Rooibos and its many uses are as synonymous with South African heritage and culture as braai,
lobola and biltong. On 16 January the wonderplant will receive the acclaim it deserves when the
second National Rooibos Day is celebrated countrywide, as well as globally.
The exciting development will be celebrated around the world via various social media
platforms, using the hashtags #RooibosDay, #Rooibosdag and #MyRooibosMoment. Various
celebrities and influential personalities like Elvis Blue, Leah, Kurt Darren and Willem Botha will
also be sharing their love for Rooibos online.
Clanwilliam, the Rooibos Capital of the world, will be celebrating the day with various Rooibos
distributors and patrons showcasing their products and welcoming visitors to a real Rooibos
experience. Visitors are also encouraged to wear red to commemorate the day.
“The date coincides with the birthday of Benjamin Ginsberg, who is widely regarded as the
father of commercial Rooibos Tea,” says Marietjie Stander, co-owner of Rooibos Tea House
and and co-founder of the Rooibos Route.
Ginsberg, a young Russian immigrant, joined his tea trader father on the farm Rondegat in the
Clanwilliam district in 1904. He quickly developed a fascination with the plant and is credited
with first curing the leaves of the Rooibos plant by letting them ferment in barrels, and opening
the first commercial trade of Rooibos with local farmers, under the moniker “Mountain Tea”.
“More recent innovations have included the use of the plant in beauty products and even in
successful homeopathic cures. South African coffee shops have also developed the popular
Rooibos cappuccino, the world’s first tea-based cappuccino,” says Sanet Stander, Marietjie’s
sister and business partner.
Demand for Rooibos has increased by nearly fifty percent in recent years, and fervour for the
plant continues to grow in Europe and Asia, as well as the United States. Experts solemnly
believe that South Africa has not yet nearly seen the true boom of the Rooibos industry.
“The rate at which the plant’s popularity continues to grow is really astounding. From its humble
commercial beginnings in the 20th century to the global industry it has become today, Rooibos
never ceases to amaze,” says Gerda de Wet, communications manager for Rooibos Ltd.
People the world over are encouraged to enjoy a cup of Rooibos tea on 16 January and to
share their Rooibos stories and recipes online. Follow Rooibos Day on Facebook
(@RooibosDay), Twitter (@RooibosDay) and Instagram (@rooibosdag).