Rooibos Our Heritage

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“When our first democratically elected government decided to make heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.” Nelson Mandela

Our heritage has the power to bring together our diverse cultures and this is what makes this Rainbow Nation of ours so great. We have just celebrated Heritage Day, what used to be known as Shaka Zulu day pre 1995, on the 24th September.

For me, Heritage Day is about celebrating the cultural diversity of our beautifully rich country via music, dance, food and attire. Our country is definitely a wonderful melting pot of diverse cultures, traditions and beliefs. In keeping with the theme to celebrate and embrace all that is South African, I see it fitting to discuss Rooibos once more. After All it’s our National Beverage.

Rooibos tea is both an indigenous plant and proudly South African product that has been used for thousands of years as a herbal remedy and as a beverage for the cultures across South Africa.  In recent years, Rooibos has become a beloved drink around the world.

More than 300 years ago, local inhabitants of the mountainous Cederberg region of Western Cape South Africa, were the first to discover the needle-like Rooibos leaves. The word ‘Rooibos’ is the Afrikaans word for ‘red bush.’ The Red Bush (Aspalanthus linearis), which grows only in the Cedarberg Mountain Western Cape, South Africa and nowhere else, is a member of the legume (pea) family. It occurs in fynbos areas that experience extremely wet, cold winters and extremely hot, dry summers. As we have previously learned, Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, loaded with antioxidants. It is not technically a proper tea, because it is not derived from the Camellia sinensis plant.  To read my 1st blog about Rooibos and its health benefits click hereimage1-1Today, we will explore some of the blends available at the Tea Merchant stores which are the  perfect addition to any braai day.

Rooibos tea is traditionally enjoyed hot with a bit of honey or sugar and milk. As the days get warmer, I particularly enjoy it as an iced tea or mixed in with fruit juices.

Rooibos ICE TEA is very simply to make. First boil the water and make the rooibos as per usual. Add approximately 1 heaped tablespoon of the rooibos tea to every 300ml of water and allow to chill or alternatively placing it in the fridge. Once it’s chilled you may add any chopped fresh fruits, vegetables and or 100% fruit juices.

Green Wonder

Green Rooibos is Rooibos tea that is unfermented meaning that it’s packed with more nutrients and antioxidants that may be lost in the processing of normal rooibos. Green Wonder is our Green Rooibos Blend complimented with guava and fruity essences to create a wonderfully refreshing caffeine free tea. To give this blend a twist; add some chopped guava into the ice tea.

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Tuti Fruity

If you’re mad about berries then this is the blend for you. The bright flavours of the tropics come through loud and clear. This blend with berries of various colours and flavours provides a rich and heavy fruit-floral aroma. To give this blend a twist, add some chopped berries into the ice tea.

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Rooibos Apple

If we have to follow the doctors orders then this is the blend. A refreshing rooibos apple elderberry tea taste. To give this blend a twist, add some chopped apples and cranberries into the ice tea.

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Rooibos Rio

South African Brazil mixture- Rooibos Tea, passion fruit bits, lime peel, orange peel, rose blossom leaves and sunflower blossoms blended together. To give this blend a twist, add granadilla into the ice tea

image5Lets continue to embrace our heritage beyond September by stocking up on the different rooibos blends. I have only mention 4 different blends above but we have many more in store and the ladies are waiting to welcome you for free tea tasting at our branches. Do visit any of the stores at Clearwater Mall, Cresta Shopping Centre, Fourways Mall, Dainfern Square and Woodlands Boulevard in PTA East for your ultimate Rooibos experience.

For any tea Info; kindly email me on; dee@theteamerchant.co.za

Love and Tea

Dee

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