Rooibos 101: Surprising Things You Might Not Know About This National Treasure

Rooibos 101: Surprising Things You Might Not Know About This National Treasure

Rooibos is one of South Africa’s most valued natural treasures, but besides being a healthy homegrown tea, how much do you really know about it?

Here are a few facts about Rooibos which may surprise you:

1. Did you know that every spring the Rooibos bush is covered in beautiful tiny yellow flowers, which after pollination, forms a seedpod with a single seed inside?

2.Have you ever seen a Rooibos seed? They are tiny and are sown between February and March each year. It takes roughly about 18 months before the bush can be harvested for the first time.

3. Yes, it’s not a myth! Rooibos really only grows in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape. Although farmers have tried to grow it elsewhere in the world, the climate, soil and conditions just aren’t conducive, …and we’d like to think that nature intended it that way.

4. The purity of Rooibos is also a tightly controlled process. From the time the crop is harvested to when it is pasteurised, various tests are conducted to guarantee that every single cup (no matter which brand you drink) is 100% pure.

5. Each cup of Rooibos tea is packed with healthy flavonoids, including aspalathin – a powerful antioxidant unique to the plant. Rooibos is also caffeine-free, low in tannins and contains no fat or proteins and is therefore kilojoule-free. Up to six cups can be enjoyed daily.

6. It grows up to 1.5 m in height and has thin branches that carry bright green, needle-like leaves. And, like the people of our country, Rooibos is a hardy shrub that can survive the toughest of conditions.

7. In 2014, Rooibos received geographical indicator (GI) status, which means that tea can only be called Rooibos if it comes from a defined area in the Cederberg and surrounds. It’s a proudly South African product, which is exported to more than 30 countries across the globe.

 

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