South African Rooibos Herbal Tea is non-caffeinated with a reddish-brown color and is considered a healthy tea. The leaves of the tea bush are used to make Rooibos herbal tea also called red bush tea.
Drinking herbal tea brewed from fresh rooibos is an easy way to get nature's healing strength into your body. Rooibos teas can be hot, at room temperature or iced.
There are no hard and fast rules about rooibos tea brewing. Everyone’s tastes and preferences are different. Some like strong rooibos teas and others prefer mild or lightly flavored infusions.
|Red bush tea recipes|
A botanist, Carl Humberg rediscovered Rooibos plant in the 18th century. He informed the world of Rooibos tea health benefits, a fact known by indigenous South African tribes for centuries. Rooibos tea is not just an herbal remedy that soothes and invigorates both young and old but is a natural herb unique to the South African Cedarberg Mountains of the Western Cape Province.
The natural herb is then processed into a naturally soothing drink, sweet in taste naturally caffeine-free, additive-free, preservative-free, colorant-free and very low in tannin. There are an estimated 350 to 550 Rooibos farmers in South Africa, and the secondary processing is currently dominated by eight large processors responsible for an estimated 90% of the market.
During the summer months, the rooibos plants are harvested, fermented and dried. Traditionally the rooibos tea industry has employed more than 5000 people both in the farms and processing plants.
Rooibos tea industry is one of the biggest employers of people from the rural provinces of South Africa, providing both permanent and seasonal employment opportunities in the industry. Rooibos tea constitutes less than 0.3% of the global tea market and 10% of the global herbal tea market.
The current dominant export markets for rooibos tea are Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan and the United States of America. These accounted for 84% of rooibos tea exports.
Small-scale rooibos tea farmers in South Africa
Rooibos tea is made from the cut stems and leaves of Aspalathus linearis, a woody shrub endemic to the western parts of the Cape region in South Africa, extending from Cape Town northwards to Nieuwoudtville.
In South Africa, small-scale rooibos tea farmers in the Suid Bokkeveld, near Nieuwvoudville in the Northern Cape is involved in a project that aims to increase their resilience to climate change, specifically drier, hotter conditions and more frequent droughts.
Workshops have been held with the farmers to supply them with information about the expected climate for the season and provide an opportunity to discuss how to respond. Participants also visited other rooibos farms in the area to see what works for them.
Technologies that help to respond better to existing and expected climate variability include wind erosion barriers, and methods for enhancing soil moisture and maintaining biodiversity, such as establishing mulch strips on which belts of natural vegetation can be grown to act as windbreaks.
Farmers have also started intercropping wild rooibos with other cultivars and trying to ensure that harvests are sustainable. The main commercial type of rooibos is the Rocklands type densely branched with uniformly yellow flowers and bright green leaves that turn a rich red-brown color after fermentation. More than 90% of the rooibos commercial product is currently made from this cultivated form, but several wild forms were once wild-crafted on a small scale.
Did you know?
Rooibos, pronounced roo-ee-bosh means red bush.
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