Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Rooibos Tea, Aspalathus linearis, a Caffeineless, Low-Tannin Beverage

Julia F. Morton
Economic Botany
Vol. 37, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1983), pp. 164-173
Published by: Springer on behalf of New York Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4254477
Page Count: 10
  • Get Access
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Rooibos Tea, Aspalathus linearis, a Caffeineless, Low-Tannin Beverage
Preview not available

Abstract

Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis, formerly A. contaminatus), is a leguminous shrub with needlelike leaves native to mountain slopes of western Cape Province, South Africa. Its beverage use by the Hottentots was first reported by the botanist Carl Thunberg in 1772. About 1900, it began to be marketed and then domesticated on a small scale. Seed selection and improved cultivation and processing started in the 1920s. Important advances were made in 1930. Demand for the product jumped during World War II because of the shortage of Oriental tea, then declined. The industry was stabilized in 1954 and continued to expand, with exports to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada and, to a very limited extent, the United States. A fungus disease, then drought, followed by floods temporarily reduced the supply in 1980. The tea is gaining recognition for its freedom from caffeine, low tannin and high ascorbic acid content. It contains the antispasmodic principle, quercetin, and is said to have enough fluoride to inhibit caries. Consumer tests indicate that rooibos tea may be an acceptable alternative to tea, coffee, cocoa and high-caffeine soft drinks.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[164]
    [164]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
165
    165
  • Thumbnail: Page 
166
    166
  • Thumbnail: Page 
167
    167
  • Thumbnail: Page 
168
    168
  • Thumbnail: Page 
169
    169
  • Thumbnail: Page 
170
    170
  • Thumbnail: Page 
171
    171
  • Thumbnail: Page 
172
    172
  • Thumbnail: Page 
173
    173