News from the farm

As you know by now, conservation farming is our heart. As always, we are looking for the best products, the best equipment and the most effective way to combat disease so that we can keep supplying top quality rooibos direct from the farm to you, our customer.

The harvesting season is at hand but first we took a look at our planting, growing and risk management challenges and opportunities. At a recent suppliers’ meeting the latest equipment and products were discussed to ensure the best possible harvest and top rooibos tea quality.

 

In our efforts to maintain the norms we strive to uphold, and to ensure safe consuming of our product, we invited Prof Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Internationally recognised botanist from Univ of Johannesburg  and Dr.  Marietjie Stander, analytical chemist at the Stellenbosch University, to highlight the latest research being done in the field of foreign weeds and plants and how to detect them.

Gilbert Theron from Afgri also joins our quest with their conviction  that “Great companies have a sense of purpose that goes deeper than the bottomline”. Jaco Visser from Viking ensures our drive for ‘healthy soil, healthy roots’ continues successfully.

The evening was concluded with our MD Mientjie Mouton reiterating the importance of our certifications, such as Organic, Rain Forest Alliance /UTZ and Fair Trade Standards and Practices,   which ensure continuity and quality, that enable us to remain the preferred rooibos supplier in the product health category.

Despite many new product developments in rooibos field, Carmién Tea, in the speciality tea segment, remains high in popularity, esp. based on our great taste profile built up over many years, plus our consistent quality and excellent variety of products and natural herbal blends.

Underlying our success are these foundational principles: maintaining quality of product, strong social responsibility, food safety and sustainability.

She concludes,“ It’s not just about doing things right but doing ordinary things extra-ordinary”

Carmién Rooibos Gin

Carmién Floral Berry Gin

G & TEA like you’ve never experienced!

Rooibos tea has never been more trendy. With fynbos gin no longer a stranger to gin lovers, distilling our favourite rooibos blends, Vintage Romance and Amber Royalty , with gin was inevitable.

Carmién joins the cocktail culture with a superior, small batch South African Rooibos Gin .  All set to become your favourite cocktail on balmy sunset evenings!

Carmién Citrus Chai Gin

Carmién Rooibos Gin is a modern, refreshing drink in two handcrafted styles. Carmién Citrus Chai and Carmién Floral BerryEach a beautiful balance of gin and natural botanicals, providing a classic initial top note of juniper and citrus on the palate with a lingering undertone of chai or floral berry.

We are finding it so hard to pick a favourite!

Carmién Citrus Chai Gin. Juniper berries and a touch of Citrus are the signature botanicals in this smooth gin, distilled with a fragrant blend of Rooibos, Honeybush, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg and Blackpepper. Fresh on the palate with subtle hints of spice and citrus.

Carmién Citrus Chai Gin

Carmién Floral Berry Gin. Delicately distilled with aromatic flavours of natural botanicals. Rooibos and Honeybush, with a summery blend of Rose, Lavender, Hibiscus and fruity Berries beautifully complement the Juniper in this refreshing gin. Fragrant, with a lovely floral nose and sweet berries on the palate.

Carmién Floral Berry Gin

As an opening special, each gin is sold with its own individual Cocktail Garnish, to visually enhance and provide a refreshingly different drinking experience. Naturally enhance your gin with more flavour and colour by simply adding a teabag to your favourite glass of G&Tea. Allow to infuse and enjoy!

Available on its own or in a beautiful gift box. 

Click here to get yours online or at the following retail stores in the Western Cape:

Bar Keeper   CBD

Blue Bottle Model T Liquors  Observatory

Shorties Blue Bottle Liquors  Noordhoek

Tops Kleinmond

Tops Observatory

Tops Van Riebeeckshof  Welgemoed

Bar Keeper   CBD

Hangklip Bottle Store

Monkey Valley Resort Noordhoek

Tops Old Oak

Tops Van Riebeeckshof  Welgemoed

Urban Wines Durbanville

Vinolentia Welgemoed

Available online only at www.piekenierskloofwines.co.za

 

 

Carmién Handmade Soap

Spicy Chai Coconut and Clay Soap & Vintage Romance Natural Glycerine Soap

Rooibos. So much more than just a cup of tea.

Always a story worth telling, with new chapters added daily. And who doesn’t love a good story, especially a soapy? Listen to this one! Pure romance. All you have to do is add your own candles…

We took our rooibos to the Storytellers of the Cederberg to weave us a a story. Nature and blending skills combined with age old recipes brought two fragrantly beautiful soap characters to life. It is our pleasure to share them with you and hope you love them as much as we do.

Meet Carmién handmade rooibos soap in our two most colourful and popular tea blends: Vintage Romance Natural Glycerine Soap and Spicy Chai Coconut and Clay Soap. Not just effective in what they do but good to look at too!

Our Popular Vintage Romance and Amber Royalty tea blends now in soaps

These natural soaps are handmade especially for Carmién by Storytellers Fynbos Apothecary, creators of natural, plant-based body and skincare products. Only natural, toxin-free ingredients are infused with plants from the area. Each unique product brings to life the biological stories of the Cederberg’s plants.

Use our magical healing soap blends to take your body on a healing journey.

The ultimate winter warmer

It’s winter. Cold.

Maybe you have the fire going already.  All that’s missing is some comforting chocolate.

Delicious, warm, Carmién Rooibos Drinking Chocolate. We have no words. We’re totally hooked on it ourselves! Premium cacao with pure rooibos, dark chocolate, just enough sugar and a touch of Kalahari salt.

All you have to do, is add hot milk. See if you can resist this…

Yes, we’ve taken our tea and chocolate pairing just that perfect step further.

Get yours quickly. Stocks are limited.

CSR Report Back

The Conscience of Carmién Tea

Every company knows the value of matching the right person with the right position. More than that, a person who truly shares the vision and values of your company. Madele Mouton, recently appointed to the Fairtrade Africa Board (https://africafairtradeconvention.com/) as representative for Southern African countries, has the same heart for our people and our products that we do. 

