Tea-lovers from around the world will be breaking out the fine china on the 15 th of December in celebration of International Tea Day.
Next to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world and can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime. In fact, on any given day around 2 billion people sip on the brew.
Homegrown Rooibos Tea, known for its abundant health benefits, is a firm favourite among South Africans and tea connoisseurs the world-over. It can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways – hot or cold and is becoming very popular in wine, gin, vodka, cider and cocktails, and is used as a flavour enhancer in yoghurt, ice creams, syrups, sauces, foods and more. It is also considered an essential ingredient in beauty products and can be found in age-defying skin creams, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps and fragrances, and comes in countless still and sparkling iced tea varieties.
According to Ernest du Toit, a Director of the SA Rooibos Council and CEO of Annique Health and Beauty, Rooibos Tea, which is exclusively grown in the Cederberg region, is becoming one of the fastest-growing beverages in the drinks market globally.
“Worldwide consumption of Rooibos is at around 15 000 tons per annum and the growing demand for the product has pushed exports up to more than 7 000 tons per year. If both export and local volumes were sold and enjoyed as pure Rooibos, it would equate to roughly 6 billion cups of Rooibos tea per annum.”
South Africa exports Rooibos tea to over 30 countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, UK and US. Germany still remains by far the biggest importer of rooibos tea at 31%, with the Netherlands at 16% and Japan at 15%.
Du Toit highlights that the new-found appreciation of fine tea, has led to a rush in establishing smart tea bars and tea shops which are popping up on every street corner and has also resulted in a renewed interest in and a growing demand for Rooibos.
“Tea is becoming the new coffee of the 21 st century,” he remarks. “Tea-lovers are no longer content with indifferent mass-market tea. They are graduating to higher-quality tea bags and choice loose leaves, and tea companies are responding by offering an ever-wider variety of teas. Packers, sellers, exporters, along with people who sell tea-making equipment and publish books and blogs on tea are benefiting from the tea-revolution. Given the passion for, and the variety and expertise that already exists for wine, beer, coffee and even bottled water, it was inevitable that tea would be next on the list. And, wherever you look, rooibos seems to be taking centre stage.”
This year we are celebrating International Tea Day with two exceptional ladies, Angelique du Toit and Carine Rous. They have shared their absolute favourite Rooibos recipes for you to try!
Angelique’s Favourite Rooibos Recipe
Clanwilliam Rooibos Stew
1kg breast of lamb, sawn into portions
2 onions, chopped
10ml curry powder
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 x 283g can of pineapple rings
125ml Rooibos tea
125ml pineapple juice (from the can)
1. Brown the meat in in a heated, heavy-based saucepan
2. Pour off excess fat
3. Add onions and sauté, then add curry powder and the remaining seasonings and fry lightly
4. Add pineapple rings, heated Rooibos tea and pineapple juice
5. Cover and simmer for about 90 minutes or until the meat is tender and soft
Carine’s Favourite Rooibos Recipe
Rooibos Tea Punch
15 Rooibos tea bags
1l boiling water
1l cold water
2l pineapple juice
1l apricot juice
250ml lemon juice
Bitters to taste
Make a pot of Rooibos tea and add 15 tea bags. Add 250ml sugar to the hot Rooibos tea and let it cool. Add the cold water pineapple and apricot juice as well as the lemon juice and bitters to taste. Enjoy chilled!