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.

Rooibos tea ice cream

Rooibos tea ice cream

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

A delicious and cream ice cream recipe made with Rooibos tea.

  • Author: Sam Linsell
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 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.

Keywords: rooibos, ice cream, recipe

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

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

  3. 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!

  4. Sam

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

  5. Sam

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

  6. Sam

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

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


  8. 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.

  9. Sam

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

  10. Sam

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

  11. 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!

  12. Sam

    Hi Chelsea, glad you like it too 🙂

  13. 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

  14. Sam

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

  15. 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.

  16. Sam

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

  17. 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.

  18. Sam


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

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