In an in-depth interview earlier this year, published in KoffieTcacao magazine, she talks about more than just family, tea and community. Read the full article below:

Madelé Mouton – Het geweten van Carmién Tea

Wine, Food and Tea pairings

When last have you had a really good time?

Lurking in the back of our minds is always more than just tea. Like a great experience. Worth more than your best purchase.

Our vision has always been to draw our customers and clients into an experience and not just sell them a product. As our products increase, our list of great experiences just keeps on growing.  So we have a steadily building collection, all playing a role in the big picture. 

  • We started pairing rooibos tea with food bites in the office when food pairings were nowhere near the buzz word it is today
  • In the process tea and chocolate pairings became a solid favourite and are currently being hosted on demand both in the Cape and Johannesburg area.

Tea at the centre of it all!

  • Then we added food and wine. Suddenly life became a whole lot more interesting!
  • In February we had our first wine, food and tea pairing at the annual Woordfees celebration in Stellenbosch 

All set for wine, cheese and tea pairing

  • This was followed by a wine, cheese and tea pairing on Sandringham farm at  the South African Cheese and Wine Festival in April 

Some serious tasting taking place.

Now we are spreading our wings with pairings among the vats in our wine cellar at Piekenierskloof wines and come summer we are heading out into the vineyards with a long table setting. You should get yourself an invite to that!

Vat room turned into tasting room complete with chandeliers!

Our glass teapots are becoming a familiar face at the table and time and again sturdy non-tea drinkers are converted to the amazing pair-ability of rooibos tea. From palate cleanser to hydrating drink to food bridge between courses. Its place is set. And each time the mix of wine, food and tea just gets better. Of course, the settings add to the whole experience. We may just have one amongst the citrus orchards next!

Speaking of citrus…watch this space for some new additions to our pairing experiences. Our lips are sealed. Al we can say is that it tastes good, very good!

From just tea to chocolate to a few things much stronger than tea! Tea seems to be just the perfect partner for most things in life.

What did Kevin Costner say in the movie Field of Dreams? “If you build it they will come”.  All part of the dream. Living life fully, one sip at a time.

News from the farm

A very very dry summer has come and gone. Finally, everything lifted. Our expectations, our optimism, and our joy broke out in abundance at the great downpours we experienced recently.

Once again it is time to plant. This time, we have our very own rooibos seedlings amongst the ones grown for us by our regular suppliers. 

Our daily walks or drives somehow kept finding their way past the new tea nursery. We have been watching and willing them to grow before they were even just faint green specs on a large open field.

An exciting bit of expansion for us! Plus almost doubling up on our planting this year. That will take some manpower and long hours but the team is ready. We look forward to a great planting season and a generous rainy season that will break the back of the drought in the Western Cape

Where did the drought leave us?

We experienced a 30% reduction in anticipated volumes on our harvest this year. The lack of good rain has also left its mark on our more mature plants. Some did not make it. Others started yellowing due to lack of water which made it more of a target for pests. As you know, the rooibos plant has a deep tap root system but short bursts of rain with shallow moisture penetration has benefitted the younger plants ( with shallow roots at this stage) but left our older plants dry. So the drought took its toll but, there is always a way out. And a new season.

 

Madiba Day

100 years.  

What did Madiba leave us? A legacy of values. A love for children. A challenge.

 “It is in your hands to make the world a better place”.

It is that time again. To commemorate and to celebrate and to ask ourselves, what are we doing to make the world a better place? Making the world a better place does not always lie in the big things. Simply helping to make ONE life better also helps…it becomes a legacy to that person. So, instead of worrying (and doing nothing) about the big impact you want to make, let’s start today, reach out, and touch one person. If we all did that, very soon, the world would become a better place.

We chose to make this day about our children. Join us. Reach out to a child.

“The true character of society is revealed in how it treats its children “

At Carmién tea part of our investment in our children are the four after school care centres and crèches on our farms. Here the little ones are cared for during the the working day and after school it becomes a place of homework and creative projects once they’ve had a good lunch. 

Our recycle card making project supports their creative curiculum by improving concentration, practical skills and problem solving. Our aim is not just to teach our children the value of recycling, repurposing and to create less waste, but also to think creatively. It is not just a one day activity but a lifestyle of awareness we seek to create. 

Of course it it never without fun and laughter as you will see in this short video. Watch how your Madiba day cards were made and enjoyed by all.

In the words of Nelson Mandela,

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”

Get your own personal handmade card with every online purchase made during June and July or sign up online to become a Tea Club member which will get you a card and a free gift on your birthday if it is in June or July!

We thank our children, Colourtone Aries for donating the printing, and the staff of The Pebbles Project for assisting in rolling out the project every month at each of our crèches and after school care centers. 

Make her day special!

Life is about celebrating every moment and cherishing what we have. Like mothers. We are here to help you make her day special with a choice of great gifts!

Choose between 30% off on a long lasting cast iron teapot on its stand in a range of beautiful colours or refresh her tea collection and get a FREE TIN with every purchase of  any two teas from our flavour range or our wellness range. With an offer this good you may even be tempted to get both!

Because she deserves it.

Note: If you choose our two teas and a FREE TIN option, please use the coupon  MOTHERSDAY  to get your free tin.

Tea with a difference

Carmién tea has gone cold. Ice cold in fact. Why?

Enter CARMIÉN ICE TEA! With a difference…A unique ALL NATURAL ice tea.

No sugar. No calories. No caffeine. 100% natural ingredients. No preservatives. Refreshing, hydrating, pure deliciousness. Hot brewed for extra taste and flavor.

