The wonder plant of Africa.
In the strictest sense, Rooibos is not a tea but an herbal infusion, or tisane. It is a staple in the homes of South Africans and, in recent decades, has become increasingly popular globally for its caffeine-free, antioxidant-rich and calming properties, as well as its unique, inherently sweet and earthy taste.
The tea/tisane itself comes from a plant called Rooibos (scientific name: Aspalathus linearis), which is a shrubby legume that grows only in the mountainous Cederberg region of the Western Cape of South Africa, and nowhere else in world. .
Over 300 years ago, the local San tribe were the first to discover the healing benefits of the delicious tea made from the Rooibos plant. They cut the plant’s fine, needle-like leaves, bruised them with hammers and left them to dry in the sun. When cut and fermented, the leaves of the Rooibos plant turn a rich red colour, and it is this distinctive colour which led to the Afrikaans name ‘rooibos’, meaning “red bush”.