Harvest and Rooibos Bundle

About Kookfontein Rooibos

As time flies, situations change like suddenly receiving an awful backache that never goes away.  Or he is retiring because, well, of getting old. So when the Rooibos farmer retired, he no longer benefits from the full harvest.  He only receives a percentage of the harvested Rooibos.

The amount is way too small for signing big contracts and that’s how the idea of starting an online shop came about.  At first, the goal was to help free up storage space on the farm.

Now we introduce ourselves – Norman, son and Karin, daughter-in-law. – “Just a couple living on a farm”. Not only do we sell you a spoonful of Rooibos leaves or if you prefer teabags, but we also share with you the excitement and some events in the Rooibos cycle from seed to cup or glass, hot or cold of your favourite beverage.

Choosing the Brand Name!

Our Rooibos Journey started with little to no experience in choosing a name, at first, we just combined the farm name with the product name right? Yet thinking more about it we were amazed at the coincidence of this choice of name.

Let us give you the story!

Our farm’s name is Kookfontein! translated directly to English it would be Boiling Fountain. Little did we know at the time how appropriate it would become. You see to make Rooibos like “Oupa” you need to “boil” the Rooibos leaves. Oh, and you need pure Natural Rooibos leaves too.

Our Rooibos Journey begins with


Rooibos Map

Yes, it’s not a myth! Rooibos really only grows in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape. Although farmers have tried to grow it elsewhere in the world, the climate, soil and conditions just aren’t conducive, …and we’d like to think that nature intended it that way. – 

Kookfontein Rooibos Farm

nestles in the heart of the Cederberg Region, the exclusive home of Rooibos cultivation.

For many South Africans, Rooibos has been a cherished part of their upbringing, lauded for its health benefits and caffeine-free appeal.

Recalling visits to farms in yesteryears, one might fondly reminisce about the comforting sight of an enamel jug or pot gently simmering on a rustic wood stove.

The aroma of Rooibos wafted through the kitchen like a warm embrace, offering solace after a chilly day outdoors.

Served simply with a hint of honey or a splash of fresh lemon juice, Rooibos was the beverage of choice, while milk was reserved for traditional dishes like porridge and Milk tart.

Reflecting on times even further back, one might conjure images of Rooibos brewing over an open fire, a practice steeped in tradition and nostalgia.

Indeed, Rooibos was once affectionately dubbed the “poor man’s Coffee,” a testament to its humble origins and enduring popularity.



Front view from our farmhouse

The front view from our house

Our First Mission is

To take care of the potential storage problems we could foresee that would occur in the near future.  Receiving Rooibos yields each year without selling or exporting would sooner rather than later lead to storage problems.

At the same time we know our Rooibos quality is very high and has always been exported as so many high-quality products are done in South Africa. Now we have an opportunity to let our local people be the beneficiary of these Rooibos with a little effort on our side.

Last by certainly not least, it would provide us with some physical excirse and much needed house hold income and what is more rewarding than customer satisfaction?

Going with the flow not an option

We had a really hard time figuring out what we want to do.

Not that it is hard to get the Rooibos in teabags or packaged.

The process is simple. Load the Rooibos in 20kg bags on the “bakkie” “pick up” and deliver them to the packaging company. One bag yields about 8000 single-serving tea bags.

Depending on the orders of the company we need to wait a day or ten. Then pick up the teabags for us to pack them for the market and if it is standard the company will do that on our behalf at additional cost.

Taking on the Challenge

Taking into consideration that we are an extremely small business in a market filled with decade-old large established companies. We are completely aware of the challenge that we have taken on.

However, we still believe that we can supply our clients with a high-quality product at a reasonable price with little waste.

Yes, it is possible as the main factor of any product price depends on two factors

1) Packaging and

2) Transportation

3) The middleman  ( This is the person buying the bulk repackage and pushing all the cost down to the consumer)

Values and Sentiment – Living on a Farm

Is truly more than just a place to stay.

Yes, although we did not choose to live here initially other than for health problems we are extremely grateful every time have learned something to be more appreciative of what have.

