Rooibos – more than just a cup of tea

If you are still enjoying Rooibos only as a tea, it is time to meet the expansive world of Rooibos-derived products. Highly beneficial, a superfood backed by science, and evergrowing in its many uses ranging from wellness to cosmetics, to foods, to wine and other alcoholic beverages.

Rooibos leaves, stems and powder (dust) are used as raw ingredients in non- and alcoholic beverages, creams, soaps, skin-, nail- and hair care products, food products such as rooibos culinary salts and rubs, immune-boosting Rooibos powders, confectionary (of which chocolate must be the most popular!) and even pet food supplements.

Beverages

Firstly, the regular cuppa has moved from being hot to cold brewed, from iced teas to cordials and spritzers (non- and alcoholic), to functional, concentrated Rooibos-based health shots with specific anti-inflammatory immune-boosting benefits.

Rooibos is an excellent flavour carrier, making it ideal as an ingredient in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It is widely used as an ingredient in cocktails and, being part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, has become a much sought-after botanical component in gins, liqueurs, wines and even craft beers. Craft gins in particular have shown an upward growth that is unlikely to die down soon.

Skincare

By now we are familiar with the growing demand and concern for environmentally friendly products which are no longer just restricted to health shops and farmers’ markets. This is especially prevalent in the health and wellness industry where there has been a universal shift towards ‘clean beauty’ and organic, herbal brands which has led to a growing preference for products containing rooibos.

Beauty products made from botanical and/or herbal extracts offer environmentally-conscious consumers a choice of natural ingredients that are considered the best form of skincare by dermatologists. Hence many local and international beauty houses have incorporated Rooibos extracts in skin, hair and nail care products, as well as make-up and even fragrances. Rooibos extracts contain concentrated plant ingredients that are packed with antioxidants and help to prevent wrinkles, ageing and acne.

Confectionary

Health-conscious consumers concerned about wellness are also looking for healthier chocolate options, and the chocolate industry has responded by turning to ‘functional foods’ such as Rooibos. According to Adele Du Toit, “Rooibos is rich in health-promoting antioxidants, which help to protect the body against cell damage caused by free radicals. Its naturally sweet taste also makes it an obvious choice for chocolatiers.”

As consumers’ taste profiles change and new consumers enter the confection market, new opportunities arise. Today, teens and young adults are using social media to interact with and document everyday life, providing opportunities for chocolate and sweet brands to incorporate multisensory confectionery options that use unexpected textures and flavours. The youth seek experiences over possessions and are always looking for new innovations from brands that they love.

Pet care

Lastly, man’s best friend has also found benefit in Rooibos. Its anti-inflammatory, calming properties have led to multiple products providing immune health, allergy relief, joint health and stress relief.

Mulch

Rooibos mulch is decorative, retaining moisture and while inhibiting weed growth, stimulates plant growth. As Rooibos, Aspalathus Linearis is part of the Fynbos species, it is excellent for growing any fynbos species in your garden – using it as a mulch or mixing it with compost.

Private Label/Bulk Rooibos: Carmién Tea provides Rooibos in various forms to private label and bulk clients. Clients often wish to expand their tea offerings with add-on products, some of which are mentioned above. Should you be interested in finding out more, please contact us at [email protected] or phone (022) 921-8900.