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How do we stay safe?

Between social media and the news, we are a flooded with a mix of maybe’s and guestimates, while advice, activities to keep busy, and recipes abound. Even our email greetings have changed from ‘Keep well’ and ‘Kind regards’ to ‘Stay safe’. How do we stay safe?

The one consistent message is this: Now, more than ever, it is important to stay hydrated and boost your immune system. Underlying all this, are the inevitable stress and anxiety that we experience on so many levels. So, let’s talk Carmién Tea and its contribution to our wellbeing.

6 cups of Carmién rooibos a day can make this difference:

  • Hydration. It is hydrating which ensures all our body functions run efficiently. It boosts our immune system as it is high in antioxidants (polyphenols), which fight the free radicals (oxidants) that weakens our immune system. A weakened immune system places us at a higher risk of catching any virus. Good hydration aids the flow of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body and also helps the body maintain healthy blood levels. Hydration keeps our joints lubricated and helps reduce joint pain and stiffness, also preventing muscle fatigue and maintaining muscle movement. Rooibos is naturally anti-inflammatory which helps decrease inflammation of the joints.Polyphenols are antioxidants which have been linked through in vivo and epidemiological studies with positive health outcomes and are needed by humans to achieve a full lifespan by reducing the risk of a range of chronic and metabolic diseases. Polyphenols scavenge free radicals which are linked to ageing; may temper dysglycemia (abnormal blood sugar levels), which is a major metabolic illness or syndrome which is interrelated with oxidative stress. In short, oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract the harmful effects of these free radicals through the work of the antioxidants. The polyphenols in rooibos also have anti-inflammatory and anti-mutagenic properties.

    Sufficient fluid intake also helps to regulate our body temperature, aids the transmission of nutrients to the body and helps to remove mucus from the body (especially when we are ill or suffering from colds and flu), all of which keeps the risk of infection low.

  • Hypertension and cardiovascular health. Rooibos has a positive effect on adults at risk of heart disease, as rooibos may lower the total blood cholesterol levels, with a significant reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol levels which can inhibit the forming of a layer on the inside of blood vessels.
  • Stress. Rooibos can also keep stress and anxiety at bay as the tea polyphenols aspalathin and nothofagin interfere with the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. These two compounds were tested in a lab on adrenal cells that were stimulated to mimic a stress response similar to that which occurs in humans which showed that rooibos lowered the production of the stress hormone. Rooibos is naturally soothing on the nervous system which acts as a stress reliever and also helps you get a good night’s sleep which again is essential to a healthy immune system. Good quality sleep helps ward off sickness and disease.
  • Diabetes. The polyphenol aspalathin in rooibos helps to balance blood sugar levels and improves the absorption of glucose by the cells of the body, as well as to break down insulin resistance in cells preventing blood sugar highs and lows. Rooibos also has the potential to delay and even prevent the onset and progression of type 2 diabetes – one of the most prevalent diseases today.
  • Healthy skin. Rooibos gained interest for use in the treatment of skin disease and ailments. The polyphenol found in rooibos is aspalathin which possesses antioxidant properties associated with the prevention of cancer development. The chemopreventive properties (meaning to delay or inhibit carcinogenesis) of rooibos have been demonstrated in various organs as well as in the skin. Within the biological context of ageing, rooibos was found to protect some of the fat cells named preadipocytes, from cell death which can result in the occurrence of wrinkles. Hydration also keeps our skin moist, preventing wrinkles and protecting it from premature ageing.
  • Bone health. Rooibos is high in calcium, manganese and fluoride, which  improves bone health and strengthens our teeth.
  • Weight management. Drinking rooibos before meals prevents overeating and curbs our sense of hunger by creating a sense of fullness. Rooibos’ anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties could potentially curb obesity.
  • Gut health. Rooibos improves gut health especially through our Teatox program. Hydration also helps the liver and kidneys remove waste and prevents toxic build up.

Let us emerge from this crisis stronger, healthier and happier.

If I may adapt a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: We are like teabags, you can’t tell how strong we are until you put us in hot water. It’s a South African thing, isn’t it?

Put the kettle on and enjoy your hot cup of Carmien rooibos with new appreciation.

 

A good time to make new friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally!

An exciting new, must-stop shop along the N7. One visit and you will keep you coming back for more. It not only offers a hub of honest food, exciting pairing experiences, quality artisan products, an excellent wine selection, but our range of Carmién teas too. The original ‘toll house’ that was built in 1864 as a watering hole for horses and donkeys transporting goods to Cape Town harbour, is now a family stop for much more than just water!

 

 

 

De Tol Deli is located on a historical piece of land along the N7 on the Piekenierskloof Pass

 

The historic wine cellar at De Tol dates back to 1849 and produced wines for travellers en route to take back home, south to the Cape Colony or north to ‘Duitswes’ (Namibia) as a reminder of their journeys.

