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8 Ways to Use Tea Bags (Besides Brewing Tea)

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Besides brewing your favourite cup of tea, the humble tea bag can do so much more for you!

Our teas come in so many flavours and styles, giving you endless uses for this versatile pantry staple. Whether you are looking to add extra flavour to your home baking or to create a DIY spa day, try these 8 simple tricks to help get the most out of your tea collection.

1. Rooibos Infused Syrups

Add a delicious rooibos sweetness to your baked goods or at-home cocktails with tea-infused simple syrups. To make, steep tea as usual in a cup of hot water using 2-3 tea bags, more for a stronger syrup. Remove the tea bag and melt in a cup sugar. The syrup can then be stirred into iced coffee, tea, cocktails, or used in or on top of baked goods.

2. Make it a G&Tea!

Instead of spending more money on a fancy bottle of flavoured alcohol, make your own! Pour a tot of your favourite clear spirits like gin or vodka, add your favourite teabag and let it steep for about 15 minutes — that is it — and you’ll taste its complex, concentrated flavours. If you want more flavour, use more tea (rather than tacking on more time, which can lead to bitterness). If that is too much effort, try our rooibos distilled gin and add your teabag for extra flavour!

3. Make Tea Eggs

Add an earthy, herbal flavour to boiled eggs by soaking them overnight in tea. Classic Chinese tea eggs use black tea as well as aromatics to infuse the already cooked eggs with a tasty exterior. To make, boil eggs in water as desired, then crack the shells or completely peel, and soak the eggs for 12 hours in a steeped black tea (or your favourite rooibos tea) to your liking.

4. Relax with Green Tea Bag Masks

Need a quick anti-inflammatory eye boost? Soak two unflavored green tea bags in warm water, drain, cool to touch and rest on your closed lids. The caffeine in green tea will help de-puff the gentle skin around your eyes and the antioxidants will refresh your skin. You can also try our Red Mocha with coffee bean nibs for the same effect.

5. Use Herbal Tea in the Bathtub

After all, herbal tea is just a combination of aromatic dried herbs (like rooibos), fresh flowers, spices, and other ingredients that both smell and taste amazing. Add 2-6 herbal tea bags to a warm bubble bath to soak in the herbal goodness. Our fruit & herbal infusion teas are perfect for this!

6. Paint with Tea

Feeling artsy? Before buying yourself paint that you may not use again, consider using what you have at home: Tea. Fill small bowls with boiling water and infuse various flavours of tea in the water for several minutes. Vary seeping times for darker and lighter colours and get to work on your canvas. Watercolour brushes work best with this technique, but you can get creative with sponges, potato stamps, or whatever tools best suit your creative mood.

7. Make Cold Brew Tea to Go

Instead of splurging on a bottle of iced tea when you are out and about, prepare for the day ahead by making your own iced tea. Take a reusable water bottle, fill it up with water, and add one of our cold brew tea bags. You can leave it in the fridge overnight for the following day and remove the teabag on your way out or pop an envelope in your bag and prepare your tea throughout the day. A cold, delicious tea drink on the go!

8. Compost Used Tea Leaves and Tea Bags

Whether you have a compost bin at home, or a community compost drop off, do not forget to include your spent tea leaves. While some tea bags are compostable as is (like ours, read more here), others will need to be cut open and added to the organics pile to help create plant fertilizer.

Original article via realsimple.com

News from the farm

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Rooibos tea seedling nursery in the Citrusdal valley.

Stay updated on the latest news direct from the farm.

2020 was not a great tea yielding year for us, but the tea we did harvest was of very good quality. Over the last few years, we have expanded our tea planting radius into new areas adjacent to Citrusdal but have found that these fields do not yield more than 3 crops per field, which is disappointing but the norm for that area. We have, however, managed to cut 1 ton of top tea per ha as opposed to previous bests of between 250-550 kg per ha.

We have put a lot of effort into our tea nursery this year with soil analysis and preparation to ensure the correct lime dosage and soil Ph are achieved. This has yielded a host of seedlings with beautiful healthy colour but due to rains just before planting, we had to fight our way through an onslaught of weeds… successfully, with very little damage!

