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 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 80c and not more than 90c; After adding the water to the leaves keep at temperature for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat let steep while cooling for 15 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. Sometimes seen as a “rainbow” film on the surface of the 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 2013 study considered the effects of 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.

Best Cistus Tea Brew Method

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 7 minutes if the water was kept at temperature. This equates to  35 mins of steeping time where the water is allowed to cool. 

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.

So what’s the easiest why to achieve this best Cistus tea brew method? How can you have an excellent Cistus tea without having to brew it three times? How can we  take the science described above and develop a simple method that anyone can follow?  Read on.

Best Cistus Brew – Simplified: The French Press Method

Using a 1 liter (or 1 quart) French press. Put 13 grams of Cistus incanus (roughly 1/3 cup) in the bottom of a large French press. Boil 1 liter of water (use filtered water with no mineral content), take the water off boil, and wait about 90 seconds.

Pour the water in the French press. The plant material will float. Put the top on the french press. Press the plunger just a bit so the material is all under water.

Let the tea steep for 25 minutes. When all of the plant material has sunk to the bottom of the press, press the plunger all the way down and have your first 8 to 10 ounce serving. Enjoy the rest throughout the day. 

Enjoy Your Cistus Tea!

That’s it – you’ve made a great batch of Cistus tea without a great deal of fuss. Hopefully, the best Cistus tea brew method information provided here will save you time and help you make a more potent, healthier brew.  (Also check out our Immune Support Kit, which includes Cistus incanus extract, along with five other super-botanicals.) Enjoy your Cistus tea!

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21 thoughts on “Best Cistus Tea Brew Method (Cistus Incanus / Rose Rock Tea)”

  1. Hi! Wondering about filtered water. I have a Santeva water filter. The water is filtered and things are added to make the water more alkaline…..will that make a difference?

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Mostly likely yes. The most common way to make water alkaline is to add minerals. These will probably cause some ‘tea-creaming’.

  2. How can you get/know water is 85C? I’ve been using boiled water. Do I need a special thermometer? Do you have a recommendation or type?

    1. The easist method is to bring the water to boil then take off the heat and wait 90 seconds before pouring it over the Cistus. This is not perfect temperature control but it is simple and will make a sufficently potent batch of tea.

      1. Your brewing directions say to use 13 g tea to a liter water. Is that 13 g of loose tea, or 13g of the extract powder?

  3. Thank you for all this information! I was leaving my tea to steep all night on the “warmer”in at pan on my stove. It does not boil. Is steeping this long issue? Hot tea ready in the AM. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Tammy!

      Thanks for your question.

      The duration of steep that you are using is much longer than recommended.
      It would be imporant to have the tea covered the whole time so as not to loose volitiles.
      The main result from your method would be a very bitter tea.
      It will not necessarily have any additional benefits, and such a prolonged period even on low heat will likely lower the total antioxidant value.

  4. Hi there, if I make the tea in a stainless steel electric teapot with temperature control will the medicine in cistus dissipate out of the spout while cooking for 35 minutes ?

    1. Hi April,
      If you have the ability to control the temperature at a constant 90c then only brew the tea for 7 minutes.
      The 35 minute time is for a steep. The steep time anticipates that the water is cooling.

      In your described method, yes it is possible that some beneficial volitiles will esape via the spout. In 7 minutes the amount should not be very significant.

    2. Thank you for your quick response!
      I misunderstood that I should (steep ) for 35 min.
      I thought it had to be brewing at 90c for 35 min.
      Thanks again,April

  5. Hi just read about this cistus tea. I have 2 questions please: Will the tea repleal fleas as well ticks and biting insects? Also I don’t have a french press can I just brew it the regular way and still have the desired result? Thank you.

    1. Hi June,

      Thanks for asking. Yes you can brew it the regular way. Do keep your water below boiling.
      We have confidence in the effectiveness of Cistus as a repellant for ticks and mosquitoes. Many people also use it for fleas, but we are not aware of any studies that support this use.

  6. Thanks for the info.
    1) I have read some sites where some suggest only having one sip per day and after a week building up to two sips. They say more than that is problematic and can create a backlash.
    2) Others suggest only sweetening with Stevia. What about honey or maple syrup?
    3) What amount of dried tea would you suggest for 1 cup?

    1. Hi Donna,

      1) those sound like instructions for someone who may be very sensitive to all types of herbal teas. Our general suggestion is two to three 10 ounce servings a day. But everyone should do what is right for them.
      2) We do not suggest sweetening the tea.
      3) Using our cut of Cistus tea one would use about 3 grams of tea per eight ounces of water.

    1. Cistus Tea is generally considered safe for children and adults. We base our suggested use on a 150lb adult in average health. If the child weighs substantially less, consider reducing the amount used. Generally the frequency would remain the same.

      1. Nancy N Townsend

        Your tea steeping instructions when using a French press say: “Let the tea steep for 25 minutes. When all of the plant material has sunk to the bottom of the press, press the plunger all the way down…” I let my tea steep in a French press for 35 minutes, and very little of the plant material has sunk to the bottom of the press. Why must the tea leaves be sink to the bottom of the press? Am I interpreting your instructions wrong? Okay to push plunger after 35 mins to get full benefit? Thanks.

        1. Hi Nancy,
          Thanks for your question.
          Did you start by pushing the plunger just enough so that all the plant matter was submerged?
          Usually as the plant material becomes fully saturated it will sink. However, if yours is still floating after 25 min, then, yes it is perfectly fine to push down the plunger and enjoy your tea.

  7. Hi. I read that demineralised water is not suitable for consumption. It would strip the minerals out of your system. Distilling the water doesn’t really reduce the minerals, it has more of an effect on bacteria etc. That makes a filter the best option, I suppose. I’ve been trying to find a good filter. Which one would you recommend for me? And thank you very much 🙂 Robin.

    1. Hi Robin,

      Thanks for reaching out! Distillation won’t remove all chemicals but removes soluble minerals (e.g., calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous) and dangerous heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and mercury. Demineralized water wouldn’t be a good choice for regular hydration. Once you have made the decoction, there will be mineral content in the tea from the plant. You wouldn’t be drinking demineralized water. With regard to filters, we don’t have any recommendations 🙂

      Wishing you the best of health!

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