A pleasant and mild taste. A sweet aroma, reminiscent of honey. These phrases describe South Africa’s most extraordinary tea. It’s known as Honeybush tea.
Honeybush tea is over three hundred years old. It was first used by South African indigenous people as a medicinal tea. Honeybush tea is extremely rich in antioxidants and nutrients. It has anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral characteristics, which make it very valuable to health-conscious people.
Honeybush tea is known to have a great amount of wonderful health benefits. Not only does it have no fat, carbohydrates, or calories, but it also assists in the protection of the human body’s cells and immune system. Researchers from all over the world believe that drinking Honeybush tea prolongs a lifespan and helps to defend the body against the aging process.
Honeybush tea is grown near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. It also grows to the east and west of this coast on unpopulated and un-urbanized land. The Honeybush plant is part of the Cyclopia herb family.
It is harvested in the springtime. Gathering the Honeybush leaves typically takes a long time, as the plants are located mostly in mountainous areas. Some plants, however, are located in cultivated fields. Bushes are usually harvested every two to three years.
The harvested leaves are then taken to factories where the leaves, flowers, and stems are cut apart and oxidized using a natural process.
There exist two different methods for the fermentation of Honeybush tea. These methods involve either using a curing heap or a baking oven. Curing heaps are typically used when there are large quantities of tea to be produced, while baking ovens are used for lesser amounts of tea.
While they are fermenting, the colors of the parts cut change from green to a dark brown tone. At this point, you can smell a sweet, pleasant aroma from the tea. The final product is then placed in a cylindrical sieve, in which thick pieces are removed. Fine tea material is used for making teabags, and coarse material is used for brewing loose tea.
Honeybush tea is caffeine-free, so customers do not have to be concerned about adverse reactions to caffeine or avoiding the drink if they are pregnant or nursing. Because of its worldwide popularity, the sale of Honeybush tea has skyrocketed in the past five years.
In the year 2001, the very first Honeybush large scale plantation was started in Haarlem, South Africa. This plantation is a joint partnership between the United States and South Africa.
It exports Honeybush tea heavily to the United States, Japan, and Canada. It currently cultivates over 100,000 Honeybush plants. Because of the success of this plantation, another similar plantation was started in Ericaville, South Africa.
Honeybush tea is often consumed with milk and sugar. However, many people prefer to drink it black, so as to delight in the sweet taste. Sometimes adding honey will enhance the honey-like taste that is already present in the tea.