Rooibos is a unique product from a unique area. The plant is indigenous to the Cedarberg region. The region`s hot and dry summers, winter rainfall and deep coarse acidic sandy soil is ideally suited to the Rooibos plant to grow naturally.
Rooibos is grown from seed which is sown in our conventional nursery middle February. Following four months of nurturing, seedlings are then transplanted into the fields by hand
The plants are carefully tended for the next 12 months, when they are ready for the first small harvest. After three to four harvests, the Rooibos plantation must be re-established.
Each spring the plant is covered with small yellow flowers . Each flower produces a small legume with a single seed inside. The Rooibos seeds pop out when they are ripe . We then collect the seeds by sifting the sand around the plants.
During the summer harvest, the bushy-plant`s branches are cut by hand to about 30 cm from the ground using sickles.The harvest is bound into bundles and transported to the tea court.
The bundles are sorted and carefully fed into our cutting machine that cuts to about 2.5 mm. The green leaves and stems are bruised and "fermented" in heaps or immediately dries to prevent oxidation (for green Rooibos). The "fermentation" process involves oxidation, brought about by enzymes naturally present in the plant. During this process the product changes from green to a deep amber colour and develops its distinctive aroma. After fermentation the Rooibos is spread out to dry in the sun on our tea court.
The cutting, fermenting & drying processes are completed in less than 24 hours, and the newly made Rooibos is "picked up/sucked up" by a special machine and fed into 400 kg bags which are then, labelled and transported to our tea store.
The product is then sent in bulk to the Rooibos Factory in Clanwilliam were the product is steam pasteurized and dried once more over an exclusive air bed. Throughout the process bacteriological control is strictly monitored to ensure a hygienically sound product.
At Rooibos limited, the product is sorted and graded then packed in paper bags.