There is much more to the story than meets the eye. Not only is Mientjie Mouton the founder and managing director of the rooibos tea company, Carmién, she is also one of twins and this is a tea journey that bears repeating.
Recently, local Landbou Boerekos magazine published an article about the rooibos journey of Mientjie and twin sister Carmen Niehaus, one a businesswoman of note and the other a national food icon. Growing up, the two were inseparable but parted ways to each pursue their own career. Though they both initially showed an interest in the financial, commercial world, Carmen soon realized she is a foodie at heart and changed course while Mientjie’s entrepreneurial spirit was completely at home in the financial world.
In 2001 Mientjie founded the Carmién rooibos tea company, a combination of her and Carmen’s names and also referring to ‘carmine’ which means red. As Carmién established itself as an exporter of rooibos tea to the international market, the local market provided an opportunity to develop the dream of positioning rooibos as a lifestyle product. As food and wine pairings became popular, Carmién rooibos found a wider use being an excellent palette cleanser and like wine, a drink that enhances the flavour of whatever it is paired with.
This led to Carmen experimenting more and more with rooibos tea and also using it extensively in her cooking. Her idea to use rooibos tea as your spice cupboard fitted perfectly with the Carmién dream of presenting rooibos as a lifestyle product and this has now evolved in Carmién offering an innovative range of Carmen Niehaus developed and branded products that started with a Carmen Niehaus Cooking Tea Collection, and a recent launch of Carmen Niehaus Rooibos Culinary Salts and Carmen Niehaus Rooibos Salad dressings. Definitely two sisters worth keeping an eye on!
You can also find a selection of Carmen’s impressive recipes on our website.
Images supplied by Landbou Boerekos. Photographer: Myburgh du Plessis.