Now in two Great Flavours:

  • Carmién Green Rooibos with Camomile,Ginger & Chilli
  • Carmién Green Rooibos with Lemongrass, Ginger & Mint

Ideal for the whole family, kids and babies from 6 months old. The fit and the unfit. The sweet tooth and the health conscious.

Apart from being all natural, what’s so special about CARMIÉN ICE TEA? No sugar.

Added sugar is the enemy of the modern diet.

We can’t ignore it. Not for ourselves nor for the sake of our children. The latest research shows that sugar is highly addictive, even more addictive than cocaine. It promotes obesity, causes insulin resistance which leads to diabetes, contributes to cancer and raises cholesterol which leads to heart disease. There’s more, but, enough said.

CARMIÉN ICE TEA is the perfect drink when you’re tempted to reach for something sugary, or when you’ve done your daily exercise. When you’re out strolling with baby. Or a diabetic. Oh ok, when you’re slouching in front of the television too!

Healthy too! Soothing on the nervous system. A great digestive aid which helps with weight loss, significantly lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, fights cancer and heart disease. Alleviates allergies. Alleviates colic & cramps in babies. Excellent for hyper-active children. And more.

Be the difference. Get the difference.

Live life the way it’s meant to be lived.

Long, happy, healthy.

Carmién Recycle Project Continues

From natural waste to recycled gift cards. From gift box to recipe booklet. We waste nothing.

You may have purchased one of our gift boxes and not given a thought to what happens to the piece that gets cut out to give you that beautiful display window. Well, we have, and the end result is a lovely little recipe booklet that we will spoil our Carmién Tea Club members with! Keep a lookout next time you have a birthday!

Our grateful appreciation goes to Colourtone Aries www.colourtonearies.co.za for once again stepping up to the printing plate in support of our Recycle mission.

Winning with Teatox

Will I feel better?

“Your first awareness will be an increased sense of wellbeing, more energy, reduced bloating and headaches and the increased hydration, combined with a healthier eating lifestyle, will eventually lead to better looking skin. You may experience weight loss too…”

Towards the latter part of last year we launched our Carmién Teatox range. Two super teas to help you detox after a period of over indulging (holiday benefit or what?!) or simply to assist your body in healthy living.

In January this year, both our detox Energise and Cleanse teas were listed among the TOP 5 SELLING TEAS at Dischem and Pick and Pay and still going strong.

There is something in it! Let’s first find out where you are on the health scale.

  • Low energy
  • Fatigued
  • Bloated/water retention
  • Over eating
  • Indigestion
  • Constipated
  • Need help with weight loss

If you ticked any one of these our Teatox is for you!

A cup of Carmién Energise in the morning will put zing in your step again. In fact, brew a pot and keep going all day long. Fourfold goodness in a teabag. Superfood Guarana for energy, Hoodia to keep hunger pangs at bay, Buchu to beat water retention & bloatedness and of course, stalwart Rooibos. Healthy, soothing, sugar free, kilojoule free. A perfect blend.

End your day with Carmién Cleanse which does exactly what it says. Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint all work together to optimize digestion, cleansing your digestive tract while you’re sleeping. Add to that Senna, known for its mild laxative effect and Green Rooibos, a powerhouse of antioxidants.

Whether you need a cup or a pot full, it works!

News from the farm

When does gratitude supersede expectation?

When we still have a harvest, albeit 30% less than expectation.
When we still have water, albeit less than we require.
When we can still fill our orders , even if it is on our knees most of the time.

And, when we know that what goes down, must come up again, that summer always precedes winter, and that drought will eventually be relieved by rain. And we are grateful. Grateful also for those who fight the battle with us and give their all so that eventually we can all get through this.

Hand harvesting with sickle.

Its harvest time.
5 am. Before the sun has lifted its head behind the Cederberg mountains, sickles are rhythmically cutting handfuls of rooibos. 50 men a field. Each bundle carefully laid on a small sail until it is full. Two hooks join the cuttings into a sheaf that can stand on its own.

Weighing in. Each sheaf meticulously documented.

Each sheaf weighs in at between 18-25 kgs, is carefully documented, and soon, like an army of watchmen waiting to see if their buddies are going to make it, an area of stacked sheaves gets cleared and loaded onto a waiting truck. The cutters take a welcome break and then it is back to the sickle and sheaf as the morning cool makes way for blazing hot days.

To reach minimum wage, 350 kgs has to be cut per worker per day. Some way exceed that with averages between 550-650 kgs per day so there is great reward in the hard work.

6 am. Higher up in the valley at Bergendal Rooibos, long rows of cut, fermenting tea have been building up steamy temperatures of up to 42 degrees Celsius overnight. As the covering sails are lifted and the tea is given one more turning over, a thick mist rises up, obscuring your view, and that familiar sweet rooibos smell permeates the air. It is a beautiful experience. What landed on the court yesterday as green tea, has now miraculously turned red. The wonder of rooibos.

Early morning rows of fermenting tea.

State of the art machines suck up the tea and two rotating arms scatter it thinly over the tea court for a few hours of drying in the hot sun. Each batch carefully documented and monitored to ensure full traceability. Once again it is gathered up into 400 kg bags and now batch after batch goes through a sifting process, separating dust from tea leaves and shaking out mulch at the end. Cut lengths are monitored, batches are sifted and blended according to each client’s requirements and then sent through a pasteurizer and finally hot air drying before being bagged, weighed and shrink-wrapped per palette, ready to be shipped or moved next door to the packing facility.

Behind the scenes, temperatures are checked, batch after batch is tasted, noted, quality checks carried out and finally certification approval before one gram of tea can leave the factory.

Sheaves being separated and fed into a cutting machine.

In the meantime truck after truck arrives with freshly cut sheaves. It is weighed, offloaded, each sheaf opened, separated, and fed though a cutting machine which cuts even lengths of between 1-5 mm. The bruised green cuttings are fed via conveyer belt into a wagon from where it will be dumped in long low rows to ferment overnight and so the process repeats itself.
Day after day.

