With one driver and a blue bakkie she went from store to store to get orders and deliver those between the two of them, waiting in long queues, hidden behind huge delivery trucks. Then it was suitcase in hand, off to major rooibos buying companies overseas, fighting the solitary road to large, consistent orders when nobody had any idea who Carmién Tea was. Today there is hardly a country in which Carmién does not operate.
In this month of celebrating women, we celebrate Mientjie Mouton, Founder and Managing Director of Carmién Tea.
A phenomenal woman, wife, mother, friend and business leader. It’s 21 years later. Her perseverance has paid off generously. Carmién Tea today is a well-known international brand, one of the largest exporters of Rooibos in South Africa and one of the only brands that is producer, processor and marketer. She continues to drive hard, gives generously and despite a hectic schedule, lives life to the full and provides the same opportunity for those under her wing. One might think she doesn’t have time, but she always makes time and will leave a legacy worth remembering.
What does a day in your life look like?
Every day I get up, drink a cup of coffee (sometimes hopelessly too much) and feel so much better when I replace the coffee with a cup of Carmién tea. Especially from a glass teapot with a glass stand (burner) and double wall cup. A good go-to to help me concentrate, feel better and have a lot of energy. Besides all the many cups of Carmién that enrich my life, it is the people of Carmién Tea, the staff I work with, our clients and consumers and my twin sister Carmen Niehaus, who make my life incredibly rich and are my source of inspiration. Something that also stands out from our tea journey is the flavour development and palate development, and to really use rooibos as a palate cleanser. Besides it being such an amazing hydrating drink, it really helps us to enjoy what we eat more, whether we use it as a tea with food or as a tea with which food is made. It’s an absolutely great addition and adds to a growing product whose versatility really has no limits. So, the whole product development journey with rooibos is hugely interesting and I don’t see it ever getting saturated. Look out, we always have something new!
Which Carmién product is your favourite?
My personal favourite teas are something with a green rooibos base, such as the Creamy Mint and Revive with ginger and chilli. And of course, in the afternoon after work or after a nice workout or walk, a glass of Carmién gin (Floral Berry or Citrus Chai) with matching tea bag, lots of ice, slice of lemon or orange, much more soda than tonic (less kilojoules) – refreshing and thirst-quenching!