Rooibos, which is enjoyed by millions of tisane-lovers around the world, has become an integral part of South Africans’ way of life and is considered by many as our national beverage.

That’s why we celebrate National Rooibos Day on the 16th of January every year. Rooibos is a big part of the rich tapestry that makes up South African custom and it’s a feel-good product that unifies us as a nation.

Here’s ten reasons why we love it:

  1. Rooibos is unique to South Africa in that it only grows in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape, nowhere else in the world.
  2. It’s described as a superfood, which is packed with powerful antioxidants that help fight inflammation and keeps you healthy.
  3. It has a diverse flavour profile – complementing both sweet and savoury dishes.
  4. Rooibos has a beautiful amber colour and smooth, velvety mouthfeel.
  5. It has a distinctive aroma, is naturally sweet and caffeine-free.
  6. Drinking Rooibos (in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle) improves heart-health, blood glucose levels and is good for the skin.
  7. Eases stress and anxiety and can aid sleep.
  8. It has a low carbon footprint since it is locally produced.
  9. Anti-ageing.
  10. It’s comforting and refreshing.

How to pronounce Rooibos

Rooibos is pronounced “roy-boss” and means “red bush” in Afrikaans – a language native to South Africa. The Rooibos name is also protected under European Union law as a Geographic Indication. This means no one can use the name for products unless it comes from the Rooibos plant grown in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape.

Can Rooibos be called a tea?

Although many people call Rooibos a tea, it is actually a herbal tisane or infusion that is made from the Aspalathus Linearis plant. Strictly speaking only beverages that are made from the Camellia Sinensis plant can be called a tea.

What is the best way to drink Rooibos?

You can drink it hot or cold, with or without milk or sugar. It’s really up to you. With more than 100 different Rooibos blends to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice.

To make the perfect cuppa, simply:

  1. Bring water to boil in a kettle.
  2. Pour boiling water into a teacup or mug.
  3. Add one tea bag or a heaped tablespoon of loose-leaf Rooibos.
  4. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes for greatest antioxidant release and a full flavour cup.
  5. Remove teabag or strain leaves.
  6. Sip and enjoy!

Here are some fun ways to celebrate this proudly SA drink on Rooibos Day:

Happy National Rooibos Day!