Giselle Courtney - Founder of South African Fynbos® and the Cape Town Fynbos Experience®

WELCOME to a whole new palate of flavours from the unique Fynbos biome at the southern tip of Africa.

Use our in-house Fynbos Flavour Wheel in conjunction with the South African Fynbos® culinary range for an incredible tasting of novel flavours.

Please refrain from picking Fynbos in the wild, it is a protected species.




This information is for educational purposes only and is provided in the interest of showcasing South Africa's botanical flavours. It is not intended as medicinal advice in any way or form.



In total, there are approximately 7000 species of plants in the Fynbos family. It's this diversity that makes the Fynbos biome so fascinating and is the reason that the Cape Floristic Region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Iconic Table Mountain is at the centre of this biodiversity hotspot, which follows South Africa's coastline from north of Clanwilliam in the west to Gqeberha/Port Elizabeth in the east. It covers an area of more than 1 094741 hectares (www.capenature.co.za/world-heritage-sites).

The most well-known Fynbos species are the King Protea, South Africa's national flower and Rooibos, a traditional herbal tea.

We use the leaves and twigs as seasoning to impart a truly South African taste of terroir. Our in-house Fynbos Flavour Wheel is our guide to the flavour profiles of eleven edible Fynbos species and their fascinating chemistry. 


For your tea infusion tasting, add Fynbos leaves and twigs to 300ml of freshly boiled water and leave to steep for seven minutes. There are ten 'teas' in total. When tasting, take at least three sips and spread the liquor around the mouth. These are unique flavours and the brain and the palate will take time to sync. See all the tasting notes below for each tea infusion. Once you have tasted them all, create a tea mixology by combining flavours to make a personalised brew. 


Line up all eight herb bottles and corresponding salt grinders starting with Honeybush, refer to the sequence in the flavour wheel. Taste with local olive oil and crusty farm-style bread. Add a selection of cheeses and our Fynbos Botanical Vinegar infusions to complete the experience.




 HONEYBUSH - Cyclopia species

SWEET - notes of honey blossom

Honeybush has been consumed as a tea infusion for generations. The anti-oxidant activity is owing to Mangiferin and the presence of phytoestrogens contribute to the relief of menopausal symptoms. When used as a seasoning it adds a delicate honey-blossom flavour to sticky marinades, onion soup, casseroles, butternut and sweet-potato wedges, sago pudding, milk-tart and cup-cake icing. Toast lightly and sprinkle over oven-roasted veggies. Sprinkle doughnuts with Honeybush herb for a sweet and delish local finish.


ROOIBOS - Aspalathus linearis 

FRUITY - notes of caramel & rosehip

Rooibos contains Aspalathis and Nothofagin, powerful anti-oxidants that are associated with combatting lifestyle diseases, making it South Africa's number one indigenous 'tea'. It is anti-spasmodic and is used as a milk substitute for infants prone to colic. It has anti-ageing effects and is used in cosmetics and creams. As a seasoning it has a rounding effect on flavours, drawing them all together. Pair with caramelised onions as a base for traditional tomato-bredie/stew and chicken soup with a South African flair. Add Rooibos tea to the chicken stock instead of water. A cherry tomato sauce comes alive with Rooibos seasoning, as does sweet potato mash, roasted butternut, gruyere omelettes, breakfast eggs and crispy roast chicken. For a really unusual dessert, splash vanilla ice-cream with local olive oil and top with Rooibos Salt. The textures and flavours combine to provide a surprising and more-ish end to a meal.


 BUCHU - Agathosma betulina

PUNGENT - strong notes of mint and blackcurrant

Buchu is the most sensational of all the Fynbos herbs, transforming everyday flavours into mouth-watering experiences. Season seared picanha, braaied line-fish, tray-baked chicken, lamb shank, flambéed chicken livers, salmon sushi and tomato salsa. Infuse a few sprigs in vinegar to make a delicious base for a vinaigrette. As a tea it is refreshing with a minty flavour and a black-currant aftertaste. Buchu oil is used as a flavour enhance in the food industry and in perfumes. Infuse a few sprigs in brandy to make a medicinal 'cure-all'. It is a diuretic and is traditionally used to clear urinary tract infections. Buchu infused brandy is a traditional remedy of the Cape. 


