We love a good story, and the story of our newest rooibos tea, Wild Grown Rooibos, is just as sweet as the tea itself.
Grown near Wupperthal, South Africa at the base of the Cederberg Mountains, the rooibos is foraged by Izak, a sheep herder and farmer who earns his living through a small vegetable garden he works and his sheep.
Every morning, Izak takes his heard out to graze in the foothills of the mountains until the late afternoon. At night, he carves wood ornaments or collects the root vegetables that grow in his garden.
For centuries, rooibos was harvested by a tribe of South Africa bushman who foraged the herb in the Cederberg region. After almost becoming extinct, Rooibos was first commercially planted in the early 1900s.
Now, over a century later, South African tea producer, Johan is going back to the tea’s roots. By partnering with small scale farmers like Izak, who both discover and tend to the wild plant. By working closely with farmers in these rural area’s Johan can produce a spectacular tasting tea that positively impacts both the lives of rural farmers and the environment.
We call this blend of rooibos “wild grown” because we mean it. This tea is grown in its natural habitat, free of environmental manipulation such as the installation of irrigation systems or the use of pesticides or fertilizers. This is how it’s meant to grow; with a low environmental impact and a distinct flavour thanks to the region’s terroir.
When brewed, the tea is a deep orange colour and has a sweet wild honey flavour with a rich nuttiness a light mineral earthy note.
When it comes time to harvest the tea, Izak leaves the herding to his wife and children and forging the wild rooibos himself and taking the harvest by donkey the nearest road where he meets Johan, who takes the tea to a facility where it’s processed. In addition to supplementing the farmer’s livelihood, Johan also helps them with certification and even medical care, often flying medicine to remote areas. There are only a few fertile pockets where rooibos grows wild, so we were thrilled to be able to share this wild-grown rooibos with you!