Its always worth it. We love what we do.

A Feast of Festive Scoops

Chill with your favourite tea. Yes! Now in easy to make ice creams or you can turn yours into a cocktail with a kick! Beat the heat this summer holiday with our delicious range of festive scoops. Ice creams and popsicles that will make your mouth water. Watch the videos below:

Watermelon and Strawberry Champagne Slushies

Chai Turmeric Ice cream

Greenrooibos, Ginger and Chilli Ice Cream

Buchu and Mint Sorbet

Very Berry Gin Pops

Wait! There’s more.

With our Festive Family Fun Competition you stand a chance to get your Christmas purchase for free! For six weeks a winning family photo enjoying our ice creams, popsicles or cocktails, will be selected from your shares on any of your favourite social media platforms. Six secret discounts are up for grabs. Are you a selfie specialist? Get that ice cream freezing and start snapping away!

Trending in Tea

Heart disease remains the number one killer in South Africa after HIV/Aids. While Rooibos tea is known to relieve respiratory conditions and lower high blood pressure, research has also found that drinking rooibos can prevent the liver from storing excess fat around major organs. That certainly makes it worth drinking your 6 cups of rooibos tea a day!

Research on so-called super-foods, especially super fruits, continue to cause great stir. From sports recovery to anti-ageing, it does wonders for everybody! Super-foods contain an extremely dense concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and nutrients with known health properties.

Ever conscious of health research, we have created some superior Rooibos health boosting tea blends. Not only great as a hot tea but also delicious in iced tea form and our easy ice tea recipes will add a spring to your step during the hot summer months!

Carmién Recovery

Why Recovery? The addition of grape seed extract to a pure rooibos base makes it the perfect drink for sports recovery and the stress of a busy lifestyle.

Grape seed extract contains oxiprovin which is a powerful antioxidant that protests the body cells against free radical damage, strengthens the immune system and slows down ageing. It is known to increase energy levels, reduce muscle cramps, relieve arthritis and inflammation of the joints.

Added to that, the ever popular ancient ‘medicine’, Buchu, which relieves water retention and flushes the body of toxins. Also a great anti-inflammatory aid. A must in your tea cupboard.

Carmién Superfruit

One word sums it up. An antioxidant power-drink!

Green Rooibos with açaí berry, moringa and hibiscus. The acai berry is a reddish-purple fruit, about 2.5cm long. It comes from the açaí palm tree, native to Central and South America. Some studies show that the açaí fruit pulp is even richer in antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries!

Moringa is a green leafy superfood with more nutrients than kale. Especially high in vitamins A, C and E, keeping you body cells healthy, anti-aging and helpful against PMS! Together with green rooibos, and hibiscus it is also a great anti-inflammatory aid.

Like having your daily multivitamin boost in a cup of tea!

The Carmién Turmeric Family

Turmeric has been around for so long (4500 years!) as an ancient medicine and as a dye, that it came as a surprise to suddenly be discovered as a superfood. Actually, the Hindi word for turmeric, “haldi,” means healthy.

Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory and said to relieve aches, pains and other effects of inflammation. Even diabetes and depression are said to improve by taking turmeric. Turmeric is also used to treat arthritis, acts as a natural blood thinner and helps regulate blood sugar levels.

It is however, not your common turmeric that you purchase in food stores. Your body will not absorb an effective dose of turmeric alkaloids in this form. It has to be combined with phospholipids, wrapping the turmeric molecules with a fatty membrane that protects the nutrients from oxidization and degradation.

We have combined green rooibos with turmeric which increases its anti-inflammatory qualities. Added to Carmién Soothe and Carmién Green with Turmeric, we have also added turmeric to our Carmién Focus, a delicious and popular Masala Chai blend.

Five excellent ways to improve your health at the click of a button. Pick  your favourite now!

News from the farm

The severe drought situation in the Western Cape had tea farmers very concerned during the planting  season but the miracle of Rooibos tea way exceeds its health benefits. The rooibos plant is also unbelievably hardy!

The little plant is under stress before it even gets planted. Apart from long travelling distances to the farm, they literally lie in a huge heap for a day or two before they get planted. This season they were planted in soil that was certainly not as well drenched as it should be. Not only did the small plants have to get by with continued insufficient rainfall to successfully settle, but they had to face the damaging force of the Sept/Oct south east winds.

At Carmién Tea we practice preservation farming which means we do not plough our fields, so where some farmers had fields almost obliterated by the Sept/Oct south east winds, we had almost no ground movement. We are more than delighted to report that the majority of our plants are also doing well despite this being the lowest rainfall year in the history (1932) of the farm.

There are still many factors that can influence the young plants until their first cropping in March/April. Our more mature plants are flowering excessively at the moment due to the dry conditions. This means the plant may drop its leaves and without sufficient water the resultant poor growth recovery could lead to inferior quality tea so this quarter is crucial for both young and older plants.

It is interesting to note that, despite the possible negative effects (we are trusting for rain), this is actually nature’s way of preserving plant propagation. It flowers in excess so that more seeds can be produced to ensure future survival.

Carmién recycle project launch

The last school term of the year has started and we kicked off day one with some fun. The long awaited (and quite a few trials later) recycle card project was launched at De Meul, our largest community centre.

Sometimes our best laid plans go awry as there are so many people involved. This was no exception but the children surprised us once again. They took to card making like ducks to water! Soon their confidence started building and of course some natural leaders emerged. Some became quite possessive about their work stations and checking up on one another! We gave them some free reign so the card you receive with your Carmién purchase may sometimes be a bit crooked! All part of the creative process.

After starting out with much enthusiasm they went into a wary silence knowing they were about to be photographed. Some prompting revealed a lot of natural musical talent and soon everyone joined in. Finally we celebrated the success of our first batch of cards with the signing of their names at the back which took almost more concentration than the making!

