Issue 25 - May 2014

News from Rooibos Ltd - read all about:

Rooibos around the world could well be the theme of this newsletter. Our articles give a glimpse of how word about Rooibos is spreading globally through journalists and industry experts visiting Rooibos Ltd, the use of Rooibos in products ranging from drinks and food to skincare and supplements, the presence of Rooibos Ltd at international expos, and research findings confirming the health benefits of Rooibos. Rooibos Ltd is also making its mark through its social engagement initiatives, which include the sponsorship of South Africa’s oldest dance form – riel dancing. If you love cooking, why not try South Africa celebrity chef Reuben Riffel’s Spiced Lamb and Rooibos Tortellini? Happy reading!

  • News
    Oprah and Starbucks team up to create chai tea with Rooibos
    ITO EN flights TV commercial to launch Rooibos drink in Japan
    Rooibos Ltd hosts clients and media from around the world
    Rooibos Ltd exhibits at Food & Hotel Asia 2014
    Take a bird's eye view of Rooibos Ltd's powerful solar panels
    South African winery launches Rooibos-infused Merlot
    A bright new campaign for Lipton Ice Tea
    SA National Day in Colombo, Sri Lanka, celebrated with Rooibos
  • Upcoming Events
    World Tea Expo, Long Beach, USA
    SIAL China, Shanghai
  • Community Engagement
    Arts, good food and get-togethers at the Cederberg Rooibos Arts Festival
    Rooibos Ltd sponsors Riel-dancing championships
    Rooibos Ltd supports sports teams in Clanwilliam
  • Personnel
    New appointments
    Rooibos Ltd's new representative in the USA
    Long service
  • Recipes
    Try out these Rooibos recipes from around the world
    Recipes from A touch of Rooibos
  • New Products
    Rooibee Red Tea introduces ready-to-drink option for kids
    Fair Cape Dairies' Rooiboost drinking yoghurt helps to fight cancer
    (Not so) Ordinary Skincare
    Ole Henriksen introduces its African Red Tea foaming cleanser
    Fighting winter bugs with Rooibos-containing Oxiprovin
  • Health & Research
    Rooibos helps protects against skin cancer
    Six health benefits of Rooibos
  • Tips - Rooibos Q&A
    Three ways to use Rooibos in the garden

    Write to us
    We'd like to hear from you, so please share your Rooibos stories with us at

Oprah and Starbucks team up to create chai tea with Rooibos

Global media leader and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey partnered with Starbucks in the USA and Canada to launch a chai tea blend containing Rooibos. Starbucks donates a percentage of the sales of this product to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. Read more.

ITO EN flights TV commercial to launch Rooibos drink in Japan

After its successful launch of “Healthy Rooibos Tea” PET bottle and teabag products in 2013, the major Japanese beverage company, ITO EN, LTD, spurs further growth of the Rooibos market in Japan with the addition of a carton pack RTD Rooibos, supported by a new TV commercial starring the popular Japanese celebrity, Ms Miyuki Yamamoto. See TV advertisement.

Rooibos Ltd hosts clients and media from around the world

From The Netherlands: Axxent’s Arnoud Francken and Marcel Vogel

Arnoud Francken and Marcel Vogel from Axxent Masters in Tea visited Rooibos Ltd in February. At the Quality Control Centre they learned more about Rooibos Ltd’s testing for pesticides, heavy metals and others chemicals. They also paid a visit to the Driefontein community hall.



From France: Jeune Afrique’s Christophe Le Bec

Christophe Le Bec, journalist at Jeune Afrique, the first weekly francophone magazine in Africa, spent time with Rooibos Ltd at the end of January this year to gain an understanding of the Rooibos industry and in particular its export strategy in terms of Europe, the USA and the rest of Africa. The outcome of his visit will be various articles on Rooibos.



From France: TV Channel FRANCE 5’s Sylvain Braun

Sylvain Braun, director of documentaries for the French TV channel FRANCE 5, visited Rooibos Ltd from 27 January to 9 February this year to film a documentary about Rooibos and about the Fairtrade Rooibos farm Driefontein. This forms part of a series called To Other Worlds, which will be aired in France in June this year.

From the USA: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s David DeCandia

David DeCandia, Director of Tea at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf which is the oldest and largest privately-held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the USA, visited Rooibos Ltd to learn more about Rooibos and to present a Caring Cup contribution from his company to the Driefontein Rooibos farm’s education fund. Read more.

Kelly Amaroso – Allegro Coffee & Tea

During March Kelly Amaroso, Quality Control Manager at Allegro Coffee & Tea visited Rooibos Ltd. to learn more about Rooibos and Honeybush production and processing.

