If you come to South Africa, you are sure to drink some Rooibos Tea. Grown in the Cape floral kingdom Rooibos is actually a herb and not a tea, for tea we brew the dried leave and make a herbal infusion which has a distinctive colour, flavour (sweet and fruity) and aroma very distinctive from other teas. Rooibos is a pure and natural product containing no colourants, additives or preservatives and is caffeine free. With many benefits, it can be enjoyed, hot or cold with or without milk and sweeteners. Honey and condense milk can be added to make this into a completely different drink.
The plant is indigenous to the Cedarberg region, north-west of Cape Town, where the local communities have been using it to brew tea for centuries. This is the only place in the world where Rooibos grows naturally. The region’s hot and dry summers, winter rainfall and coarse sandy soil is ideally suited to the Rooibos plant. The Cedarberg region’s rock art heritage, geology and biodiversity attract scientists from all over the world. It is also a popular adventure sport and eco-tourism destination.
Clanwilliam, Graafwater, Citrusdal, Van Rhynsdorp, Nieuwoudtsville and Wupperthal are some of South Africa’s Rooibos-producing towns. The Rooibos industry forms a special part of the Cederberg’s tourism attractions. Many Rooibos producers and manufacturers offer Rooibos farm tours, factory visits and tea tasting. Visit the Clan William web site for more info.
Rooibos is also considered to be very healthy to drink, even known as a silver bullet for medical conditions. This humble herbal drink has been linked to treatments for acne, allergies, ageing, colic, insomnia, eczema and asthma with the CANSA association approving six cups a day. Minerals in Rooibos consist of Sodium, Iron, copper, potassium, fluoride, zinc, magnesium and manganese making it a good source of antioxidants and is the only known source of a potent antioxidant aspalathin, which could play a role in combating several lifestyle diseases. With proof of cancer fighting properties and help against type 2 diabetes, Rooibos is starting to appear in other product like cream and gels and is seemingly becoming the yoga of tea drinking.
To find out more fact on Rooibos go to South Africa Rooibos council site.