Honeybush tea is made from the honey-scented flowers, leaves, and stems of the Cyclopia plant, an indigenous plant that grows in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This light and refreshing tea has a honey like taste and a floral aroma. Caffeine free, like Rooibos, this flavourful tea can be enjoyed with no milk or sugar added.
When visiting the Honeybush growing region, the Harvey family discovered there are three main varieties of Honeybush; Coastal (Cus Tee), Mountain (Berg Tee) and Marshland (Vlei) teas.
The best tasting and highest quality tea is the Mountain Honeybush, a smaller bush, that grows wild in the South African Mountains. Traveling to a remote valley, three mountain passes away, Gathering Place visited a pituresque family farm. The farm, located at the end of a pristine green valley, rose into the Mountains where as far as the eye can see, grows wild Mountain Honeybush. The farmers are careful stewards of this land, sustainably harvesting within a threshold of natural re growth and successfully doing so for three generations!
Loose leaf Honeybush is best prepared by simmering the tea for ten minutes in a pot of water on the stove.
Brewing the tea increases the antioxidant value, flavour, and colour of the tea and (most happily) the tea never gets bitter. Honeybush can also be made in a teapot and then poured through a strainer, or by using a tea ball or tea filter. Use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves or one tea bag per cup.
Children love Honeybush with milk and honey. It is also a soothing before-bed tea for everyone in the family!
Honeybush grows by the coast of the East and West Cape, south of the Cedarberg mountains where Rooibos grows. It is wild crafted in the mountains, as well as being organically cultivated on lower slopes in South Africa. The Gathering Place Honeybush tea is produced on a family farm deep in the mountains on the south coast of South Africa.
Research into the health benefits of Honeybush tea has only been ongoing for the last decade or so. We do know that Honeybush has some of the same health benefits as Rooibos, including little tannin and no caffeine.
In addition, some studies report that Honeybush staves off hunger pangs and reduces water retention. An impressive array of minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron are present, as well as plenty of antioxidants. Like chamomile and Rooibos, it can also be applied topically to skin irritations.