 

Today the familiar white building has been gently renovated (as much as regulations allow) and is also home to Piekenierskloof wines‘ exciting new tasting room and our very own Carmien Gin.

 

The traditional ‘bakoond’ (outside wood oven) still turns out the most delicious ‘roosterkoek’, and if that is not enough to lure you, you can enjoy a wine tasting served with a beautifully paired food platter and first hand information on each wine.

 

 

Pairing experiences at De Tol Deli are not only for adults. The latest range of healthy nibbles paired with rooibos ice teas were tested on a group of children and met with great success (not to mention the adults who also dived into the eats!). It’s truly a place not to be missed. See you there soon!

Carmien Tea Goes Green

 

Consumer habits are under intense scrutiny

and nothing seems safe anymore, not even the good old teabag.

Plastics are the hot topic of the day. Microplastics, to be more specific. So hot that we took a long hard look at our own manufacturing and materials because, as always, we strive to bring our customers not just the best tasting cup of tea, but also a healthy cup (and that starts with a teabag).

 

Our goodness seals promise our workforce and our customers, earth-friendly, safe farming methods and a commitment to their well-being and health. After much testing and research our products are becoming increasingly ‘green’. Our factory also packs Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and Fairtrade certified tea, hence our strong focus on environmentally friendly packaging.

 

So where do we stand?  All Carmién square pillow teabags have been changed to compostable. This means the same high performance, but with special focus on reducing the environmental impact at the end of life. Our current inventory of pyramid teabags are still nylon but our 2020 production runs coming off line, are made of PLA compostable material. And so the humble teabag remains a great source comfort in our daily lives. We have also added a reusable double walled travel cup to our popular glass tea ware range. Every small step helps.

 

All our outer packaging (recyclable) is now FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, which is in line with our policy to practise safe farming methods. This means that for every tree used to provide paper, a new one will be planted. In addition, our printing inks comply with environmental protection and consist of materials that are derived from renewable raw materials. Our glues used are non- toxic, non-flammable (wet state) and suitable for indirect food contact.

Change takes time, comes at great cost, and is more a process of evolving rather than a quick fix. Every small change confirms our commitment to a better, more healthy product and environmental impact.

New! Carmien Pyramid Tea Range

Carmién Tea takes the art of tea drinking another step forward

 Coarse cut tea leaves blended with floral, fruity and spicy elements beautifully showcased in see-through pyramid teabags. Direct contact with hot water allows for better and quicker infusion. A taste and flavour explosion that sets the pace for a new era of tea enjoyment.

 Fresh, clean, eye-catching design too good to resist.

Floral Berry

A calming, fruity blend of rooibos, hibiscus, and rose petals with fruity forest berries. Hibiscus provides a slightly tart taste and a pinkish cup infusion. Pink rose petals and blue cornflowers add to a beautiful visual experience. A calming fruity drink.

 Citrus Chai

A popular flavoursome blend with spicy notes of masala chai and turmeric. Calendula flowers and turmeric add a rich yellow colour. An excellent anti-inflammatory tea, great for general body and heart health. An excellent tea to serve with wine and food.

Creamy Mint

A green rooibos and spearmint blend with just a touch of vanilla flavour.  Bound to become a favourite. A smooth tasting blend with a hint of refreshing spearmint. Vanilla adds extra creaminess to the classic mint taste. Green rooibos brings out this beautiful blend of flavour and taste. An excellent digestive tea and great palate cleanser before meals. A great everyday tea.

Orange Camomile

A winning flavour combination of rooibos and camomile witha subtle hint of bergamot orange. The camomile blends beautifully with the slightly perfumed flavour of bergamot orange and creamy vanilla. The tea dreams are made of. Your go-to tea anytime of the day, especially before bedtime. Calming and relaxing.

Turkish Delight

An unusually flavoursome green rooibos and rose petal blend reminiscent of Turkish Delight. A fragrant, smooth tasting blend to enjoy any time of day. Beautifully packed in see through pyramid teabags showing off the coarser cut tea leaves and pink rose petals. A lovely gift for any tea lover who also enjoys the ritual beauty of tea drinking

Tropical Burst

Tropical Burst is a slightly sweeter blend of rooibos and tropical fruits with a delicious summery hint of mango. Excellent as an ice tea .

Our pyramid range of teas lends itself perfectly to cold brewing. Simply add to teabags to 250ml cold or room temperature water, steep and enjoy. Cold brewing gives a clean fresh taste and is a convenient replacement or option to traditional hot-brewed tea. An easy way to stay hydrated and enjoy your tea on-the-go.

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!

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”

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.

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.