Trailblazer: Carl Pretorius

Founder: Red Espresso

Why is Carl a Trailblazer?

What does it take for an espresso addict from Johannesburg to revolutionise the Rooibos industry? Nothing, initially, except for the conviction that there must be a way to get a strong fix from something that doesn’t leave you shaking in your business boots three cups down the line.

And that’s pretty much how it all started – with a caffeine-charged Carl ripping open a bag of Rooibos tea and experimenting with it in his espresso maker. In no time at all, and with a little help from expert product developers, Carl had created the world’s first Rooibos tea espresso.

But if you think trying to convert people from coffee to Rooibos is tricky, think about how you might convince people that there is such a thing as a caffeine-free espresso.

Even today, Carl says most people expect to taste coffee when they’re drinking Red Espresso. But, as experts will tell you, espresso is just a filtering method which can be applied to a variety of beverages.

In his own words .

“If you’ve got a good idea and you really believe in it, you’ve got to follow through on that idea and surround yourself with good people and give it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose.”

Fast Facts

  • Rooibos only grows in one region in the world – the 110km region around the Cederberg Mountains in the Western Cape.
  • Rooibos is caffeine-free; free of oxalic acid colourants; free of preservatives; low in tannin.
  • Research has shown that Red Espresso is four times richer in anti-oxidants because of the grinding process in an espresso machine.
  • Red Espresso is made up of 100% espresso ground Rooibos tea.
  • Red Espresso has won “best new product’ in the specialty beverages category at the world’s largest coffee exhibition; has been nominated as one of the “top 10 new products” at the World Tea Expo; and won the South African “Food Review product of the year award” in 2006.

Where can I find out more?

To find out more, visit Red Espresso

Story published on SAinfo on 22 August 2008.
Source: Brand South Africa