Worldwide known as rooibos and in the UK as redbush tea, universally popular bush tea comes from a plant growing in South African fynbos. Featuring characteristic needle-like leaves, the plant is used to brew a beverage with a colour and taste similar to that of hibiscus tea. Long time ago, local people were climbing the mountains to collect its leaves, transporting them down with the help of donkeys, then chopping them up and leaving to dry in the sun.
The journey to global popularity started in 1772 with a Swedish naturalist Carl Thunberg who first made a note of this local habit, and global distribution was made possible thanks to dr Pieter Le Fras Nortier and his research which taught local farmers how to germinate their rooibos seeds. Free from caffeine and low in tannins, Rooibos tea is renowned for its medicinal properties. People use it as a cure for headaches, insomnia, asthma, hypertension, allergies, as well as the immune system booster.