Most of us know rooibos as one thing you drink whenever you’re sick – with a touch of honey in fact. It’s because rooibos really does have antioxidant properties, it’s not an outdated wives’ story.
Eager to know extra? Let’s take a look on the life cycle of rooibos, from seedling to teacup.
Rooibos – botanically often known as Aspalathus linearis – is a leguminous shrub that grows naturally in just one place in the whole world – the Cederberg Mountains. The Cederberg Mountains fall below the Cape Floral Kingdom, a heritage website and considered one of South Africa’s solely two world biodiversity hotspots.
Rooibos grows at an altitude of 300 to 600m above sea stage. The plant has tailored to the acute climate circumstances of the Cederberg, the place temperatures drop under zero and may go as excessive as 48 levels Celsius. The world receives round 180 to 500mm of rainfall throughout winter.
Nonetheless, no irrigation is used, subjecting the plant to extreme droughts sometimes. The plant has tailored by rising a faucet root that digs down 3m into the soil. Mature vegetation can solely develop to half the scale of its roots.
Though rooibos requires an space with moist winters and dry summers, it solely begins to develop throughout spring, towards midsummer after which development declines. Throughout spring, the plant grows small yellow flowers which produce a single pod that comprises a hard-shelled seed.
Seeds are collected by hand by sifting by way of the encompassing soil, after which scrubbed with scourers to crack the shell. This will increase germination potential from 30 to 95 %.
Close to the tip of summer season, the seeds are planted in seedbeds and common wetting is utilized to maximise germination. Because the cooler months strategy, shortly after the primary rainfall, the seedlings are moved into plantations.
The bushes are pruned for the very first time after 18 months after the seedlings have been moved into plantations. Rooibos is harvested by trimming the branches 50cm above the bottom. These cuttings are bundled collectively earlier than being moved to the processing yards. There, the sheaves are positioned into machines to chop the plant into uniform lengths.
To set off step one of the chemical strategy of fermentation, rooibos is bruised between the rollers of the machine. Then, rooibos is watered and piled into small heaps to air out and ferment. Throughout this course of, rooibos adjustments from inexperienced to rusty crimson and develops its flavour and aroma. After this, the product is unfold out in open areas to dry.
The rooibos is then collected and transported to a manufacturing facility for its remaining step.
On the manufacturing facility, rooibos is put by way of a six-mesh sieve to take away any international objects, after which it’s separated into totally different sizes by utilizing mesh-sized screens. These are collected and saved in separate silos, the place it would stay till it’s blended in response to product recipes.
Subsequent, the product will undergo 5 phases of high quality management. At every stage, the product is assessed with native and worldwide rules. The ultimate product can also be examined by the Perishable Merchandise Export Management Board.
After high quality management is accomplished, the product is bagged.
And there you might have it – the whole rooibos life cycle, from seedling to teacup.
The flexibility of rooibos
- Rooibos might be loved scorching or chilly, with or with out milk and both a touch of honey or a slice of lemon.
- It additionally works effectively as an iced tea, or an espresso.
- The tea additionally has numerous culinary makes use of, specifically, to smoke rooster or fish, as a base for sauces, soups, as a marinade or in its place ingredient in sure recipes.
Well being advantages of rooibos
- No colourants or preservatives are added discovered Rooibos, making it 100% pure.
- The tea has a soothing impact on infants and people affected by anxiousness.
- Rooibos has a number of mineral properties, resembling sodium, manganese, zinc, potassium and iron, which makes it an ideal drink for somebody with low electrolytes.
- Kilojoule-free and has antioxidant, anti-spasmodic and anti-carcinogenic properties.
- It helps to stop cardiovascular ailments.
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