Redespresso is the brainchild of farmer Carl Pretorius who set the wheels in motion in 2005 on his family farm in the Cedarberg area of the Western Cape – the only region in the world where Rooibos tea is grown. With both local and international consumers increasingly conscious of the negative impacts of caffeine on health, the aim was for redespresso to provide a healthy alternative by making a rich and versatile espresso that had all the appeal of a regular espresso but, thanks to its Rooibos base, is caffeine-free and has more anti-oxidants than green tea or even regular Rooibos tea.
Aside from the individual health benefits, redespresso also looks to play an active part in protecting the environment and the biodiversity of the Cedarberg. They have made a long-term commitment to replanting endangered cedar trees in the area. Furthermore, they keep their production to a single farm in a location where Rooibos grows naturally and is hand harvested so as to minimise the intensity of the farming process and any negative effects on the indigenous fynbos that grows in the area.
But redespresso’s sensitivity to its locale and a continuing family ethic have not hindered its increasingly widespread recognition. Among other accolades, redespresso was included in the top 10 new tea products at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas in 2008 and won Best Product at the SCAA Specialty Coffee Association of America’s 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition, held in Minneapolis the same year.
The company’s products are now available in around 25 different countries including Canada, the US, China and Holland. According to Managing Director Pete Ethelston the aim is to keep “glocalising” this very South African product to different coffee cultures all over the world. New 125g bags of redespresso have also been recently rolled out to encourage buyers to make redespresso at home, and to help make the product affordable to people in an increasingly trying financial climate.