Rooibos Tea is such a popular drink in South Africa, it can almost be called our national drink! What’s more, the rest of the world has got wind of the amazing health benefits of Rooibos Tea and it can now be found in many countries around the world, much to the relief of South Africans living abroad.
The humble origins of Rooibos
Rooibos tea originated in the hilly Cederberg region of the Western Cape in 1700 to 1800 when migrants and settlers in the region discovered that the fine leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant made a delicious and aromatic tea. To make the tea the leaves and fine stems were chopped and bruised with mallets and then left in piles to ferment. Once fermented, the Rooibos was spread out in the hot mountain sun to dry. Today Rooibos Tea is still made in a very similar way.
As the popularity of Rooibos Tea started to grow, the Minister of Agriculture appointed the Rooibos Tea Control Board in 1954 in order to regulate marketing, stabilise prices and improve and standardise the quality of the Rooibos Tea being produced. In 1993 the Rooibos Tea Control Board became the fully privatised company Rooibos Limited and in 2003 Rooibos Tea developed further when Green Rooibos (unfermented Rooibos) was produced by Rooibos Ltd.
The health benefits of Rooibos Tea
Rooibos Tea has many health benefits attributed to drinking it regularly. Researchers have found that rooibos extracts have the ability to remove pre-cancerous damaged cells and even block the onset of inflammation from skin exposed to UV ray. Rooibos can also protect the liver against disease, relieve allergies and boost the immune system. It’s also an excellent source of antioxidants as it is packed with health-boosting polyphenols and contains a unique antioxidant called aspalathin.
From the Cederberg to the world
Rooibos Tea is even making its name internationally with Starbucks branches in Europe launching two rooibos drinks – a rooibos latte and a red apple rooibos latte, which are receiving fabulous reviews!
Experimenting with Rooibos
Nothing tastes better than a warm cup of Rooibos Tea, with a buttermilk scone to go with it! But if you want to get creative with your Rooibos Tea, you could consider adding it to different recipes for an extra bit of South African flavour. Add it to your stews and pastry mixes or consider mixing the Rooibos stalks together with some parsley, butter and garlic and use it to baste your seafood on the braai.
To get you experimenting, here is one of our favourite South Africa Rooibos recipes:
Rooibos Malva Pudding recipe
Ingredients for the pudding
- 20ml butter
- 1 cup of castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 15ml of smooth apricot jam
- 5ml of bicarbonate of soda
- 125 ml of lukewarm Rooibos strong (6 Rooibos teabags in 500ml of water left for 15 minutes)
- 250ml cake flour
- 1ml of salt
Ingredients for the Rooibos cream sauce
- 250ml of cream
- 180ml of white sugar
- 125g of butter
- 125ml of strong hot Rooibos (6 Rooibos teabags in 500ml of water left for 15 minutes)
- 5ml of vanilla essence
Method for the pudding
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Grease a 1.5 liter baking dish or ovenproof dish with butter.
- Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the whole eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat the mixture until light and fluffy.
- Stir in the apricot jam.
- Stir the baking soda with warm Rooibos and stir it into the egg mixture.
- Sift the flour and salt together and fold into the egg mixture. Lastly, stir in the vinegar.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan or dish and bake 45 minutes or until done.
Rooibos cream sauce
Place all the ingredients for the cream sauce in a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the warm sauce over warm pudding.
If you are a South African living (and enjoying your Rooibos Tea) abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through completing the process of financial emigration from South Africa, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.