1955: The Ginsberg’s family “Eleven O’Clock” brand, which had originally been conceived by Benjamin several decades earlier, flourished as South Africa’s biggest selling Rooibos Tea. Henry Charles registers for the first time overseas trademarks for Rooibos tea in order to sell worldwide.
1920: Growing interest in Rooibos followed, sales increased and unsustainable harvesting in the 1920’s soon exhausted the limited availability of the wild tea, which was found only in sparse plant populations on the slopes and valleys of the Cedarberg, its traditional harvesting area.
1750: As in Europe, Chinese-style tea drinking became fashionable within Cape Town society. But tea was expensive and hard to come by outside of the city, and the settlers who had established their farms in more isolated frontier communities like the Cedarberg yearned for the delicious herbal and China teas they had enjoyed back home.
1903: Benjamin Ginsberg, a young Russian from a Moscow tea merchant family, joined his trader father in the Cedarberg in the 1903. Benjamin quickly became fascinated by the potential of this crude ‘mountain tea’. He realised that the drink cherished by the locals would find favour far beyond the region’s borders and started buying Rooibos and reselling it in other areas.
2013: Tick Tock has proudly become Britain’s favourite Rooibos tea, and its iconic pack can be found in kitchen cupboards across the country. With the addition of light and refreshing Organic Green Rooibos Tea and zesty and comforting Rooibos Honey Lemon & Ginger, it has truly become the nation’s “Tea for Anytime”.
1976: The Ginsberg’s family “Eleven O’Clock” brand, which had originally been conceived by Benjamin several decades earlier, flourished as South Africa’s biggest selling Rooibos Tea. Henry Charles registers for the first time overseas trademarks for Rooibos tea in order to sell worldwide. His desire to introduce this unique drink to tea lovers all around the world led him to form a UK company in 1976.
1944: After the Second World War, Benjamin Ginsberg’s son, Henry Charles Ginsberg, became known not only for his contribution to domesticating Rooibos, but also for his pivotal role in popularising it. Under his guidance, Rooibos was transformed from a niche item sold only in country stores to a modern day consumer product with a vast national following.
1930: Ginsberg encouraged his friends, a local doctor, Dr Le Fras Nortier, and a local farmer, Olaf Bergh, to experiment with propagating the never before cultivated wild Rooibos seeds. The plant’s hard-shelled seeds proved quite tricky, but Nortier soon discovered that the seeds would germinate if they were cracked open first– imitating the effect of mountain fires in dry climates
1915: Benjamin soon perfected these bruising and oxidising techniques, also incorporating newer methods garnered from Indian tea growing plantations. The tea was no longer sold loose from chests or bags, but packed in small packets or tins, as a mark of selectivity and guarantee of quality.