rooibosThe Cederberg mountains with their craggy peaks and clean air provide the perfect environment for the unique health-enhancing Rooibos plant (Aspalathus linearis). The Cederberg is the only place on earth where Rooibos is found. Rooibos is refreshing and soothing, and it has many health-giving properties. It contains powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals. The minerals in Rooibos also enhance the nutritional value of food and drinks. Rooibos is indeed the magic ingredient that will turn an ordinary recipe into an extraordinary one. Visit the Rooibos Ltd company in Clanwilliam, or Elandsberg Eco-reserve to see how Rooibos is produced. Try a refreshing cup of Rooibos, as well as buy many other Rooibos-inspired products.
The valleys of the Cederberg are also used extensively for citrus farming with harvesting from April to August, as well as table and wine grapes which are harvested from December to February.
Why Rooibos is really good for you
Rooibos is 100% pure and natural. What’s more, it is also rich in powerful antioxidants and minerals. A scientific study conducted at the Oxidative Stress Research Centre at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town recently, proved that Rooibos can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and protects the body against oxidative damage. The trial also showed that Rooibos is safe for the liver and kidneys, and helps to keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a normal range.
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More good news: Rooibos reduces the effects of allergies, and relieves stomach cramps and colic in infants. It has a soothing effect on the central nervous system and helps to relieve headaches, irritability, tension and disturbed sleeping patterns. And best of all, it contains no additives, preservatives, colourants, kilojoules or caffeine.
How is Rooibos tea produced?
The indigenous Rooibos plant grows in the rugged Cederberg Mountains. The thin, needle-like leaves of about 10 mm in length are green at first when they are harvested in summer, but turn a beautiful dark red during fermentation. In traditional Rooibos the green leaves and stems of the plant are bruised and “fermented” overnight before being spread open to dry in the African sun.
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The fermentation step is actually an oxidation process brought about by enzymes naturally present in the plant. To produce green Rooibos, the fermentation process is skipped, and the leaves and stems are dried directly. Next, the Rooibos is screened, pasteurised, bagged and then distributed to tea packers and exporters worldwide. Visit Rooibos Ltd, Rooibos Tea House @ Netmar in Clanwilliam or Elandsberg Eco-reserve to see how Rooibos tea is produced at first-hand.
Tea Farm Tours at Elandsberg
Elandsberg farm offers guided rooibos farm safaris throughout the year, as well as flower safaris in season. See, feel and accompany the rooibos plant on its journey from the plantation all the way to and through the processing plant to its final packaged form. Choose between a one hour Rooibos tour or a longer 2½ hour eco-safari which incorporates rooibos tea, the natural fynbos and the unique rock formations of the Cederberg. Contact Elandsberg on 027 482 2022
Citrus Farm tours
As well as Rooibos tea, the Cederberg is also a vibrant citrus and table grape area. You will see a number of citrus farms along the Oliphants River Valley between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam, and the valley is alive with the scent of orange blossom from September to October. The citrus harvest begins in April and continues until September with farm tours (2 hours) offered during season.
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Goede Hoop Citrus Packing in Citrusdal offers tours during fruit season (for parties of 5 or more). This is a fascinating and educational tour through the various stages of sorting and packing the fruit for the local and international market. Contact them on 022 921 8100.
How to use Rooibos in Recipes
You can use prepared Rooibos as a substitute for water or milk in just about any recipe. Rooibos complements and intensifies the natural flavours of food, and adds minerals and antioxidants to increase the nutritional value of dishes. And because it is 100% natural, it contains no additives, preservatives or colourants. Here are some hints & tips:
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• Replace the liquid in stews and casseroles with Rooibos to add a rich aroma
• Use Rooibos as a meat tenderiser and a perfect base for marinades
• Add Rooibos to sauces for extra flavour, or use it to dissolve stock cubes
• Use it to dilute fruit juices and concentrates
• Keep prepared Rooibos in the fridge for later use
Tea Tasting at NetMar
Pick five flavours/blends from over 100 different rooibosteas and see, smell, taste, drink and enjoy rooibos like never before. We do an interactive teatasting where you may ask questions while we tell and show you the history and producing process of rooibostea. All these flavoured/blended teas are on the shelf to buy .