From Johannesburg and Cape Town: CIRO Beverage Solutions

A team from CIRO Beverage Solutions (a member of the AVI group) visited Rooibos Ltd in April this year. CIRO distributes well-known tea, coffee and creamer beverage brands, including Rooibos to the out of home market.

Caption: Here are (from left) Tracy Barter, Brent Blignaut, Christine de Beer and Tracy Kellerman.



From Germany: Gebrüder Wollenhaupt’s Marco Brinmühl

Established in 1881, the German tea family business Gebrüder Wollenhaupt GmbH is known for its creative tea varieties that include Rooibos. In April this year, Gebrüder Wollenhaupt’s Head of Sales, Marco Brinmühl, visited Rooibos Ltd to find out more about the world of Rooibos. He and his family also visited Rooibos Ltd’s production facilities in Clanwilliam.

Rooibos Ltd exhibits at Food & Hotel Asia 2014

A total of 3 214 exhibitors, including Rooibos Ltd, took part in this year’s Food & Hotel Asia 2014 exhibition in Singapore. Taking part in this exhibition, which was attended by close to 65 000 trade attendees from over 100 countries or regions, forms part of Rooibos Ltd’s strategy to turn Rooibos into a global product. Read more.

CAPTION: Arend Redelinghuys, Marketing Director at Rooibos Ltd, visiting The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s stall at the FHA exhibition and trying out one of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Rooibos-based iced drinks.


Take a bird’s eye view of Rooibos Ltd’s powerful solar panels

To subsidise its electricity usage and reduce its carbon footprint, Rooibos Ltd installed a state-of-the-art solar system on the roofs of its storage facilities in Clanwilliam. To show the world this solar installation, a drone-mounted camera was used to film the solar panels, seedling fields, drying years and factory, and to capture beautiful footage of Clanwilliam. Take a look.

South African winery launches Rooibos-infused Merlot

Audacia Wines, a red wine boutique winery near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, has created a Merlot using indigenous Rooibos and Honeybush wood to give a unique flavour to this wine that contains no added sulphites or preservatives. Read more.

A bright new campaign for Lipton Ice Tea

Lipton Ice Tea, which includes Rooibos in its range of flavours, launched its Taste the Brightside campaign in April this year. To complement this campaign, Lipton’s packaging boasts a vibrant new look. Read more.


SA National Day in Colombo, Sri Lanka, celebrated with Rooibos

On 29 April 2014, the South African High Commissioner hosted an event at the Hilton Colombo Hotel in Sri Lanka to promote South African products as part of celebrating South Africa’s democracy. Rooibos Ltd exhibited their product range at this event.

CAPTION:Tharanga Cooray, Rooibos Ltd Sales Manager Sri Lanka, Mrs Carol Doidge and Mr. Geoff Doidge - High Commissioner, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary - Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives



World Tea Expo, Long Beach, USA

Focused on premium teas and related products, the World Tea Expo is where stakeholders in this market sample new products, engage with existing and potential clients, and find vendors and resources. DMH Ingredients (Rooibos Ltd’s representative in the USA) will host a stand at this exhibition in Long Beach, USA, which runs from 29 to 31 May 2014. Find details at

SIAL China, Shanghai

Earlier in May this year, Rooibos Ltd hosted a stand at SIAL China, which is Asia's largest annual food and beverage show. The 2014 Sial China took place in Shangai from 13 to 15 May. Find more details at

Arts, good food and get-togethers at the Cederberg Rooibos Arts Festival

Rooibos Ltd was once again the main sponsor of the Cederberg Arts Festival which took place in Clanwilliam from 1 to 4 May. This year, the Arts Festival coincided with Clanwilliam’s 200-year anniversary, with Rooibos Ltd as a sponsor of the rooi rose and Laager Rooibos Festive Table. Read more.

  1. Starter (Brown mushroom stuffed with Rooibos couscous, butternut, feta, basil and roasted almonds)
  2. Main course (Rooibos infused lamb shank with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables)
  3. Dessert (Mini pavlova with caramel pears, cream and Rooibos honey)
  4. Guests were treated to a red carpet entrance to the Festive Table
  5. Clanwilliam’s oldest road was transformed to host a spectacular and unforgettable food and music extravaganza
  6. Gerda de Wet (Communication Manager at Rooibos Ltd), Elise Cawood, Wilson Dunster & Marion Holm
  7. Marike Bekker & Niël Rademan
  8. Marion Holm & Marietjie Rossouw
  9. Nigel Mercuur (Chairman of Clanwilliam's 200th Year Celebrations Committee) & Marice Mercuur
  10. Yola & Martin Bergh (CEO at Rooibos Ltd)
  11. Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo & Hennie van Greunen
  12. Pedro Kruger & Gerda de Wet (Communication Manager at Rooibos Ltd)
  13. Pedro Kruger, Elise Cawood & Hannes van Wyk
  14. Nédine Blom and Die Jaloersbokkies
  15. Niël Rademan



Rooibos Ltd sponsors riel-dancing champions

With Rooibos Ltd as a sponsor, the Nuwe Graskoue Trappers riel dance team from Wupperthal near Clanwilliam has just won the Grand Champion Award at the South African Championships. Says Gerda de Wet, Communication Manager at Rooibos Ltd: “Rooibos Ltd is proud to be associated with the preservation of this historic dance form.” Read more and see photographs.



