The drinking of tea is an age-old tradition that can still be found the world over today. Adapted to culture, lifestyle and surroundings, the act of taking tea can range from Chinese tea ceremonies to English high tea, to that first refreshing cup of the morning. Grown worldwide, tea has turned from afternoon pastime into booming beverage business. Here in South Africa and in particular the Cape West Coast, the indigenous tea plant rooibos is cultivated, and we send out this red gold for tea-drinker’s enjoyment the world over.
The tastemakers at the forefront of this locally produced miracle product is Carmien Tea. Based in the hilly region of the Piekenierskloof Mountains near Citrusdal and grown in the nutrient-rich red earth, the rooibos tea farmed here serves as a base to the myriad infusions offered by Carmien Tea. With flavours taken from hibiscus, mint, ginger, apple, coffee beans and saffron (to name just a few) each infusion has it’s own list of health and wellbeing benefits, not to forget the richly wooded taste that is endemic to rooibos tea. While the concept of the tasting and pairing of different beverages such as wine, whisky or beer with small bursts of flavour found in cheeses, chocolate or fruit is not a new one, Carmien Tea has launched their own version with rooibos tea as the star.
Able to be infused with some of the most exotic flavours, the varieties of rooibos tea offered at Carmien Tea make for the most interesting afternoon of taste exploration. Imagine cool mint paired with sharp tangy Stilton or the saccharine sweetness of Turkish delight bringing out the delicate notes of hibiscus and cornflower. A personal favourite is the fragrantly creamy Vanilla Rooibos tea that pairs perfectly with the ammoniac nuttiness of fresh almonds. Naturally a palate cleanser, rooibos has the ability to remove all trace of residual flavour upon the tongue and so like the coffee beans used when choosing a new fragrance, makes it the perfect accompaniment during a wine or food tasting. Not only unique for their large array of tea, Carmien Tea now offers these flavour pairings at their picturesque Bergendal-Carmien Rooibos farm in the Citrusdal valley. Grown exclusively along the West Coast of South Africa, the rooibos produced here is cultivated to it’s best by the naturally occurring Mediterranean climate found along the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor.
Take the N7 out of Cape Town and explore the lush heights of this fertile part of the Cape West Coast before stopping in at Carmien Tea for either a tour of the working farm, a tea, food and wine pairing or the chance to create your very own tea! The Bergendal-Carmien Rooibos farm is part of West Coast Way’s beautiful Berg Route and so is a must-see stop along this richly diverse trail that also includes the luxury Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort, the ancient San caves and rock art in Elands Bay and the authentic weskus fishing town of Velddrif.
Rooibos Fields, Factory Visit, Tea Tasting and Video Screening R80 per person during the Harvest Season (January – April) or R50 per person for the rest of the year. Mondays – Fridays at Bergendal Carmién Tea. (Tours dependant on availability and weather)
Pairing at Hebron
Tea, wine and flavour pairing R50 per person at Hebron (Wednesday – Sundays) situated on the Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7
Tea, wine and 3 small course meal pairing R150 per person at Hebron (Wednesdays – Sundays) situated on the Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7
All options must be pre-booked:
Carmién Tea: [email protected]
Where: Bergendal Farm, Paleisheuwel Road, Citrusdal
Contact: +27 (0)22 921 8900
Find Carmien Tea at www.carmientea.co.za or on social media at @CarmienTea
Find a delicious recipe for Rooibos Chai & Vanilla Cupcakes made with Carmien Tea here.
“Predominantly a literary soul, Georgia East is also a self-confessed foodie fiend. Obsessed with buying old forks and able to eat her own weight in dim sum, she spends most of her time as a freelance writer, food stylist and photographer. Starting her blog Fortunate Ones a year ago has led to various tasty experiences which include recipe creation, set design for her food imagery and a newly-discovered passion for taking as many photographs as humanly possible on her Nikon. After spending most of her childhood swimming in the Berg river and avoiding bokkoms, Georgia has retained her love for the Cape West Coast while rediscovering the traditional flavours endemic to the coastline.”
Take the road less travelled in the West Coast Way
For more information on West Coast Way Routes and the list of 101+ Things To See And Do in the Cape West Coast, visit our eventspage. Choose to go on a self-guided adventure drive by following the routes, or book an air-conditioned trip to top West Coast attractions in South Africa.