Cape Town - South Africans of a certain vintage will remember threats of “die Rooi Gevaar” (the red danger).

Another red threat has started to gain ground as it was confirmed that Rooibos tea was secretly advancing in its plot to overthrow Black Tea as the country's Number One favourite hot beverage.

The South African Tea Industry Landscape Report 2016, a survey from market research agency Insight Survey, on Wednesday blew the lid off this pot. Insight revealed that many in South Africa's 30.9 million-strong tea-drinking population are shifting allegiance away from their traditional favourite and opting for a home-grown choice that contains fewer toxins.

The survey, for which AMPS interviewed more than 25,000 adults in rural and urban areas around the country, found that the proportion of Black Tea consumers had decreased between 2011 and 2015, from 58.6 percent to 51.5 percent, while the percentage of Rooibos consumers grew from 29.4 percent to 30.9 percent.

Although Black Tea is still the ruling tea in terms of overall consumption, Rooibos is showing growth both locally and abroad. Stirring the pot further, Rooibos is especially high in antioxidants, which help to protect the body against various ailments such as allergies, stomach cramps, colds and flu, as well as more serious illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.

It can also reduce one's risk of contracting cancer. Rooibos tea is absolutely free of caffeine and low in tannin, and helps to support iron levels in the body.

South Africa currently exports Rooibos tea to more than 30 countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, the UK and the U.S.

It is well-known globally that there is “nothing quite like a cuppa in a crisis”; only time will tell whether the majority reaches for an old favourite or something in the future.

African News Agency (ANA)