Projected new plantings for the current 2021 year is very low but a whopping 300 ha is planned for next year. Currently, weed control is taking place in the existing tea field while new fields are being prepped for planting.

It has been a season of struggling with low tea prices, but we are always grateful for the grace to pull through in tough times.

Carmien Tea and Bergendal Rooibos (our own processing facility) also had their annual Organic and UTZ certification audits recently. We are proud of being able to produce tea that is Socially Just, environmentally safe and client-focused.

Here is to always looking and planning ahead to ensure a great yield and many cups of tea for our consumers for years to come!

Happiness and Rooibos Tea

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Can rooibos tea be key to health and happiness?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives. It has fundamentally changed the way we live, dress, work and interact with each other. It has also forced us to hit the reset button and question what makes us truly happy.

To get a better picture of how the pandemic has shifted the South African psyche, the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) recently conducted a survey among close to 700 people of various ages and backgrounds across the country.

According to the poll, 56% of South Africans identified sipping a soothing cup of tea as something that brings them the most joy. For those who find contentment in a cup of tea, 84% claimed Rooibos tea as their “happy tea”. Seven in ten said drinking tea helps them to relax, while more than a third remarked that the daily ritual helps them to reflect and be happy in the moment.

“For many, a morning or evening cup of tea is their form of meditation. It sets the tone for the day ahead or helps them to unwind after a stressful day,” says Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SARC. “As you sip your tea slowly, focus on bringing the mind into the present, while drawing peace and quiet into the moment. Bring your awareness into the here and now and align yourself into your day. Allow your thoughts to come and go without holding on to them. This is a wonderful way to stop overwhelming thoughts from taking over and to prepare the mind for the day’s challenges that lie ahead.”

Read the original article on the SA Rooibos Council website.

 

Five Tips to Stay Healthy This Winter

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Stay healthy this winter with these tried-and-true strategies that are still the best way to prevent illness.

We have made a list of five simple things you can do this winter to keep yourself and your family happy and healthy.

Wash your hands often: practising good hand hygiene is not new to anyone, but as we know, the winter months is a peak time for contagious illnesses such as cold and flu. The most effective way to prevent the spread of illness-causing germs is to wash your hands frequently.

Get a flu shot: you can protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick by getting a regular flu shot at a doctor or pharmacy.

Eat and drink well: it is important to consume healthy foods and drinks that support your immune system. Rooibos tea is an excellent immune-boosting drink that also helps to warm you up while keeping you hydrated. Other immune-boosting foods include mushrooms, garlic, citrus fruits, herbs and spices, probiotics, prebiotics, and chicken soup.

Don’t stop moving: it’s easy to get a little more comfortable during the colder months, but try to stick to your regular exercise routine. It will keep your blood pumping and oxygen flowing!

Get some sun: it is important to spend time outside even when it is cold. Sunlight helps to improve your mood by boosting the release of serotonin and helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, which controls your body clock and affects sleep habits.

Start your winter wellness journey today by stocking up on your favourite Carmién rooibos teas, available at selected major retailers and online here.

What’s new at the Carmién Tea Shop

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Have you been to the Carmién Tea Shop at De Tol Farm Deli?

Located on a historic piece of land along the Piekenierskloof Pass, is a white building filled with many stories. Stories of Pikemen, toll fees and a nurse with her first aid cabinet. The building acted as a supply station and pitstop to many travellers since 1864. Back in the days, the beautiful Piekenierskloof Wines Tasting Room used to be the original winery and the Carmién Tea Shop contained a waterhole for donkeys and horses of travellers. Still keeping their character, the buildings have been transformed to be enjoyed by visitors. To keep the memory and tradition alive, we offer honest food, exciting pairings, quality artisanal products and excellent wine and rooibos tea from the surrounding to visitors.

