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From Crop to Cup: Unveiling the Rooibos Journey

Ever wondered how your favorite cup of rooibos tea comes to be? Buckle up for a fascinating journey that starts with tiny seeds and ends up in your mug!

Planting the Seeds of Goodness

Our rooibos story begins between February and March, when seeds are sown. After a few months, the seedlings find their permanent home. Patience is key – it takes 18 months before the first harvest! Each spring, the plant boasts beautiful yellow flowers, each containing a single seed. Traditionally, farmers relied on ants to collect these seeds, but today sifting techniques are used.

Harvesting Rooibos Riches

Come summer and early autumn, the magic happens. Rooibos is harvested by cutting branches, which are then bundled and transported for drying.

The Art of Cutting and Oxidation

The rooibos is then chopped into uniform pieces. This step, along with a bit of bruising, kickstarts the natural processes that create rooibos’ unique flavor and reddish hue.

The Fermentation Transformation

The tea undergoes a “fermentation” process, which is actually an oxidation aided by enzymes within the plant. This step takes place over 10-14 hours at controlled temperatures and transforms the green leaves into a deep amber color, brimming with aroma.

Basking Under the African Sun

After fermentation, rooibos enjoys some well-deserved sunshine. Sun-drying for 8-12 hours completes the process, and the tea is then sorted and graded based on various factors like color, length, and taste.

Double-Checking Quality: A Multi-Step Process

We take pride in the quality of our rooibos. Every batch undergoes rigorous testing, including:

  • Visual Inspection: Trained experts evaluate the dried leaves for size, color, and other visual cues.
  • Sensory Evaluation: A team brews and tastes the tea, ensuring it meets the characteristic rooibos profile.
  • Laboratory Analysis: Both internal and external labs conduct tests for things like moisture content, pesticide residues, and microbial activity.

Safety First: Removing Impurities

After harvesting, rooibos is sifted to remove foreign materials like twigs, sand, or even tiny metal fragments. Powerful magnets also come into play to ensure a clean and safe product.

Blending for Perfection

Depending on customer needs, rooibos may be blended according to specific recipes. This ensures consistency and caters to different flavor preferences.

Pasteurization: The Final Touch

Before reaching you, the rooibos undergoes a steam pasteurization process to eliminate any potential bacteria. Finally, magnets ensure no metal traces remain.

Packing & Storage: Keeping it Fresh

Rooibos is then packed for various needs – bulk shipments or convenient teabags. With proper storage in a cool, dry place, our rooibos can stay fresh for up to 4 years!

So, the next time you sip your rooibos tea, remember the dedication and meticulous processes that bring this unique flavor from our fields to your cup!