South Africa: Land­scapes and Red­bush Tea

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

Wide-open grass­lands, di­verse wildlife, quiet log cab­ins, the Cape of Good Hope with its choppy wa­ters and the tow­er­ing Ta­ble Moun­tain— th­ese are just a few high­lights of South Africa. Cov­er­ing a land area of 1.2 mil­lion sq.km, the coun­try is sur­rounded by the In­dian Ocean and At­lantic Ocean on its east, south and west sides.

South Africa is fa­mous for its abun­dant min­eral re­sources, but not ev­ery­one knows about South African Rooi­bos (red­bush) tea. Three-hun­dred years ago, res­i­dents of moun­tain­ous areas in south­ern Africa dis­cov­ered that the nee­dle-like leaves of red­bush trees could be made into a re­fresh­ing tea. They col­lected the leaves, dried them in the sun and then stored them. In 1772, Euro­pean botanists vis­ited the Cape of Good Hope and re­ported back home about this new tea. In re­cent years, re­search has shown that this bev­er­age is good for one's health as well as pre­vent­ing and treat­ing chronic dis­eases. Dur­ing this year's “Colour­ful World” event, the South African Em­bassy in China rec­om­mended two brands to in­tro­duce unique lo­cal prod­ucts, of which one was the up-and-com­ing tea com­pany “Smash a Cup.”

The red­bush tea from Smash a Cup is a fully-fer­mented black tea made from a shrub indige­nous to the West­ern Cape Prov­ince of South Africa. The tea is widely loved in Eu­rope, the United States and Ja­pan, be­cause it is nat­u­rally caf­feine-free and has var­i­ous health ben­e­fits, and is cur­rently gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity with Chi­nese con­sumers.

Smash a Cup has launched a va­ri­ety of premium South African black teas. It also in­tro­duces new flavours and com­mem­o­ra­tive items to co­in­cide with var­i­ous sea­sons and fes­ti­vals, and makes unique bev­er­ages to at­tract Chi­nese tea drinkers. Dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion, vis­i­tors were able to view and en­joy sam­ples of the brand's var­i­ous drinks.

An­other brand par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event was ‘‘Baby­lon­storen,'' a com­pany that spe­cialises in mak­ing herbal drinks that have be­come fash­ion­able amongst lo­cals in South Africa.

South African cui­sine also has sev­eral unique fea­tures. With the ar­rival of Euro­pean im­mi­grants, Malay slaves and In­di­ans, a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent culi­nary arts emerged such as fra­grant cur­ries, slow-cooked stews, tra­di­tional del­i­ca­cies and bar­be­cues. Af­ter en­joy­ing a feast, a re­fresh­ing cup of healthy tea re­ally comes into its own. At the event, the South African Em­bassy treated vis­i­tors to lo­cal teas, so as to ex­change views on their shared cul­ture.

Those who tried the tea were full of praise for its rich fra­grance, smooth taste and bright am­ber colour. Lo­cal peo­ple like to add milk in the win­ter, turn­ing this black tea into a nu­tri­tious milk tea. In sum­mer, ice cubes, lemon, honey or con­cen­trated juice is added to make a thirst-quench­ing iced tea.

This year marks the 20th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween China and South Africa. Key events such as the Sec­ond Meet­ing of High-level Peo­ple-to-peo­ple Di­a­logue ex­change mech­a­nism, the 10th South Africa and China Strate­gic Di­a­logue Fo­rum and the Sev­enth Bi­lat­eral Com­mit­tee Meet­ing will be held next year; and cul­tural ex­changes and multi-level co­op­er­a­tion through var­i­ous channels are pro­gress­ing smoothly. Largescale ac­tiv­i­ties such as the “Chi­nese Cul­tural Tour in Africa” and “Per­cep­tions of China: South Africa Tour” held in South Africa, as well as par­tic­i­pa­tion of sev­eral South African art groups in the “In­ter­na­tional Folk­lore Fes­ti­val” and “Meet in Bei­jing-host Con­ti­nent of Africa” and other events in China re­ceived en­thu­si­as­tic re­sponses. The South African Em­bassy in China ex­pressed its warm wel­come to Chi­nese peo­ple trav­el­ling to South Africa to ex­pe­ri­ence its cul­ture and won­der­ful events.

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