 Watch the card making fun with us in this video:

 Maybe you are asking, why all this card making?

These cards are not for sale. One card is added to each Carmién Tea online purchase as a thank you for supporting us and we feel it enables us to bring our consumers closer to our farming community. The card making forms part of several activities that have been introduced to support the children’s creative development during aftercare. These usually take place on a Friday afternoon after school, at each of the four aftercare centers and supports what they do at school.

 We have a two fold reason for all this added creativity.

 Firstly, it sharpens their concentration,

  • improves their problem solving ability,
  • increases their general awareness,
  • enhances their decision-making processes and
  • stimulates creativity in every other area of their lives and we saw proof of this again today

Secondly, we, at Carmién Tea strive to

  • give not just our workers, but also their children every opportunity to learn and grow,
  • and expose them to our consumers and the greater opportunities available to them today,
  • so while we are stimulating their creativity and learning,
  • we are also showing them the value of community work
  • creating greater eco awareness by not wasting,
  • re-purposing the natural byproducts from our packaging material
  • and keeping their environment clean

Thank you to our children, Colourtone Aries for donating the printing, and the staff of The Pebbles Project for assisting in rolling out the project at each of our crèches and after school care centers.

Carmien rooibos loose leaf tea

Summertime is holiday time

Summertime is holiday time. Treat yourself to our delicious festive summer drinks! Start with tea and end with champagne!

Summer holiday loose leaf tea is a combination of green Rooibos and green Honeybush with a mix of forest berries, mint and watermelon giving it a lovely aroma. Apart from being naturally sweet it is super high in antioxidants and Vitamin C.

Don’t miss the hint of rose petals and beautiful pink cup infusion. An ideal tea blend for making ice teas, cocktails and ice lollies during your festive holidays.

We show you how easy and delicious it is in this Summer holiday loose leaf tea video!

Buy your SUMMER HOLIDAY LOOSE LEAF TEA today:

Tea and chocolate. A perfect pair.

Carmién Tea is pairing up with Winston&Julia handmade Artisan Chocolates.

Carmién tea is not just about producing and selling Rooibos tea . Our aim has always been to give our customers a full taste experience in creative and innovative ways, and over time we have developed many tea tasting combinations from savory to sweet to chocolate, but the one that wins hands down, is tea and chocolate ! Time and again. So we went searching for a top quality, taste sensational chocolate to accompany our teas.

We found the perfect chocolate inspired by this story:

“Julia produced a small slab of chocolate. She broke it in half and gave one of the pieces to Winston.

Even before he had taken it he knew by the smell that it was very unusual chocolate. It was dark

and shiny….”

1984, George Orwell.

This dark novel not only inspired their name, but led Winston&Julia to produce an unusual range of 60% dark tumbled chocolates with fruity and confectionery centres. Tumbled chocolate is made by slowly drizzling chocolate over complimentary centres, all the while rolling and tossing the treats to achieve layers of chocolate perfection. Everything is handmade in small batches using only the freshest ingredients.

Carmién tea in collaboration with WJ are excited to introduce:

Carmién WJ Artisan Chocolates

Our artisan chocolates are the perfect mini-bites for any festive occasion or an everyday nibble.

Carmien rooibos tea chocolate pairingApart from being available individually, we have put together a trio of specially selected teas with each chocolate as a Carmién Tasting Experience with full instructions on having your own tea and chocolate pairing at home. This is the ideal Valentine’s Day gift or ice breaker at your next corporate event. We are happy to guide you through the experience if you book well in advance.

Our chocolate trio consists of Almond Roca, a buttery mix of almonds wrapped in chocolate and cocoa; Toffee, chocolate with a creamy toffee honey centre and Macadamia White, buttery vanilla white chocolate with macadamia nut.

 

Carmién Tea and Chocolate Tasting experience

Find your match!

Pairing tea with chocolate is an adventure in unlocking flavours and will enhance your regular tea drinking experience. There are no rules in tea pairing, it’s a personal journey. You are only limited by your own taste preferences!

You may ask, why tea? Tea acts as a natural palate cleanser and thereby enhances and brings out the flavours of each specific chocolate. Tea is extremely versatile in pairing with any food. The key to a successful pairing is to break down the flavour of the particular tea and match that to complementary food, or in this case, chocolate flavours. As you allow your palate to guide you, you will discover the tea that perfectly balances with your chocolate of choice.

Let’s start your tea and chocolate journey!

Follow our easy instructions for your Carmién tasting experience in this video:

An ideal tea and chocolate tasting is done with 3-4 teas and 3-4 chocolate types but that does not mean you can’t simply pair your favourite tea with any/ all chocolate of your choice.

You can either use the Carmién Tea & Chocolate Tasting Experience Gift Set or, if you are using your own selection of Carmién teas, we have some great combinations for you here in our additional pairing guide which you can use with chocolate or desserts.

Additional Carmién Teas and Chocolate pairing guide

Focus, Rooibos with chai spices, if you like things a bit more spicy. Especially good with Carmién Toffee

Creamy Vanilla, Rooibos with Vanilla flavour, creaminess in a cup! A favourite that goes well with just about anything from sweet to spicy. A winner with Carmién Almond Roca

Cookies & Cream, for the sweet tooth looking for a double delight mix and yet it is sugar free! Pairs well with Carmién Macadamia White

Orange choc, a classic pairing with any dark chocolate

Restore, Rooibos with a touch of ginger, another excellent pairing with dark chocolate

Revive, for those who love even more kick. Rooibos with ginger and a dash of chili. Great with Carmién Toffee and Carmién Macadamia White.

Soothe, a Rooibos, fennel and aniseed combination with or without turmeric. Pairs well with all three but especially good with Carmién Toffee.

