Limited production

In South Africa, the only country that produces Rooibos, 350 farmers grow it as a crop. Australia and California (United States) tried to grow Rooibos, but failed.

Rooibos is harvested when temperatures are high, by workers who often come from neighbouring countries.


Posted in Country: South Africa by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

Rooibos, a recent crop

Although rooibos has been consumed for centuries, it has only been grown in recent times. In the mid-19th century, a German priest from Namibia founded the village of Wupperthal in South Africa. He imposed strict rules on the community and set about organising the cultivation of rooibos. Halfway between the Cape and Namibia, Wupperthal is in the middle of the desert. Rooibos, or Aspalathus lineari, is about as undemanding as a camel, and can withstand extreme heat without complaint. The plant’s roots push deep into the ground, which helps it find nourishment. Wupperthal is worth a visit. It’s a journey of several hours along a difficult track, which nonetheless offers some beautiful views for those who like their landscapes arid.


Posted in Country: South Africa by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

The autumn colours of rooibos

The tea plant is an evergreen and its leaves do not change colour when the cold weather pervades after the summer. So, to bring you some seasonal autumn colour, I have chosen an image of rooibos leaves drying on the ground, spread out in very thin layers, oxidising after being watered.


Posted in Country: South Africa by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Memories of South Africa

Some South African farmers have just sent me this photo taken last month during the rooibos harvest. I’m in the middle, and the temperature was close to 40 degrees. The working conditions aren’t easy in this region, which is so arid in the summer that almost the only things that grow are stones and sand.
When, in the evening, I drink a cup of this infusion that is completely free of caffeine and theine, I think of them and the joy it gave me to discover such wonderful landscapes and people.


Posted in Country: South Africa by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Rooibos tastings

There are different grades of rooibos, but not much difference between them. However, the “long cut” offers the most interesting experience in terms of fine flavours and powerful aromas. It is the most harmonious. It is the only grade I have bought for years.
An amusing detail: for rooibos tastings in South Africa, the cups are lit from beneath in order to judge the clarity of the liquor.


Posted in Professional tasting by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

The author

François-Xavier Delmas is a passionate globetrotter. He’s been touring the world’s tea plantations for more than 20 years in search of the finest teas. As the founder of Le Palais des Thés, he believes that travelling is all about discovering world cultures. From Darjeeling to Shizuoka, from Taiwan to the Golden Triangle, he invites you to follow his trips as well as share his experiences and emotions.

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