The introduction of Rooibos tea to the world was a slow process and if it hadn’t of been for one South African housewife the tea might not of ever been known to the world. Indigo Herbs has a fantastic representation of this fine tea which is bursting with vital antioxidants. Our Rooibos tea comes from the exact geographical location where Rooibos was traditionally grown and harvested by the indigenous Khoisan tribes. We hope that you’ll enjoy this refreshing premium quality caffeine free alternative to black tea.
The history of this tea is an interesting story since at several points during its past the tea has nearly disappeared into obscurity. The first people to cultivate Rooibos were the Khoisan Bushman who used to climb the mountains of the Cederburg region of South Africa and pick the spiny leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant. They prized this bush for its fine taste and medical properties and used to crush the leaves and leave them to oxidise slightly before drying them for use as tea. The botanist Carl Humberg in 1772 noted this practice before the last remnants of the Khoisan tribe died out from urbanisation. Humberg revitalised the interest in the Aspalathus linearis plant whereupon it took on the name Rooibos from the Afrikaans for ‘red bush’. The tea again nearly disappeared until the business man Benjamin Ginsberg decided to start marketing the tea the world over as an alternative to black tea. During the Second World War it was used exactly for this purpose as Europe found it increasingly difficult to find good sources of black tea from Asia. The final step in Rooibos tea becoming well-known was in 1968 when a South African housewife named Annique Theron decided to write a book praising the medical virtues of Rooibos. After the book was published several scientific studies were conducted and soon the name of Rooibos spread throughout the world.
The Aspalathus linearis plant is a part of the legame family and is unique to the Fynbos region of South Africa. This is the only place where this special plant grows naturally. Each bush can reach up to 2 meters in height with spiky green leaves and red stems and branching. In early summer the plant produces very small yellow flowers which in turn produce one small seed each. Rooibos is able to withstand periods of extreme drought from having a very deep taproot which can be become as large as the plant growth above ground.