Vintage Romance, Rooibos Flower tea. The slight astringency of berry flavours pairs well with Carmién Macadamia White.

The safest route in pairing, is to go complimentary tea with choc flavour i.e. mint with with mint or to pair contrasting flavours  i.e. soft smooth taste of camomile tea with chili choc. It is always interesting and fun to note how each person experiences the different flavour combinations.

A great way to get together!

Do something different! Book a tea and chocolate pairing for your next large event.

Capture the fun! Please share your photos or innovative ideas with us on your favourite Social Media platform. Use #CarmienTeaChocPairing

Start pairing tea and chocolate! Buy your Tea & Chocolate Tasting Experience Gift Set today:

Heritage Day – A Rainbow Nation Braai

Heritage day has become a day of shared cultures celebrating the one thing that binds us all together in unity. The great South African braai tradition. Of course, all braai converts firmly believe the braai originated here at the southern tip of Africa but actually the word ‘braai’ (to grill) seems to have evolved from the Dutch word ‘ braden’ (to roast) but despite its uncertain origin it has become the proud property of our rainbow nation. We like to braai!

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who in 2007 was made the National Spokesperson for “Braai Day”, spoke about us all gathering around one fire…” Irrespective of your politics, of your culture, of your race , of your whatever, hierdie ding doen ons saam (this thing we do together)… just South Africans doing one thing together, and recognising that we are a fantastic nation.”

As much as one may think it is a predominantly white tradition, braaing also has strong African roots and is known as Chisa  Njama in Zulu. The first word Chisa literally means ‘ to burn’ and Njama means ‘meat’. The word describes both the action of braaiing, eating braaied meat and attending a braai! A braai restaurant like Mzolis in Gugulethu is also known as a Chisa Njama.

Of course we cannot let you braai on this Heritage day celebration without introducing you to yet another Carmién Tea experience. A rainbow nation braai. Complete with recipes and easy to follow videos, so go on, impress your guests! We won’t let your secret out!

Any festive gathering calls for some good (sometimes very debatable) conversation and something to drink. Our suggestion is sure to be a hit at your braai! Pink and very very trendy. Gin infused with Rooibos and topped with your favourite pink mixer. Our apologies to those who are still stuck on Brandy and Coke but drinks are moving on and becoming a fashion all by themselves. Drop the gin if you prefer a refreshing non alcoholic drink laced with delicious Carmién Restore.

ROOIBOS GIN & TONIC

Video: Rooibos Gin

Any  Boerebraai starts with good meat and amongst the Afrikaans speaking, boerewors and lamb chops are high on the list, as is the popular sosatie. A sosatie is supposedly not a sosatie unless it is made with a combination of lamb and pork, apricots and a curry marinade. Anything else is dismissed as a kebab. We have a tried and tested original version for you here.

MINI-SOSATIES

Video: Marinade

Braaied chicken is a firm favourite in African households, especially served with krummelpap. A carb side dish usually include either krummelpap, braaibroodjies or roosterkoek. Add our super easy no-cook braai sauce to your braaipap and chicken and you’ll have everyone sneaking into the kitchen for the leftovers!

BRAAIED CHICKEN WITH PAP

Video: No-cook Braai Sauce

Once the meat and carbs are selected every family usually have their own salad favourites but we have added a deliciously tasty twist to our Carmién coleslaw with a creamy masala dressing. Indian and Malay food are known for their fiery but flavoursome curries toned down by a cooling sambal. Our coleslaw with a touch of cumin and coriander can be seen as a type of sambal served in small portions or as a proper salad.

COLESLAW WITH CREAMY MASALA DRESSING

Video: Masala Dressing

Last but never least, we bring our Heritage day rainbow braai to a perfect finish with traditional malva pudding that is served from campfire to statehouse and enjoyed by all. As always, we at Carmién Tea, take the healthy angle and this malva pudding is not as rich and sweet, but definitely twice as nice as the original with Carmién creamy Vanilla and Rooibos Tea adding richness and flavour.

Add to that a little extra indulgence that needs no cultural introduction anywhere. An easy creamy ice cream that will definitely suit our Banting fans too and ensure you enjoy that well deserved afternoon nap after all this “work”! Then gather all the delicious left overs and dish out some of that neighbourly hospitality that we as South Africans are known for.

MALVA PUDDING

Video: Malva Syrup

EASY HOME-MADE ICE CREAM

Video: Easy Home-Made Ice Cream

 

Caring For Your Cast Iron Teapot

Cast Iron Teapot Care Instructions:

Proper care of your cast iron teapot will ensure a lifetime of good use.

Before use:

  • Fill with boiling water to rinse and warm your pot.
  • Please note: your cast iron teapot is not suitable for stove top use.

 

After use:

  • Allow teapot to cool completely after each use before cleaning.
  • Do not use soaps or detergents.
  • Avoid contact with salt and oils.
  • Do NOT put in dishwasher.
  • Do not leave water or tea in pot for extended period of time.
  • Rinse and clean thoroughly with warm water only.
  • Wipe the inside and outside dry with a clean cloth while the pot is still warm.
  • Invert the pot to air dry before replacing infuser and lid.
  • Clean infuser with or without soapy water.

 

  • Due to the iron content of the teapot, we recommend the use of a trivet/ pot stand to
    protect table linens and surfaces.
  • In the unlikely event of rust, the pot can still be used. Rust from the teapot is non-toxic and
    perfectly safe. In fact, many tea connoisseurs actually prefer the taste of tea from a rusted
    iron teapot! If the rust bothers you, clean the rusted area with a soft brush, then fill the pot
    with used tea leaves and boiling water. Allow to sit for 20 minutes, discard and rinse.
    Tannic acid in the tea reacts with the rust and forms a natural seal, helping to prevent the
    re-occurrence of rust.
  • Cast iron teapots remain popular because they are made of specially purified cast iron
    which makes them extremely durable and lasting. They are also excellent at retaining heat
    and have taken on a much more fashionable look which makes them very presentable at
    your tea table.

