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January 14, 2015 1 Comment

Having drunk more than our fair share of Rooibos over the last 40 years, we wanted to set out what sets our Rooibos apart and why all Rooibos teas are not made equal. Rooibos herbal tea is now more popular than ever!

It used to be available only in South Africa (like a best kept secret!) or at selected health food outlets in Europe and the USA. Times have changed, and increased demand coupled with years of decreased production due to drought, has meant that entire crops are now regularly all sold before they are even harvested! We had an issue in 2016, when with limited stock available we sold out and were out of stock for a few months - not ideal (and very frustrating!) but then again it is a commodity and like all crops we are at the hands off mother nature and good farmers, and had to wait until the new harvest was ready from Wiedouw!

We wanted to explain what really sets a good Rooibos apart - why it's so much more than just another herbal tea and why all are not made equal...

Rooibos (it's local Afrikaans name) or redbush tea from South Africa is gaining such popularity that it might well rival gold and diamonds as one of the country's biggest exports. The tea market full of new Rooibos tea products each offering their own flavour or unique marketing position, but this can be very confusing... what really makes a good Rooibos tea? First and foremost is the quality of the leaf – and yes, not all Rooibos teas is created equal and you do get what you pay for. Not only are the different grades, but also different harvests and numerous producers.

Why buy Chateau Rouge Rooibos or any other brand?

It's a truly single estate Rooibos. Our Wiedouw Rooibos is grown only on the Wiedouw farm in the Cape South Africa. It is not blended or mixed with any other farms Rooibos. The Chateau Rouge long-cut Rooibos leaves are cut to an extra long length. With the leaf being more than double the size of any ordinary Rooibos, like with whole leaf teas, you get a fuller flavour cup, and you can easily get multiple infusions off of the same leaves. A smaller cut leaf means the tea will infuse quicker, but it also means you get less from the leaf and will not stay as fresh as long and also means that the manufacturer can get away with other smaller pieces, notably twigs, also being cut up and included in the tea.

Not only is Wiedouw long-cut Rooibos single estate but it is also 100% organic, and has been certified organic since 1997 when this became viable under the new owner. The farm was created at inception to be organic and not just converted at a later stage. This means that the tea is as pure as you can get! Chateau Rouge works with the farm directly, importing the teas from South Africa. This not only ensures that your Rooibos is super fresh but is the best grade and quality available for the season - and this can and should vary slightly from year to year, just like a fine wine would. Being a single estate Rooibos, the estate and Chateau Rouge put their names to the products and have an interest to make sure that they are the best quality possible!


Wiedouw Rooibos is now also Rain Forest Alliance as well as fair-trade from 2013. From early 2017 Chateau Rouge has been working with WeForest.org to plant trees in Zambia from the proceeds of every product sold; in addition pledging at least 1% of all sales towards environmental causes through their membership with  One Percent For the Planet. Which means that Chateau Rouge Wiedouw long-cut Rooibos may well be the greenest Rooibos you can get! Anybody who has tried our Rooibos vs. teabags all conclude that the loose leaf tea tastes much better. No matter how hard you try you can’t avoid the taste of the teabags coming through when making a cup of Rooibos.

What are the real benefits of drinking rooibos?

Rooibos has been well be a well guarded kept secret within the tea industry - but it seems the world has now caught on. Not only is CR's Wiedouw Rooibos unique as it is the only single estate Rooibos tea (or Redbush tea) sold in the UK and a special long-cut leaf to ensure maximum flavour; but it is also possibly one of the healthiest herbal teas or tisanes you can drink today:

  • Rooibos is 100% naturally caffeine-free. Unlike 'caffeine-free' black tea it has not gone through a process to remove the caffeine, there is none at all to begin with. Most herbal tea drinkers incorrectly assume that green tea has no caffeine. Even green tea has caffeine, albeit only a small amount in comparison.
  • Rooibos has no tannin. All other teas have tannin. Tannin interferes with absorption of iron into the bloodstream. Too much tannin in tea makes a bitter cup. For example, if you have ever drunk one of the commercially available black tea bag products in the UK, you will undoubtedly have discovered that it is too bitter to drink black. This is because the teas are high in tannin and need milk to neutralise the bitter taste. Rooibos tastes best if you just leave it stewing in a teapot, unlike other teas if you want a stronger cup, you can just leave the leaves sitting for as long as it takes - it will never go bitter!
  • Wiedouw is officially the oldest, and one of only a few purely Organic Rooibos farms in the whole of South Africa. It has been certified Organic by the UK Soil Association - the  UK's leading food and farming charity and organic certification body created after the 2nd world war in 1946. Amazing to thing how long it has taken for the world to see the real benefits of a healthy, natural organic lifestyle for consumers and the environment.
  • Rooibos is packed full of antioxidants. Recent research points that Rooibos may well contain more antioxidants than green tea. This research has been lead by independent labels in Japan and Europe which is very promising. It's very high in minerals including sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and zinc; and is purported to assist with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems.

TOP TIP: you can re-infuse whole leaf rooibos multiple times, you literally keep on making cups of tea until you can't taste the flavour anymore - it will never ever go bitter! It's an investment that pays for itself over and over again - tell that to your stock broker!

That’s it, Chateau Rouge Wiedouw Rooibos may still prove more valuable than gold and diamonds, well maybe not but at least you can get alott more enjoyment from a simple mug of tea (plus the enduring health benefits and enjoyment of every cup!) - all at a price that you can enjoy every single day.

1 Response

Paul Bulow
Paul Bulow

February 28, 2017

That for the quick education on Rooibos. I look forward to trying your tea.

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Sizes - Every Purchase Makes a Difference
Every 2 products sold = 1 Tree planted (costing £0.40 - 0.70 per tree over a 5 year period). Proceeds from the sale of each product directly help improve the environment and combat climate change by planting trees in Zambia with WeForest and 1% for the Planet. These are sustainable long term projects that not only focus on planting trees but on supporting the communities affected to help alleviate poverty.
Weights of loose leaf tea tins may vary slightly per product. We pack all our tea tins full and volumes are dependent on the type of tea and tea leaf size.
Tea bags tin sizes: 17 tea bags tin, 60 tea bags tin or 50 tea bags refill pouches. We pack our tea bags with larger quantities of loose leaf tea. This ensures a full flavour cup and is possible to use 2x per tea bag - for a large mug or small teapot.  View actual tin and pouches sizes here
Our tea tins (2 sizes) come in Chateau Rouge gift cartons. Our jams, honey and preserves are packed in similar boxes of two jars - perfect for gifting. All our packaging is made from FSC recycled or recyclable card and we only print using 100% environmentally inks.