Rooibos Ltd supports sports teams in Clanwilliam

The health benefits of Rooibos and participation in sports go hand in hand. Rooibos Ltd recently sponsored clothing for these netball and rugby teams in Clanwilliam.


Jackets for Augsburg Agricultural Gymnasium’s netball team

Rooibos Ltd sponsored branded jackets and a Rooibos gift pack for the netball team of Augsburg Agricultural Gymnasium that competed at an inter-schools sports event in Mossel Bay, winning nine of the eleven matches they played.


Rugby jerseys for Augsburg Agricultural Gymnasium

New rugby tops featuring the Rooibos Ltd logo were given to Augsburg Agricultural Gymnasium’s rugby team.


Jerseys for Clanwilliam Rugby Club

Rooibos Ltd sponsored Rooibos-branded rugby tops for Clanwilliam Rugby Club. Gerda de Wet, Communication Manager at Rooibos Ltd, was present when the tops were handed to the players.


New appointments at Rooibos Ltd strengthen capacity

In April this year, Rooibos Ltd appointed projects engineer Luigi Tosolari and PhD student Naudé Smith to increase the company’s project engineering and research outputs.

Luigi Tosolari joined Rooibos Ltd as Projects Engineer in April 2014. He comes with extensive plant engineering experience gained, among others, in the black tea environment and he holds qualifications in electrical and mechanical engineering. Workwise, he gets his sense of achievement from finding solutions to the challenges he encounters. Luigi loves Italian soccer, reading technical articles on the internet and admiring nature, and he owns a 1957 MG Magnette car. He and his wife have three daughters.

Naudé Smith joined Rooibos Ltd’s Technical Division at the beginning of April this year to work on his PhD which focuses on the impact of soil health on the production of Rooibos. He holds an MSc Agric degree in soil science. He regards perseverance as key to career success. Naudé has a keen interest in fieldwork and processing raw data to find potential correlations. He loves the outdoors, running and hiking.

Rooibos Ltd’s new representative in the USA

As from February this year, Rooibos Ltd is represented by DMH Ingredients, an importer and distributor of ingredients in the food and beverage industries in the USA. DMH Ingredients, which has purchased Rooibos Ltd’s former USA representative, Herbal Teas International, looks forward to working with Rooibos Ltd. Read more.

Long service

Seven staff members of Rooibos Ltd received recognition for their loyalty through long service.
20 years' service: Willem September, Karien September, George Diedericks, Lea Tieties
15 years' service: Winston Fransman
10 years' service: Jacomien Syster
5 years' service: Gerrit Hendricks

Says Gerda de Wet, Communication Manager at Rooibos Ltd: "Long service helps to ensure business continuity because employees who have been here for longer know more about the company and its processes. This is also crucial for skills transfer within the company. It is important for us to recognise long service."

Willem September and Supervisor: Piet Fortuin

Winston Fransman and Supervisor: Hennie Swarts, Control Officer: Logistics

Jacomien Syster, Colette Cronje, Quality Assurance Manager and Karien September

George Diedericks, Lea Tieties , Supervisor: Danny September, Control Officer: Factory, Gerrit Hendricks and Supervisor: Ricardo Beukes, Control Officer: Processing

Try out these Rooibos recipes from around the world

Rooibos is versatile and is used in recipes worldwide. Here are the latest recipes for you to make: Mango and Rooibos Tea Sangria, Rooibos Tea Poached Pear, Vanilla Rooibos Tea Cookies, Rooibos Tea Ice Cream and a cocktail from Traveler’s Testament.

Recipes from A touch of Rooibos

Spiced Lamb & Rooibos Tortellini
Reuben Riffel

600 g boneless leg of lamb, cubed
60 ml coarse sea salt
olive oil
2 large tomatoes, chopped
500 ml strong Rooibos
250 ml white wine
fresh thyme sprigs
zest of 2 lemons
45 ml crushed cumin seeds

500 g (780 ml) semolina flour
6 large egg yolks
1 extra egg yolk, beaten for brushing

130 g (250 ml) sultanas, soaked in 250 ml hot, strong Rooibos
250 ml Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese shavings

1. Season the lamb with sea salt and set aside for a couple of minutes (some moisture will be lost, but the flavour of the lamb will intensify).
2. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Seal the lamb well on all sides.
3. Place the lamb in a large saucepan. Add the tomatoes, Rooibos, wine, thyme, lemon zest and cumin. Cover and cook slowly until the lamb is soft and almost breaking apart.
4. Remove the meat from the pot. Strain the sauce and boil until reduced by half in volume. Set aside.
5. Shred the meat lightly and set aside to cool.

