Rooibos tea’s record is rooted in the Cederberg region of beautiful South Africa. Khoisans, the indigenous Bushmen of the space, gathered the leaves from the Aspalathus Linearis seed for years and years. Indigenous peoples use the leaves as treatments for many illnesses and loved because of their delicious taste.
Rooibos tea almost disappeared with the dwindling of the Khoisan tribes, but fortunately, a botanist known as Carl Humberg rediscovered the leaves in 1772 and revived a far more widespread fascination for this tea drink. Carl observed, “the countries people made tea” from a seed related to rooibos or redbush. Early on Dutch settlers at the Cape began to drink Rooibos instead of the expensive black tea from European countries.
In 1904, a Russian immigrant to South Africa, Benjamin Ginsberg, with ties to tea production, recognized the potential of the unique “mountain tea” and started out trading with Rooibos, becoming the first exporter.
In 1930 Region doctor and botanist Dr. Pieter Le Fras Nortier commenced conducting tests with the cultivation of the plant, seeing the great commercial potential of the red tea. The first plants were cultivated in Clanwilliam on plantation Eastside and on the plantation Klein Kliphuis,
The tiny seeds were difficult to come near. An aged Khoi woman found a unique seed source. Having chanced after ants dragging seed, she followed them back again to their nest and, on breaking it wide open, found a granary. Dr. Nortier’s research was finally successful and he consequently showed to all farmers how to germinate their own seeds.
Because of his research, Rooibos, at first just an indigenous drink, become an iconic nationwide beverage and a globalized commodity.
Cederberg – the sole place worldwide where rooibos grows up naturally! A robust mountain range town just 200 km North of the city of Cape Town. The local climate is warm and sunny almost all 12 months and rooibos bushes grow wild!
Rooibos must be 1 . 5 years old before being harvested. Once the plants are first gathered in summer, they may have small yellow blossoms and long green needles. Farmers perform the careful process of sorting seeds from the sandy soil around the plants. The needle parts are then fermented over night and kept in sunlight the very next day to oxidize. It is the fermentation process that brings the plant’s profound amber color.
In the final phases, the Rooibos is screened, pasteurized and refined on conveyor belts in the manufacturing plant using machines. Just how does indeed your Rooibos get that profound red colorization when it starts as a green and yellowish bush? Natural enzymes in the seed revealed through the oxidation stage!
In South Africa, it’s common to make rooibos tea very much the same as black tea and add dairy and sugars. Other methods add cut of lemon, and honey for sweetening rather than sugar. Just lately, red teas and cappuccinos are a hot product in South Africa, now becoming the trend in cafes all around the globe.