Buy your Cast Iron Teapot now.

Loose Leaf Tea Blending

You enjoy your tea as pure and untouched as possible. In fact, drinking tea is more than just a ritual to you. It’s an art. An art of fusion and flavours, steeped to perfection.

You like perfection from the tea leaf to the tea cup. A glass pot so you can see when the brew is perfect. A burner because you know tea is best at just the right temperature (65 degrees of course) and the second cup is even better than the first. The cup is more than just a cup, it’s part of the taste experience, double walled yet light, perfectly rounded .

At Carmién Tea you can now also customize your favourite cup of Rooibos loose leaf tea. Create your own unique signature blend. What’s more, it becomes a lovely gift next time you run out of innovative gift ideas.  How often have you shopped and simply can’t find exactly what you want?

Loose Tea blending is our business. And we’ve made it so easy!

Watch the video: How to create your unique blend

That was a lot of information but here it is again.

You can choose from one of four Carmién tea bases: herbal, dessert, fruity or spicy which will make up 80% of your blend. Then you can customise this blend even further by adding a variety of either more healthy elements specific to your needs, or a more unique flavour, or simply make it more pretty by adding some berries and flowers

WHERE ?

At Carmién Tea retail office in Paarden Eiland at Northgate office park.

WHEN ?

You decide but booking in advance is essential. Individual as well as groups of up to 12 are welcome. Two or more is always more fun.

Planting rooibos tea

Rooibos tea seems to love extremes when it comes to planting and harvesting. It gets planted in the cold of winter and harvested in the heat of summer. The Western  Cape, home to Rooibos, have had some really chilly days but it is so worth venturing out into the cold to watch the tea planting process. Sit back and enjoy watching this big event with us!

Of course, it starts with rain and just the right soil conditions. The Western Cape has been hard hit by drought so planting this year is very challenging and we are grateful for every drop of rain. Rooibos requires well drenched sandy soil but not so sandy that the water disappears too quickly. Depending on the type of soil, there are two options available to our farmers, direct seed sowing or planting seedlings.

We use the latter but gathering the seed is an interesting process. The Rooibos plant bears little yellow flowers which eventually burst into seed. These are collected by literally scraping together the top thin layer of soil around the plant. This ‘seed soil ‘ goes through a first sifting to get rid of most of the coarse sand. Then it gets sifted again but this time underwater so that the Rooibos seeds can float to the top and from there the seed, which has a hard outer scale, is put through a rubbing process to aid germination. The seed is returned to the nurseries where our seedlings are grown between Feb and early June.

Soil preparation, if it is a new field, starts just after the harvesting process which runs from Jan to April. At Carmién Tea we believe in conservation farming and minimum handling of the soil so no plowing takes place in establishing a new field. No animals are allowed on the fields at any stage. Wheat, also called the soil doctor, prepares the field for the seedlings and  is sown in this field the first year. The first seedlings are only planted during the second year of a new field’s existence. The wheat stubble is also left as protection.

Planting starts during the last weeks of June. Good rain is essential during this period as the soil needs to be well hydrated for the planting process which starts with holes , about 10-15 cm deep, being made at regular intervals. If the soil is too dry the holes close up before the plants can be inserted!

A special planting machine does 4 rows at a time and are manned with 8 people each who separate the seedlings and teams of two take turns placing them in slots which then on rotation takes them down to the ground where they are inserted in the holes.

Two wheels then close up and secure the little plants in the soil.

Quite mesmerizing to watch!

The little plants take about a month to settle. Although the Rooibos plant is quite hardy, planting has to be completed by end August as the seedlings are too big by September to establish successfully. Now the babysitting starts and keen eyes keep a watch on natural pests that may attack the plants.

In the first year of being planted a Rooibos field is just topped, not harvested. It is only harvested from year two and delivers peak crops for about four years wherafter it needs replacing again ….time for a younger generation to take over!

Carmién Rooibos Tea Planting from Carmién Tea on Vimeo.

It’s Mandela month

It’s Mandela month.

18 July

67 minutes.

Celebrating a remarkable life and legacy. We honor Nelson Mandela’s commitment to care for our children by continuing the privilege.

Here you see Max, one of our two traveling teastory characters, (Max and Maya, who look after the tea fields) visiting a crèche  at our Bergendal processing plant. Max had so much fun that he even tried a few dance steps himself but nothing beats the natural rhythm of Africa!

 

Carmién Madiba Day 2017 from Carmién Tea on Vimeo.

 

A  Rooibos tea gift is handed out to each child and two easy questions make someone the winner of a Carmién Tea t-shirt .

 

 

The children are treated to delicious Cookies and Cream flavored Rooibos tea with coconut marshmallows. A crowd favourite. Yum!

 

 

Of course no memory goes by without being captured in a specially created ‘selfie’ corner and then finally, it’s time to spend all that excited energy on some fun and games…and suddenly 67 minutes go by too quickly.

 

Introducing our Carmién Tea recycle project

 

On May 5 this year Carmién Tea and Mouton Citrus, opened our fourth community centre through our social upliftment arm, The Mouton Foundation. This means that we now have three fully equipped Early Childhood Development centres run by the Pebbles Project, our official education partner which is currently educating 80 children up to the age of five.

 

Below you see some cards made by these children, as a thank you for this investment in them. The cards will be sent out during this Mandela month with each of our online purchases or birthday gifts going out to Carmién Tea Club members.

 

 

These cards, plus an inevitable amount of unused byproducts from our packaging material, have sparked the idea of a recycle project. (You may have already been the recipient of our first test cards).