6. To make the tortellini, place the semolina flour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolks. Knead until the mixture is well combined. If the mixture is too dry, add a little water. Cover and leave to stand for 30 minutes. (Do not add salt to the pasta mixture. Seasoning will be added once the tortellini is cooked.)
7. Roll the pasta into sheets. Use a pastry cutter to cut out 9 cm-diameter rounds.
8. Place a spoonful of the cooked meat in the centre of each round. Brush the edges with egg and fold over to seal. Brush the folded corners with egg and press together. Place the tortellini on a floured tray in a single layer. Set aside.
9. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the tortellini for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain.
10. Divide among 4 bowls. Spoon over the sauce. Scatter with the soaked sultanas and Grana Padano or Parmesan shavings.

Serves 4

Rooibos, Pistachio & Cardamom Biscotti
Kanya Hunt

3 Rooibos tea bags
45 ml brandy
100 g (200 ml) whole, shelled pistachio nuts
100 g (110 ml) butter, softened
125 g (150 ml) sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
330 g (600 ml) cake flour
5 ml ground cardamom
7,5 ml baking powder
2,5 ml salt

30 ml milk
sugar for dusting

1. Remove the tea leaves from the bags and soak for 30 minutes in the brandy.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
3. Roast the pistachios on an unlined baking tray, in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
4. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
5. Slowly add the beaten eggs whilst beating continuously. Beat well.
6. Sift together the flour, cardamom, baking powder and salt, and add to the egg-and-butter mixture. Mix to form a scone-like dough.
7. Add the Rooibos infused brandy, as well as the cooled, roasted pistachios. Mix well.
8. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
9. Divide the dough into two or three equal parts and shape into rectangles of about 20 x 8 cm in size and 2 cm thick on the prepared baking tray.
10. Brush the surfaces of the biscotti dough with the milk before dusting with sugar.
11. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until slightly risen and light brown. Remove from the oven.
12. Lower the oven temperature to 100 °C. Allow the biscotti to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into 1 cm thick slices.
13. Arrange the biscotti on oven racks and dry them in the cool oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

Makes 36 pieces


Rooibee Red Tea introduces ready-to-drink option for kids

Grocery Headquarters, a New York-based grocery industry website, currently features Rooibee Red Tea’s new ready-to-drink option for children. The Kentucky-based Rooibee Red Tea company uses certified USDA organic Rooibos in this bottled tea range which comes in three fruity flavours – Cherry, Mango and Orange. Read more.


Fair Cape Dairies’ Rooiboost drinking yoghurt helps to fight cancer

Fair Cape’s Rooiboost drinking yoghurt shots make it easy for consumers to benefit from the nutrients in Rooibos in one single drink-on-the-go. This makes it a must-try healthy treat, says this article on Marie Claire’s website.


(Not so) Ordinary Skincare

The Rouge Beauty website gives an overview of South African skin product range Ordinary Skincare that contains, among others, green Rooibos. These products are made to pharmaceutical industry GMP standards in new facilities in Cape Town and use ethically sourced ingredients chosen for their efficacy. Read more.


Ole Henriksen introduces its African Red Tea foaming cleanser

The Indian Makeup & Beauty Blog recently published a review of Ole Henriksen’s African Red Tea foaming cleanser which contains South African Rooibos. This antioxidant-rich foaming cleanser was named the best natural cleanser at the Natural Health Beauty Awards. Read more.


Fighting winter bugs with Rooibos-containing Oxiprovin

The Durban Get It Online website provides information on Oxiprovin, which is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-ageing supplement that protects the body in various ways. Oxiprovin contains, among others, Rooibos extract and grapeseed extract. Read more.


Rooibos helps protect against skin cancer

Rooibos extracts in skin care products can help prevent the development of skin cancer and even delay the onset of malignant tumours, a recent study by Dr Tandeka Magcwebeba, a doctoral student at Stellenbosch University, has found. Read more.


Six health benefits of Rooibos

The Mother Nature Network website provides six reasons to use Rooibos, referring, among others, to the cancer-fighting, anti-inflammatory and metabolism supporting properties of Rooibos. Read more.


Three ways to use Rooibos in the garden

Don’t throw away used Rooibos. The website All4Women explains how you can use nutrient-rich left-over Rooibos tea and discarded tea leaves in your garden as fertiliser, plant food and snail-deterrent. Read more.