Tastings & Pairings

Experience rooibos like never before with our unique tea pairings and tastings, including our special rooibos distilled gin! From a freshly baked scone or cheesecake to delicious tea-infused mocktails and cocktails, we have a wide variety on offer to suit every personality and taste. You can view the options and make a booking here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Enjoy a decadent Tea, Wine and Nibble pairing featuring Carmién rooibos teas and wines by Piekenierskloof Wines, as well as delicious nibbles from De Tol Farm Deli. Book for a group of 4 or more from Monday – Friday and get 20% off! Offer may be recalled without prior notice at the discretion of De Tol Management.

Carmién Rooibos Health Powders

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Our brand new, innovative rooibos powders are the perfect daily dose of immune-boosting superfoods to add to your favourite drinks or snacks.

Our latest development comes in the form of an instant powder that can be added to shakes, smoothies and cereals, and can also be used when cooking or baking. The benefits of using these rooibos powders are endless, due to the active ingredients included in the mix.

The Green Rooibos Powder has a fresh green rooibos taste with nutty notes. It is made up of Green Rooibos Powder (40%), Coconut (20%), Hydrolysed Collagen (13%), Echinacea (10%), Baobab (10%), Flaxseed (5%) and Moringa (2%).

The Rooibos Powder tastes like typical strong rooibos with hints of cinnamon and cacao. It is made of Rooibos Powder (50%), Hydrolysed Collagen (17%), Cinnamon (16%), Cocoa (13%) and Turmeric (4%).

All these ingredients simply mean that you will get a powerful helping of health benefits with every spoonful added to your meal or snack.

  • High in antioxidants.
  • Vitamin and nutrient-rich.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Excellent immune boost.
  • Regulates blood sugar levels.
  • Alleviates allergies.
  • Supports joint and bone health.
  • Improves digestive system health.

You should also try our Rooibos, Berry and Banana Smoothie or Green Smoothie recipes. Yum! Click here to shop the powders online.

Carmien Kiddies Rooibos Teas

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Carmien Kiddies rooibos tea is nature’s perfect health drink for kiddies and babies.

Rooibos is known to replace essential minerals and alleviate allergies. It’s naturally anti-spasmodic, relieves colic and stomach cramps in babies, is soothing and relaxing on the nervous system and therefore excellent for hyperactive children.

Organic Rooibos

Our Kiddies Organic Rooibos is organically grown, free of pesticides. Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and sweet tasting with no added sugar. Available in a 20s box or 40s pouch.

Yummy Flavours

We offer two delicious flavoured rooibos teas that your kids will love. A perfect sugar-free alternative that’s naturally sweet and soothing. Banana Choc is a tasty blend of rooibos with 100% natural banana and chocolate flavouring. Very Berry is a delicious blend of rooibos with natural blackcurrant & strawberry flavours. These flavours are delicious hot or cold and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

For Tummy Troubles

Happy Tummy is a safe, effective, digestive blend. Rooibos with ground flaxseed and fennel may help to gently relieve constipation. Rooibos is naturally soothing and helps to relieve stomach cramps. Very tasty with a refreshing apple flavour. This tea can also be enjoyed hot or cold.

For Naptime

Sleepy Time is specially formulated to soothe and relax for a good night’s rest. The natural strawberry flavour gives a delicious taste and lovely aroma. Smells just like sweeties! Rooibos is naturally soothing on the nervous system and therefore excellent for hyperactive children. Camomile is long known as a safe, calming herb.

For Lunchboxes

Add a healthy alternative to your kids’ lunch boxes with our cold brew envelopes. Cold brew teas are specially developed to be used in cold water. Using cold water instead of hot water extracts more of the flavours, but slower, over time. The result is a smooth, sweet, cleaner tasting tea. No sugar is added, only natural Stevia leaf, making the cold brew a much healthier option to be enjoyed by the whole family. Simply add a tea bag or two to your water bottle or travel cup and enjoy as a refreshing cold drink on-the-go.

Choose a healthy alternative for your kids – choose rooibos tea.

Gifts of goodness

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Find the perfect rooibos gift box for everyone on your list

Get your gift shopping done early this year to avoid the festive rush. From our unique, newly launched gin boxes to curated boxes filled with rooibos goodness, we’ve got gifts for everyone on your list. Click here to browse the full selection or find the perfect box below.

