Rooibos is exclusively grown near the Cedarburg mountains of South Africa.
The name Rooibos (which translated means “red bush”) is now a Geographically Indicator. This indicates its’ terroir and means that if any red bush is grown outside of South Africa, it will need to be called something else.
After planting seedlings, It takes 2 years for a rooibos bush to be ready for harvest. Rooibos plants can only be harvested around 3 times and then they die.
- Rooibos is still mostly harvested by hand, with a sickle.
- Harvest season is January through April (this is Summer/Fall season in South Africa)
- Processing is surprisingly similar to tea. Rooibos is harvested, cut, bruised, fermented (aka oxidized) and then air dried.