 

We have been collaborating with the Pebbles Project and our teachers, to incorporate card making, using the above items, as part of their creative curriculum. This has been received with great excitement and a trial run will be rolled out as soon as the schools re open. We trust that you will bear with us if some of them come out just a little crooked or more ‘creative’ than we envisage! Practice makes perfect. We also hope to stimulate some budding artists into coming up with some fresh initiative! Watch this space!

 

Mandela month is also a time to show our gratitude.

 

Our gratitude to the teachers who are willing to guide the children in this and to make them aware of the value of repurposing and conserving resources.

Our gratitude to our printers, Colourtone Aries (www.colourtonearies.co.za), for supporting us in our eco and social consciousness projects, and who is donating the printing of the basic card plus some of the elements required for the completion of the cards.

Our gratitude to you our customer. Your business enables us to do all this.

Our children. It is our privilege to contribute to your future.

3 Ways with Rooibos Espresso

Mouton Foundation Celebration

The Citrusdal valley sends many of its natural gifts of citrus and rooibos far and wide across the country and the globe every year.  As a result of this we are able to give back to the local community – but only with the assistance of you, our partners that have the heart to be involved.


On Friday 5 May The Mouton Foundation hosted funders, employees and suppliers to toast the official opening of the De Meul Community Centre.  This is the fourth, and largest, multi-purpose community centre to be built by the Mouton Foundation in the Citrusdal valley.

Decades of commitment to community betterment and employee empowerment recently culminated in this celebratory event.  Carmién Tea, together with our partner organisation Mouton Citrus, opened this impressive new community centre through our social upliftment arm, The Mouton Foundation.
The launch of this world-class community centre was combined with the ten-year anniversary of the formalisation of The Mouton Foundation, and a celebration of everything that this ground-breaking foundation has achieved in this time.  Apart from celebrating with the partners of the Mouton Foundation, the event was a way to show our thanks to our employees who trust us with their elderly parents, their children, their health, their education, and their futures.  This is not a responsibility that we take lightly.

Mouton Foundation initiatives – made possible through our partners
The Mouton Foundation is funded through the sales of rooibos produced on the Mouton Farms, which is sold through Carmién Tea.  Special retailer and exporter programs allow Carmien Tea to earn a premium of anything between 3% and 15% which goes back into the Mouton Foundation.  Likewise, a percentage of the sales of citrus through Mouton Citrus go towards the Foundation. We also contribute own company funds to match 25% of the contribution made via consumers.

The foundation has established, and currently oversees:

  • Four multi-purpose community centres.  These are Brakfontein, Tienrivieren, Kweekkraal and now the most recent, De Meul.  (These community centres house the below mentioned Early Childhood Development Centres, health clinics, after school clubs, and sports facilities.  As well as providing venues for the community to hold events, meetings, weddings etc.)

  • Three fully equipped Early Childhood Development Centres run by the Pebbles Project – the official education partner to the Mouton Foundation (www.pebblesproject.co.za) – which is currently educating 80 children up to the age of five;

  • A mobile library and learning centre. This travels out to the more remote farm centrers, delivering books, videos, educational toys and games to the children;
  • Three after school clubs which care for 170 children every day after school whilst their parents are at work.  The children also receive a meal and academic intervention as well as fun arts and crafts activities and sports;

  • Tertiary study bursaries for employees’ children, with 20 students currently enrolled for a variety of courses;
  • A full-time nurse and a mobile health service which visits all the employees on the farms.  The Mouton Foundation nurse practitioner sees approximately 3000 people a year;

  • Holiday programmes for all the farm children which takes them on outings and educational excursions;
  • Three youth groups;
  • An Elderly Club – which offers crafts and motivational talks to the farm’s senior citizens; and
  • Sport fields and indoor netball court are provided for local rugby clubs, the soccer league, netball club and small farm schools that would otherwise not have access to these facilities. These institutions are further supported through donations from the Foundation.

The Mouton family’s passion for community upliftment goes back to 1985 when Mientjie Mouton, the founder of Carmién Tea, opened the first crèche on the Mouton family farm.  Easing the challenges faced by working moms, caring for children and the elderly, and training and development of our employees are issues which have always been close to the hearts of the Mouton family.

 

Carmién Tea is committed to empowerment and upliftment
Carmién Tea, a Fairtrade accredited Rooibos manufacturer and exporter, was established in 1998 when Mientjie decided to explore the commercial potential of this unique crop which is only found in the Western Cape of South Africa.  The organisation has moved from strength to strength and now distributes a wide range of innovative Rooibos tea varieties all over the world.

Carmién Tea is committed to empowerment, and aims to provide sustainable jobs and wealth creation for our farm workers. In light of this we pursued a partnership with Bergendal Farming Operations, which led to the establishment of a 50% worker owned business, Bergendal Rooibos Pty Ltd, on the farm where Mientjie Mouton was raised.  This company, which created 96 new jobs, exclusively processes and packages Rooibos for Carmién Tea.
It is our responsibility as businesses in South Africa to give back to our communities and to create opportunities for the next generation.  The Mouton Foundation initiatives would not be possible without the buy-in and support of stakeholders such as yourself and we wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing commitment to giving back to the communities who strive so hard to help us produce our premium rooibos products.

 

We are proud of what we have achieved but our journey never stops and we have many more plans for the future of the Mouton Foundation – be the change that you want to see.”  Mientjie Mouton.
Mouton Foundation facts – 10 years of influence

  • R17 million contributed to community upliftment
  • 900 children positively influenced
  • 7 Students completed tertiary studies
  • 21 Students currently studying with bursaries
  • 330 permanent workers and 1500 seasonal workers positively impacted
  • WATCH THIS VIDEO: https://youtu.be/bKfOVnzgfmg

The easiest way to warm-up this winter

3 Ways with Masala Chai & Turmeric

1. Masala Chai with added Turmeric

2. Hot Masala Chai Latte with added Turmeric

3. Cold Masala Chai Latte with added Turmeric

Read more about the health benefits of turmeric