recipe and doesn’t involve using a cooked egg custard. If you have any issues with eating raw eggs, I would suggest using a recipe like this one, and infusing the tea into that. I have been asked why I use this vs. a cooked custard recipe and it’s really a personal preference thing. I love the freshness and creaminess of using fewer eggs. A cooked custard uses a lot more eggs to the quantity of cream, which gives the ice cream a much richer taste and texture.

I think 4 tablespoons of a good quality loose leaf Rooibos tea is enough to flavour this ice cream adequately, but you could go stronger or weaker depending on your preference. I infused the tea for roughly the length I would when making a pot of tea, leaving it too long could run the risk of the tannins in the tea being released leaving a bitter taste. And we most certainly do not want that.

I love honey with Rooibos tea so I substituted a third of the sugar quota with honey. Next time I make this I want to add ginger to the mix.

ice cream with Rooibos tea

rooibos tea ice cream

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

rooibos tea ice cream


  • 1¼ cup milk
  • 4T Rooibos loose tea leaves
  • 2 eggs (free range)
  • ½ cup sugar (125ml)
  • ¼ cup honey (60ml)
  • 2 cups cream, heavy or whipping


  1. Bring the milk to just boiling point and then turn off the heat. Add the tea leaves to the milk and allow to infuse for about 3-4 minute. Strain and set aside to cool
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the honey and continue to beat for another minute.
  3. Measure out one cup of cooled milky tea (if you have less than a cup, top up with extra milk, if you have too much, discard) and add this, with the cream to the egg base and briefly mix.
  4. Run the mixture through an ice cream maker until ready according to the manufacturer’s instruction.

For more of my recipes using Rooibos tea:

ice cream with Rooibos tea

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

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33 Responses to rooibos tea and honey ice cream

  1. Lori March 20, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Beautiful photo’s Sam. Simply beautiful!

  2. Sandy Nene March 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Wow, amazing idea. And it looks so yum! You are so creative 🙂

  3. Jen @ Savory Simple March 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Be still my heart.

  4. Anina @ Aninas-Recipes March 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous!!

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 20, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

    Gorgeous photos, Sam! Love this creamy ice cream!

  6. Patry de Sabores y Momentos March 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Spectacular pictures and great recipe, I´m going to try it!! Congrats!

  7. Katrin March 20, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    I’ve also been meaning to make this! Think this might be just the push I needed 🙂

  8. Pang March 20, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    I want I want I want this like right now 🙂
    Love Love your pic & this recipe.

  9. cynthia March 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    I fell in love with Rooibos when I was in South Africa one winter — some of my fondest memories from that winter are over a steaming cup of Rooibos tea! This ice cream sounds absolutely DREAMY. I love it. Thank you so much for posting!

  10. cheri March 20, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

    I just love the color , looks delicious!

  11. Usha March 21, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Love your pics & the ice cream looks divine,

  12. Robyn March 21, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Heavens, that looks glorious!

  13. Sam March 21, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Thanks Cynthia – I think it is such a lovely flavour too.

  14. Sam March 21, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    Thanks Patry

  15. Sam March 21, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    Thanks Usha, I actually think this milky sweet dessert would round off a curry meal nicely.

  16. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence March 21, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Awesome ice cream photos!! Also, I love a good tea ice cream. I make one with earl grey 🙂

  17. Sam March 24, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Thanks Brandon, I have always wanted to try earl grey ice cream. The bergamot would be delicious.

  18. wendy March 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    OOOO cant wait to try this – would any loose leaf rooibos do the trick


  19. Susan Dehosse March 24, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    Your pictures look great! We make a rooibos and fynbos honey ice cream & often serve it with poached peaches and almond meringue. We recently tried a chai tea ice cream too – very delicate spicy flavours.

  20. Sam March 25, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Thanks Susan – Im so keen to make a chai ice cream – been plotting and planning. 🙂

  21. Sam March 25, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Hi Wendy, yes any loose leaf tea will do well. I used a fabulous organic one – but any will be fine.

  22. Chelsea April 18, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    I just came across your blog and am thrilled to discover another food blogger in Cape Town! I’ve come to love rooibos tea pretty quickly and it’s been fun to see the many ways it’s used here. I can’t wait to try it in ice cream!

  23. Sam April 22, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    Hi Chelsea, glad you like it too 🙂

  24. Jen April 23, 2014 at 5:54 am #

    Do you think this would work well with Honeybush tea? It’s similar to rooibos, but a little sweeter. (If you’re not familiar with it, I get it a

  25. Sam April 23, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    HI Jen, I think it would be lovely with honeybush tea 🙂

  26. Frank January 26, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    Hi there, I don’t think tannin is an issue with rooibos, I let my tea steep for a very long time.
    According to many sources, rooibos contains very little or no tannin.

  27. Sam January 26, 2015 at 11:48 am #

    Thanks Frank, I find it changes if its too strong.

  28. GG April 17, 2017 at 1:48 am #

    Have you tried with cinnamon? I also don’t think the honey mixed well, perhaps it needs to be mixed with the warm milk-tea.

  29. Sam April 18, 2017 at 7:48 pm #


    No I havent tried with cinnamon but sounds delicious. Yeah – heated honey will mix in easier.


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