Living on a farm we experience the full-blown effect of waste in ways that we never knew existed whilst living in the city.

On the farm, you have to deal with waste. In the city, you just need to push it outside your gates, once a week and someone else will deal with it on your behalf. We never thought about what is really happening to all that waste.

We remember that we too have been annoyed with the streetwalkers collecting different “waste” products to earn some money.  But let me tell you something, sometimes I wish one of them will come to the farm in search of items in our waste.

Kitchen decor – Recyling glass bottles

Seeking an alternative to reduce waste

Our own waste, we had to change the way we bought many of our own products. Choosing glass and reusing the bottles was one of the many ways we have contributed to reducing waste.

With this in mind, and knowing that the best Rooibos is loose leaves we promote our Natural Rooibos Leaves in bulk as our continuous and first product.

However, we soon discovered the market is not yet ready for the switch to healthy and loose leave.

Yet we notice after covid a change in more enquiries about HEALTH products.

The Future as we see it

Looking ahead, we foresee a resurgence of natural loose leaf Rooibos as the beverage of choice, given its local production and inherent affordability amidst today’s high cost of living.

Rooibos isn’t just a local product; it boasts numerous health benefits and is environmentally friendly, leaving no part to waste.

After relishing a warm cup, Rooibos can effortlessly transition into refreshing iced tea, offering versatility beyond compare.

Even after steeping, the leaves serve a purpose, ideal for mulching or composting, ensuring sustainability from start to finish.

The Kookfontein Rooibos journey continues –

Opt for Bulk Loose Leaf or Teabags

Buying in bulk is undoubtedly the smartest choice. We understand you may not consume all the Rooibos yourself, so why not join forces with friends on the “No Waste” journey?

Most of us are connected with neighbours and friends through WhatsApp groups, making it easy to coordinate bulk purchases.

Pooling resources for one bag ensures everyone wins – why pay more for waste when you can invest in valuable produce?

Don’t worry, packaging is essential to maintain product quality and safety.

However, we’re committed to finding ways to minimize waste.

Stay tuned for our new products – we’ve discovered a solution!

While our focus remains on delivering natural Rooibos from our Kookfontein Rooibos farm to teapot, we’re still just a couple living on a farm.

Support us by sharing this post with your friends.

As we prepare the next blog post, savour your Rooibos and stay healthy.

(Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. See disclaimer for details.)





Welcome to my first story about Rooibos never in a day have I dreamt that I would be writing a story about what is Rooibos tea. Since moving to a Rooibos farm in 2008 I was swept away with the amount of information and what is behind each cup of Rooibos. I’ve never been one to ask too many questions, and it never occurred to me just how much history could be packed into a simple name.

This marks the beginning of new adventures for me. Not only have I delved into the world of Rooibos tea, but I’ve also turned my attention to everything farm-related. From studying each insect and snake to understanding the patterns of the wind, exploring the building methods of 1904, and so much more.

So let’s start the fun. Remember I am just the wife of a farmer that do some research and writes for entertainment. I have made a list of resources for more detailed information for you to read about. Almost all the rooibos websites have some details about the history of rooibos. I’ve noticed little about the day-to-day life on a working Rooibos farm.

These posts are my way of sharing a glimpse into the fun and unique experiences of my life surrounded by Rooibos, seen through my eyes.

The first thing I learned about rooibos was that although we know and drink as a tea it is not a tea. It is classified as a herb and part of the 2000 species of fynbos that grow in this Cederberg and Northern Cape region. It also becomes very clear that it could become this region’s “red gold” in future. Up till today it only grows in this region so precious indeed.

Farming follows similar principles. However, each farmer adds their unique twist and method to the process.

I first visited the farm in 2004 and can not remember much about the rooibos tea, but the beauty of the surroundings has captivated me. The rock formations on the farm are amazing and the sunsets are beautiful. at the time no one lived on the farm. My in-laws to this day stay 25km from the farm in the town called Graafwater.

Years later in February 2008 I was charmed with the “dead rooibos” bushes and horrified to learn that the plants I adored were dear. there could be many reasons one of them a mole have eaten their roots. little did I know how many times after that day I would encounter this rodent.

