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Rooibos takes centre stage on International Tea Day

According to connoisseurs, after water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.

Rooibos tea. Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - As the world celebrates International Tea Day, it is homegrown rooibos that's really taking centre stage.

According to connoisseurs, after water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.

The South African Rooibos Council's Adele du Toit says: “Half of the prediction of rooibos tea is exported. The biggest export market with about 30% is Germany. Then about 15% each goes to the Netherlands and Japan.”

Rooibos tea, known for its abundant health benefits, is a firm favourite among South Africans.

The council says it’s also considered an essential ingredient in beauty products and can be found in age-defying skin creams, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps and fragrances, and comes in countless still and sparkling iced tea varieties.

According to Ernest du Toit, a director of the SA Rooibos Council, rooibos tea, which is exclusively grown in the Cederberg region, is becoming one of the fastest-growing beverages in the drinks market globally.

“Worldwide consumption of rooibos is at around 15,000 tons per annum and the growing demand for the product has pushed exports up to more than 7,000 tons per year. If both export and local volumes were sold and enjoyed as pure rooibos, it would equate to roughly 6 billion cups of rooibos tea per annum.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)