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Rooibos - History Of The Miracle Plant

The most important dates


around 1730
The peoples of the Cederberg Mountains, the Khoikhoi, use the leaves of the wild rooibos for the first time to brew a drink from them. They discover so refreshing properties and also the health benefits of the plant.

The Swedish botanist Carl Thunberg reports on the cross-generational use of Rooibos in the region by the Khoikhoi and their knowledge of the medicinal value of the plant.

Dutch settlers at the Cape use Rooibos tea as an alternative to black tea, which had to be imported from Europe on expensive supply ships.

Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian settler with family ties to the tea industry, recognizes the potential of tea and trades with the Khoikhois. He sells Rooibos as "mountain tea" to settlers in the Cape and thus becomes the first exporter of Rooibos tea - and does so successfully.

Ginsberg convinces the local doctor, Dr. Le Fras Nortier, experimenting with growing the plant. Success confirms his plan: Local farmers start large-scale cultivation.

Rooibos is gaining momentum on the world market. The popularity is not only growing steadily in South Africa, but is also expanding to numerous countries (Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, etc.).

since 2007
Growing number of branded tea companies selling Rooibos either directly as tea or as part of a variety of blends.