A Taste of South Africa
Have you ever tasted the delicious South African Rooibos Tea?
This is like South Africas national hot drink which getting increasingly popular and best of all available all over the world.
Here are some interesting facts for you to enjoy.
Where does Rooibos Tea grow?
The Rooibos or Redbush tea plant, the Aspalanthus linearis, is indigenous only to South Africa’s Cederberg mountain region.
The hardy shrub-like bushes survive the cold temperatures in winter and the draught which is often prevalent in summer in this arid mountain area.
The region around Clanwilliam, 250km from Cape Town, is dominated by the Cederberg Mountains and the tea plant only grows there because of the microclimate of this region, which is located approximately 250km northeast of Cape Town.
The needle-like tea leaves grow on shrub like bushes which are between 0.5 to 1.5 metres in height. To harvest the leaves the workers cut of branches, then the leaves get chopped and bruised, left in the sun to ferment.
The color of the leaves then change from green to amber and develop the distinctive sweet aroma and flavour.
Who discovered this South African tea?
Botanic Carl Thunberg named the plant after on expedition to the area in 1772.
1904 Russian immigrant Benjamin Ginsberg, born into a family who was involved already in the tea business in Europe for some time, realized its marketing potential. Rooibos was first marketed it as "Mountain Tea".
Modern Cultivation began in the 1930s. The popularity of Redbush Tea grew in the last ten year. Now the biggest importers are Germany, Japan, Netherlands.
Rooibos Health Facts
This South African tea has got many healthy properties: It is
• Caffeine free
• Low in tannin content
• Rich in antioxidants
And it does not contain oxalic acid so even people suffering from kidney stone can drink this tea.
Rooibos is praised a magic medicine, herbal remedy for many health problems and ailments.
Redbush tea relieves and combats: insomnia, irritability, headaches, hypertension, skin irritations like acne and eczema.
Shopping for Rooibos Tea in Cape Town
You can find many different brands of rooibos tea in Cape Town in Supermarkets like Checkers, Spar, Pick and Pay and Woolworths.
There are many different brands available in the South African Supermarkets like Clipper Organic, Freshpak and the famous South African Eleven o’Clock Rooibos Tea.
Redbush Tea comes not only in its original form but is available in many different flavours. Most of the tea is organically grown as well.
Cooking with Rooibos
If you ever have tried flavoring your meals with Rooibos you will get hooked on the distinct but subtle flavor.
Find out about great South African dishes with Rooibos in this new excellent cookbook: "A touch of Rooibos" by Rooibos Ltd, which is by the way South Africa’s biggest Rooibos Supplier.
In this Rooibos-Cookbook 14 of South Africa’s most prominent chefs share their recipes containing this special ingredient. There are over 100 recipes in this volume so be sure to find some recipes for every taste.
The book is available in English and Afrikaans and you will find in the major bookstores or just order it at kalahari.net, the South African online bookstore, where you can get it for R220.
Use of Rooibos in Cosmetics
Rooibos Tea is also used in many cosmetic products. Annique offers the widest Rooibos cosmetic product range.
You will find Rooibos cosmetics in many pharmacies in Cape Town, but there are Annique Salons usually with shopping facilties in Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Tygervalley and Somerset Mall.
If you want to find out more about Rooibos Cosmetic Products,
go to the Annique Website
which is a treasure of information regarding the use of this tea plant in cosmetics.
Did you enjoy reading this article about this typical South African Tea? Then maybe you would like to read more information on
other Typical South African Food
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