The small town of Wupperthal in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape was abuzz with activity recently when resident, Ingar Valentyn, broke the Guinness World Record for making the most cups of tea in an hour.

She did so in an attempt to boost tourism in the area that was ravaged by a fire in 2018, which left over 200 people homeless. Valentyn too lost her family home in the blaze.

In the last few years, the community has worked hard to rebuild the town. While much still needs to be done to restore it to its former glory, nothing beats the natural splendour of this mountain village.

She chose Rooibos as her medium as the herbal infusion is native to the area and plays an important role in the lives of the Wupperthal community.

“The Cederberg is home to Rooibos and most of our people have been involved in the production of the tisane for more than a century. Challenging the record has also given Rooibos international exposure, which we hope will draw more interest and tourists to the area.

“Rooibos is different to black tea. It is naturally sweet, contains no caffeine and is low in tannin. It’s also packed with antioxidants, which makes it a sought-after healthy beverage.”

Valentyn smashed the previous record of 150 cups of tea made in an hour by a whopping 99 cups!

When asked how she prepared for the challenge, she said she’s been training for the day her whole life. “I’ve been serving Rooibos to family and friends since I was a little tot, so it came naturally, but I did have a strategy.”

According to the Guinness World Record official, her execution was flawless. She started by filling the first three teapots with boiling water and then adding four teabags. Once done, she moved onto the next three pots and so she went on. To qualify, the teabags had to be steeped for at least two minutes before it could be poured. She used three of her favourite Rooibos flavours, namely: original, strawberry and vanilla.

Part of the rules state that no food must be wasted during food-related challenges, so Valentyn roped in the help of local learners and community members to savour the goods.

Before each cup could be served, Guinness World Record, adjudicator, Sofia Greenacre, had to check that it was filled to the minimum level of 142 ml.

Once the gruelling hour came to a close, it was revealed that Valentyn made 249 cups in total – equivalent to over four cups per minute!

Way to go Ingar!

Her record attempt featured on episode four of Stumbo Record Breakers – a programme on that discovers the extraordinary, extreme and exceptional talents of South Africans.