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The history of Rooibos

Rooibos is an indigenous South African plant that grows naturally in the Cederberg mountain range in the Western Cape. It has no caffeine and is thought to have many health benefits. So how did it become such a popular beverage?

It is thought by some that the Khoisan people originally discovered the bush, and had been using it for centuries to make a “tea” before early Dutch settlers at the Cape noticed it, and started drinking Rooibos as an alternative to the very expensive black tea from Europe. Here’s the supposed timeline of events:

Carl Thunberg, a botanist from Europe, first reported on the Rooibos plant and the “tea” brewed from it.

Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian immigrant to South Africa, recognised the potential of this unique “mountain tea” and became the first exporter of the plant.

Ginsberg persuaded a local doctor, scholar and nature lover, Dr. Le Fras Nortier to research the medicinal value and agricultural potential of the Rooibos plant. The growing of Rooibos as a commercial crop began!

Mrs. Annetjie Theron, a South African mom struggling with a colicky baby, grabbed headlines when she claimed Rooibos soothed her baby’s colic. People were beginning to associate the plant with health benefits.

Japan started using Rooibos as an anti-ageing product.

The Agricultural Research Council in SA developed green Rooibos.

Rooibos is a delicious and natural alternative to black and green teas, and is a proudly South African product with a long heritage. Let your patrons enjoy the undiluted flavour of Rooibos with Joko 100% Pure Rooibos. Get it today!