I've seen prices ranging from $10/lb (when purchasing 5lbs) to $20/lb with Adagio coming in on the expensive side...
My first question is: Where do you guys like to buy plain old unadulterated bulk (fermented red) Rooibos?
Second, I haven't read anywhere tell-tale signs of a quality product vs. a lower quality product. With green tea, it's easier to tell, either because of familiarity or because it's easy to see piece types... but Rooibos is totally different and I'm not sure how to differentiate quality Rooibos from the rest.
I've read analyses that describe "lower quality" Rooibos in taste is associated with lower quality determinations from analytical lab test results, but they do not describe if this was due to having more of any part of the plant in particular.
So I'm curious if there is anyone here that has knowledge about what a quality Rooibos should look like, seeing as it typically comes as what looks to me like a relatively finely chopped up whole plant with too many piece types to identify.
Long fine needle/strings, rounded tipped leaves (rosemary shaped), hard round woody parts... I'm pretty sure they just grind the whole plant.
Is quality Rooibos mostly the leaves? What percentage of twig should be in there? (I've read that twigs are necessary for taste profile, but I wouldn't know.)
Any advice on getting the best bang for my buck, or help in identifying quality product when I look at it would be appreciated.