Wednesday, Mar. 31, 2010

Rooibos Tea (South Africa)

Long revered for its medicinal benefits, the rooibos plant grows only in the Western Cape of South Africa, a region where there is little rainfall and the soil is sandy and nitrogen-deprived. The tea's name (pronounced roy-boss) comes from the Afrikaans word for red bush, presumably for the leave's vibrant mahogany color after drying in the sun. A decade-long dispute between the Texas-based company Burke International and South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry over trademarking the term ended in 2005, when a U.S. judge ruled that rooibos was a generic term not entitled to any trademark protection.