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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!

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

 

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.