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Fashion, Function or Familiarity

 

 

What serves us best?

Turning over more than a new leaf is our business, from great teas to great new packaging. It’s clean. Fresh. Fashionable without giving up function. Easily identifiable to our customers without losing its old familiarity.

As with any process of change, it was at the same time exciting and tough. Hard to say goodbye to what we know and love, a huge amount of work, and always concerned about our customers who are usually a mix of ‘early (easy) adaptors’ and those ‘resistant to change’ (loving the familiar). We looked at trends, visited trade fairs, had agreeable and not so agreeable discussions and eventually pushed through.

It pleases us no end to introduce you to our ‘new look’ Carmién Tea range of 20’s teas! From Kiddies to Mammas to our popular Flavours and Wellness teas, you are not simply getting a ‘new look’ packaging but also improved flavours where we felt necessary. Clean, visual packaging that makes your next shopping trip much easier.

One thing remains unchanged. The ‘healing’ power of a cup of rooibos tea. Quick to make. Relaxing. A great way to solve life’s problems, on your own or with friends. Share a Carmién cup today!

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.

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.