Rooibos Tea (or Red Bush tea) is unique to the Cederberg region of the Western Cape of South Africa. It is the only place that it is grown in the world. This small shrub has needle like leaves and fine stems with tiny yellow flowers, much like our Broom. Rooibos, unlike the name suggests, grows as a green plant, only changing to red once harvested and dried. The Rooibos Tea farmer can expect his first harvest after one and a half years. After three years the bushes will be in full production.
Harvest time is during the summer and early autumn. Branches are cut by hand and transported to the certified production lines where they are cut to pieces of about 5mm. Next, the tea is wet thoroughly and bruised. The tea is then placed in fermentation heaps and allowed to sweat or ferment for 8 to 24 hours. After this the tea is dried in the sun on special yards. The dried teas are then sifted and delivered to the Rooibos Tea Board. Samples are tested by the Board for quality control and grading. The tea is also subjected to a very strict micro-biological test before being sent to distributors.
Rooibos properties & benefits….
Rooibos is a herbal tea that is caffeine free, low in tannin and very rich in anti-oxidants. It has a pleasant sweet taste and a variety of health benefits such as relief of insomnia, stomach cramps and constipation, promotes healing of skin ailments such as eczema and acne when applied to the skin as well as promoting healthy skin in general it also reduces the negative damaging effects of free radicals such as aging skin.
Use 1 teaspoon of Rooibos per cup in a teapot or infuser, add boiling water and infuse for 5 minutes. The same infusion may be used for additional cups of tea by adding more boiling water. Rooibos can be drunk on it’s own or by adding a little sugar, honey or milk if preferred.