Rooibos Route << go back


Rooibos (Aspalathus linear) is a broom-like member of the legume family and is used to make a refreshing herbal tea. It is grown only in a small area in the Cederberg area and no alternative source of supply of this unique product is available anywhere else in the world.

It was the locals of the area who first discovered that the fine, needle-like leaves of the Aspalathus linear plant made a tasty, aromatic tea. They first harvested the wild-growing plants, chopped them with axes and bruised them with hammers, leaving them to ferment in heaps, before drying them in the sun. Today Rooibos is still processed in much the same way, just in a more mechanised and refined manner.

Commercial use started in 1904 when Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian settler to the Cape and descendant of a famous tea family, became interested in Rooibos realising its potential. He started trading it from the people of the mountains. Since then, rooibos has steadily grown in South Africa and since early 2000, has gained popularity in the worldwide market.

Tel 027 482 2024 for further information.

 

Harvesting Rooibos