Sunday, 3 March 2013

Tea Guest: Charitea Begins At Home

Introducing a Guest post from a friend of mine, the lovely Marie Heyes, Director of  The Redbush Tea Co. 

The Redbush Tea Co has been around for 15 years or so and are the only tea company in the UK that sells purely rooibos teas. 

Rooi… what? I hear you say. Rooibos, (pronounced roy-boss), or literally red bush in Afrikaans. This tea has been offered at Miss Sue Flay's events for the last couple of years now and has been enjoyed by many guests not wanting a caffeinated beverage with their cake. Marie talks to you a little more about rooibos tea and her passions on the subject. 

Over to Marie... 

Rooibos has been around for centuries. It is one of the few plants in South Africa that has made the jump from being a native or indigenous plant to being commercially cultivated. Something that happened in the 17th and 18th Centuries when visiting botanists noticed that the locals were making a tea from the plant. Dutch settlers who found importing black tea too expensive later commercially grew it. Historically the San or Bushmen used the plants as an herbal medicine; it really has been around for ages.

But back to the tea for now, there are two main kinds of rooibos tea, the regular one, which like black teas, is fermented giving the distinctive smoky red colour that most people identify with the tea. The other is green rooibos, which is unoxidised, but in reality has a more demanding production process, much the same as for other green teas. It needs to be cut more carefully as bruising can start the oxidization process involved in the red variant and will alter both the finished colour and flavour of the finished product. It makes it more expensive than traditional rooibos. It carries a malty and slightly grassy flavour somewhat different from its red counterpart. Both have an amazing raft of health giving properties, (more on this later). It really is an all round delicious brew.

Since it’s first discovery it has gone from strength to strength (if you’ll pardon the cheeky brewing analogy) and is now not only one of southern Africa’s most popular drinks but also one of the fastest growing herbal teas in the UK. 

These are some of more amazing things about Redbush:

* Naturally caffeine free
* Low in tannin
* Rich in antioxidants
* Contains 9 trace minerals
* Helps soothe benign skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Babies in South Africa are often bathed in Redbush Tea.
* Calms the digestive tract – good for IBS
* Free from all artificial colouring, preservatives or additives.
* A cup of Redbush Tea is just that.

My personal favourite has always been Redbush Original, I guess because you can always add a slosh of something else to it, a slice of orange or lemon, a tot of rum when I have a cold, with a spoonful of honey. It just offers me everything I want in a cup of tea. Also as Redbush is so incredibly low in tannin compared to black tea (tannin can stop you from absorbing iron and 
some proteins so it is not all that great), it can be reheated or even chilled without a lingering bitter aftertaste. In the summer, I often mix 2 parts Redbush with one of juice, Pimms, ice and a slice for a stunning cocktail or iced tea.

But on a cold winters night, like the ones we are currently experiencing, you can’t beat a still warm from the oven slice of fruit and nut tea bread. And yes, you’ve guessed it; I soak the dried fruit in a teacup of Redbush before baking. taps side of nose, keeps it extra moist you know. If you fancy something more authentic and South African then why not try what they call a rusk, which is very similar to the Italian biscotti, only they dunk it first to soften it a little before eating. It’s a bit of an English dunker you might say, but with a South African edge.

But what sets us apart from the ever-expanding tea aisles in your local supermarket? Well it’s easy – we have the UK rights to a grade blended from the top 10% of the rooibos crop. You won’t find the same grade in any other box in the UK. That makes ours one of, if not the best one available.

Perhaps as important is our ethical stance, aside from the fact that we used recycled card in our boxes and chlorine free bag paper we also donate a percentage of our profits to support the indigenous peoples of the Kalahari – the Bushmen. The reason why I chose them is because historically they used Redbush as a medicine – we owe them a huge debt, not only for this but we are also through DNA descended from them.

Last year we were incredibly proud to be awarded the British BITC (Business in the Community) International Award, for our charity work. So every time you buy a box of our tea and sit down at home sharing a cup of this wonderful African brew you are helping us to provide the Bushmen with safe clean water, education and literacy projects. Towards the end of last year I had a panicked call from Botswana, to say that because the rains had come late the elephants were thirsty and had destroyed a borehole in their attempts to get a drink. We were able to send funds immediately to repair the well and importantly build a rock wall to keep elephants out. Protecting a vital water source for an entire village. 

We can’t do this without your help.

So you see, charitea does begin at home.

Redbush is sold in all leading supermarket chains.

To find out more our teas go to

If you would like to try a cup of Redbush on us www.redbushtea/sample

To see our award winning work with the Bushmen

NB - This is not an advertisement or paid blog post, it's purely support and love for fellow bloggers and business people that I allow them to post a "Guest Blog" post onto The Secluded Tea Party Blog. I love the diversity it brings and allows my lovely friends and followers to see and meet other passionate people who have the same love of tea, cake, blogging and business that I do. 
Should you wish to submit a blog post, so long as it's fitting, I would be delighted to chat, just email 
Miss Sue Flay at for a natter. 
Please note, no sales-like emails will be tolerated or replied to, only interested & engaging parties welcome.Many thanks - Miss Sue Flay.

No comments:

Post a Comment