RHINO BUSH - Dicerothamnus rhinocerotis

PINEY - notes of resin 

Rhinobush is piney adding a delicate resinous flavour to grilled rib-eye, Karoo lamb, picanha and pork kebabs. Add to wok-seared chilli-garlic cabbage, grilled mushrooms, arancini, risotto, bitterballen and croque monsieurs. The delicate piney resin melts into seared food. As a tea, it is used for stomach complaints including indigestion. Rhinocerotinoic acid identified in Rhino bush has significant anti-inflammatory properties. According to oral tradition, Rhino bush was used to ease the symptoms of the influenza epidemic at the Cape in 1918. In the diary of a Dutch governor at the Cape, Simon van der Stel, he recorded this indigenous bush in the presence of rhino and the species retained the name. Infuse a few sprigs in vinegar to make a delicious base for a vinaigrette. Infuse a few sprigs in gin to make the base for a truly South African gin and tonic, a taste of the veld.


SNOW BUSH - Eriocephalus africanus

WOODY - wild rosemary with hints of pepper

Snow bush adds incredible depth of flavour to Mediterranean style dishes as well as creamy mushroom sauce, Karoo lamb meatballs, tzatziki, confit garlic potatoes, puy lentil salad, yoghurt carrot salad, beef carpaccio, prawn orzo and feta focaccia. Snow bush contains Eudesmanediol, an anti-spasmodic. In in the form of a tea infusion it soothes the stomach. Infuse a few sprigs in vinegar to make a delicious base for a vinaigrette. Infuse a few sprigs in vodka for a soothing after-dinner digestif.



CANCER BUSH - Lessertia frutescens

BITTER - notes of fresh pea

Cancer bush is a powerful immune booster, containing Canavanine and Pinitol. It is used as a bitter tonic that aids digestion and improves appetite. The seeds in the large pods are heart-shaped, truly a plant that spreads love and healing. When tasting the tea infusion, look past the bitterness and see if you can pick up the hint of stevia-like sweetness at the end and the distinct notes of pea. The herb is ideal for adding depth to vegetable dishes like grilled baby marrow, Rösti and smoky bacon-green-bean salad. Use sparingly as it is really bitter, but it's great for experimental cooking and making sourdough bread. It is not available as a salt at this time, please pair with Mint pelargonium Salt. 


MINT PELLARGONIUM - Pelargonium tomentosum

COOLING - intense mint 

Mint pelargonium is available as a tea infusion and as a salt in a grinder. The crushed leaves are too fluffy to fit into the 50ml herb bottle. If you are doing a home-tasting with the Fynbos Foodie Kitchen & Tasting Kit - 22 items – South African Fynbos, please use the Mint pelargonium leaves from the Tea Infusion packaging as herbs. Alternatively, the Cancer bush herb can be paired with the Mint pelargonium Salt. Use very little Cancer bush as it is very bitter. 

Mint pelargonium is supremely refreshing as a tea infusion or infused water. It makes a delicious vinaigrette and summer cordial. It is naturally astringent, use the cooled water as a body mister at the beach. Use the herbs and salts to season zucchini fritters, lentil-feta salad, cucumber ribbons, summer fruit salad, pear & walnut salad, cream cheese brioche, cocktail beef rissoles, goat's cheese couscous and a hearty bulgur mushroom salad.



NUTMEG PELARGONIUM - Pelargonium fragrans

SPICY - notes of sweet geranium

 Nutmeg pelargonium is deliciously fragrant adding layers of exotic flavour to a shitake mushroom tart, lamb moussaka, fried Spaezle, potato gratin, cheese fondue, spinach ravioli and bechamel sauce.


CAPE MOUNTAIN SAGE - Salvia chamelaeagnea

HERBACEOUS - strong notes of sage

As a seasoning it pairs well with lemon-butter kingklip, creamy walnut tagliatelle, grilled haloumi burger, butternut lasagne, onion lentil loaf, brandy infused chicken liver pâté, ground pork stuffing and blue cheese gnocchi. It has antibacterial properties and contains Carnosol and Ursolic acid. The tea infusion is very pleasant with strong notes of sage.

Please note that there may be some variations in the Tasting options in the Fynbos Foodie Kitchen & Tasting Kit - 22 items – South African Fynbos and the experiences at our partner tasting venues.


MASTERCLASS – South African Fynbos

For the complete experience, join us for an in-person Cape Town Fynbos Experience® at our Fynbos farm in the Cape Winelands. By appointment every Thursday. Booking deadline is 12h00 on Monday of the same week. R1250 per person. Private groups minimum 6 persons, max 17.



MENU IDEAS – South African Fynbos



Episode 9 | The Taste Master SA | The Fine Dining Fynbos Challenge - YouTube