Let the gifting beGIN! Our brand-new gin gift boxes are the perfect summer gifts. Inspired by our infusion teas, the Floral Berry and Citrus Chai gift boxes include a 500ml bottle of rooibos distilled gin, a box of tea, and treats by local confectioners Ma Mére.

Shop Floral Berry Gin Gift Box | Shop Citrus Chai Gin Gift Box

Our Foodie Gift Box is a gift of pure delight whether you love cooking or not. Perfect for anything from a versatile sundowner platter to a hearty meal. The box contains our Citrus Chai and Orange Camomile Teas, Namaqua Olive Oil 250ml, Balsamic Vinegar 250ml, Tapenade and Olives.

Shop Foodie Gift Box

The Snack Lover’s Gift Box fulfils all your snacking dreams. From salty to sweet, to a relaxing cup of creamy vanilla rooibos. Better hide this from the rest of the family! This box contains our Organic Natural Pyramid & Creamy Vanilla Teas, Mixed Nuts, Dried Fruit Snippers, Caramel Kalahari Salt Chocolate Slab, Fudge and Shortbread. Delicious!

Shop Snack Lover’s Box

The Coffee Lover’s Gift Box is for those who swopped caffeine for the goodness of a red cappuccino, with rich creamy froth and a drizzle of honey. Dip a delicious rooibos buttermilk rusk and then end with a super sweet bite of homemade fudge. The box contains our Espresso Natural Rooibos and Red Mocha Tea, Honey, Rooibos Buttermilk Rusks and Fudge.

Shop Coffee Lover’s Box

Our Chocoholic Gift Box satisfies every sweet craving. Put the kettle on for a rich creamy rooibos hot chocolate and work your way through this feast of chocolatey deliciousness. A delicious selection of chocolates and crunchy pecan chocolate biscuits. The box contains our Drinking Chocolate Pouch, Orange Choc Tea, Smooth Milk Chocolate Slab & Caramel Kalahari Salt Chocolate Slab, Macadamia Tumbles and Pecan & Chocolate biscuits.

Shop Chocoholic Gift Box

Our Tea-On-The-Go gift boxes are absolute must-haves. The double-walled travel cup is perfect for hot or cold tea so you can have your tea wherever you go. The boxes are available with our Cold Brew teas or Fruit & Herbal Infusion teas.

Shop Tea-On-The-Go Gift Box: Cold Brew | Shop Tea-On-The-Go Gift Box: Fruit & Herbal Infusions

You can also give the gift of goodness with our Cold Brew teas or Fruit & Herbal Infusion teas in a beautiful gift box filled with three flavours.

Shop Cold Brew Gift Box | Shop Fruit & Herbal Infusions Gift Box

Visit the Carmién Tea Shop at De Tol Farm Deli

Experience Rooibos like never before at the Carmién Tea shop

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This year has brought many changes for us, including the opening of our very own Carmién Tea Shop at the De Tol Farm Deli located on the Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7 to Citrusdal. This shop has been a dream of owner Mientjie Mouton for years and we are excited to introduce this dream-come-true to you.

If you are planning a trip to Namaqualand to enjoy the annual wildflower spectacle, add a stop to your itinerary. The De Tol Farm Deli is a perfect family and tourist destination with beautiful views of the magnificent Cederberg mountains and surrounds.

The shop offers a variety of experiences for the whole family to enjoy, including tea and wine tastings and pairings, trail walks and runs, a kiddie play area, delicious freshly made food and locally produced goods to take home. You can also shop all your favourite Carmién products like our teas, accessories, and activewear.

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Take the opportunity to learn more about rooibos. You can enjoy three unique tastings at the Carmién Tea Shop: rooibos tea and nibbles, rooibos tea and chocolate and our very special rooibos G&Tea tasting. Book your spot now via 067 410 3315 or detol@pkwc.co.za

You can also book a Carmién G&Tea tasting at the De Tol Farm Deli or at Piekenierskloof Wines.

How do we stay safe?

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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.

 

Fashion, Function or Familiarity

 

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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.