Organic rooibos tea
Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is endemic to the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa’s Western Cape, where the shrub’s needle-like leaves have been brewed as a drink for centuries by the indigenous peoples of the region. Rooibos is now a popular herbal tea worldwide, distinctly red in colour with a flavour described as smooth with a natural, subtle sweetness and slight nutty undertones. Extracts are used in the beverage, food, nutraceutical and cosmetic markets while several studies are currently exploring medical applications.
A. linearis is cultivated only in the southwestern Cape, where it is adapted to the region’s climate and sandy, acidic soils. Skimmelberg has, over several generations, perfected the art of cultivating this indigenous shrub. They both produce and process rooibos and are now able to provide a market for neighboring growers. Because the fermentation of rooibos happens in the open air, harvesting and processing usually occurs during very hot conditions in January or February.
Country of origin:
January - February
How it’s produced
Skimmelberg is an established producer of rooibos with a track record of environmental and social responsibility.
Rooibos is farmed by Skimmelberg on land where it occurs naturally. It is adapted to their soils, requires fewer inputs and is water-wise. Skimmelberg also uses a vermicomposting system and fertilises their operation with compost tea. Skimmelberg’s rooibos is fully traceable and certified organic.
Skimmelberg is part of the Rooibos Biodiversity Initiative (RBI), commissioned by Cape Nature and the South African Rooibos Council, which seeks to generate a sustainable industry with economic opportunities and social benefits to all stakeholders. In 2019 an industry-wide Benefit Sharing Agreement was reached wherein a determined portion of the profits generated by the cultivation of rooibos is shared with councils representing the Khoi and San people.