The rooibos history I learned started with the native Khoisan people that roamed this area. However they never could These rooibos native people were very clever and antidotes were passed down from generation to generation with very little education nothing was written down at the time.

Meaning that no one knows for sure how long they have been using rooibos. Rooibos at that time was used for many ailments including skin burns, when mothers could no longer breastfeed they put babies on rooibos, it was used for Eczema,

Today one can read about the time when Rooibos was documented since 1759 seeing that so much is already written about the documented Rooibos History, I went down the rabbit hole of finding less-known traditional stories that are much more fascinating.

For years there has been a struggle between the educated and the native people Khoi and San people to agree to profit sharing for they have shared their knowledge of Rooibos that have led to this beautiful Red gold.

Soon Rooibos became a famous exported product and various people tried to patent this product before South Africa stepped in and got the Rooiobs registered as it is an indigenous plant of South Africa.

I never anticipated that I would be living on a Rooibos farm that was involved in the negotiation for Dr Anneke Theron from the Rooibos brand Anniques. At the time my father-in-law obtained the farm Dr Theron’s son-in-law tried to buy up Rooibos farmland to increase their business. His Mother in law did not approve the transaction and the farm was on the market.

Making new lands in this fynbos area one has to obtain permission as fynbos is a protected area. My father-in-law was in luck as a fire broke out on the farm and therefore no fynbos would be affected by human intervention making lands. The farm kookfontein rooibos have 350 hecter rooibos yielding 40 ton rooibos in a good year.

The rooibos on the farm was at first exported as organic rooibos but since 2010 it has changed to natural rooibos when the organic certification was implemented the cost to apply all the organic regulations required more people and significant booking and paperwork that was not sustainable for a small farmer.

The Khoisan people have so much knowledge and unknowingly through their lifestyle and nature they discovered detrimental ways of This well-recorded story of this Khoisan woman that this lady through observation that ants collect the rooibos seed. She was a key person and capitalised the rooibos In the new industry wonderful success stories contributed without even knowing the value of this knowledge she lay on her stomach and realised that ants hoard the seed in ant nests as food and she was then capable of gathering lots of seeds.

The continual benefits-sharing battle was all about to betterment of the future of their children. The main thing about drinking a special tea is reminds of you your memories of history and the people, especially the Wupperthal people.

It’s fascinating how one plant can be known by so many names, isn’t it? If you have any more questions or want to explore further, feel free to ask!

Red tea
Red bush tea
Bossie tee
Miracle tea
Naalde tee
Spelde tee
Koopmans tee
Sprinkaan tee
Rietbossie tee

The 4 “Natural rooibos Tea and their differences

The definition of  “Rooibos” refers to rooibos prepared through the traditional process of fermentation. This process includes cutting, bruising and wetting the leaves with water; after which the damp leaves are left to ferment for 12 hours. A process of enzymatic oxidation takes place, during which the product changes from green to a distinctive amber hue. Finally, the rooibos are spread out in the sun to dry (Rooibos Ltd 2016; SARC 2015).

Definition of Wild Rooibos, in other words, rooibos that grows wild in the veld in areas where it occurs naturally. – I have found this interesting book about Wild Rooibos –  The Sustainable Harvest of Wild Rooibos by Rhoda Malgas and Noel Oettle & Wild Rooibos

The definition of  “Organic Rooibos  (red or green) is grown without the use of any artificial fertilisers or pesticides. The organic status of the product is monitored by various international organizations that provide organic certification (SARC (B), 2016).

The definition of “Green – or unfermented rooibos – is harvested, cut and then dried immediately, without the fermentation step. When served, it has a lighter colour compared to traditional rooibos (SARC (A), 2016). Both traditional and green rooibos contain polyphenols, although different types, and have anti-mutagenic properties.”

I’m thrilled you found the historical tidbit exciting! It’s incredible how Rooibos has such a rich and storied past, isn’t it? If you ever want to delve deeper into the world of Rooibos or anything else, just let me know. There’s always more to learn and explore!

Kookfontein rooibos producation collecting seed

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