Contact: Prof Lizette Joubert
Generic sensory wheels have been developed for the honeybush and rooibos herbal tea industries to serve as communication and quality control tools. The sensory wheels provide industry role players with a tool to understand exactly what constitutes the "characteristic taste and aroma" of these herbal teas.
The 2012 generic honeybush wheel, compiled from data of several Cyclopia species, depicts positive and negative aroma, taste and mouthfeel attributes in a graphical format. Further research was conducted to expand the baseline datasets of honeybush, especially to develop species-specific aroma wheels. The generic sensory wheel does not capture slight differences in the aroma profiles of different Cyclopia species. For this reason, an aroma wheel for "bergtee" (Cyclopia intermedia), providing the bulk of honeybush production, has recently been released. Aroma wheels for other Cyclopia species are under development. The new aroma wheel presents data in an enhanced format. The relative importance of each aroma attribute is reflected by their relative intensity and occurrence in the dataset.
The generic sensory wheel for rooibos was also recently revised to illustrate the importance of positive and negative aroma attributes, similar to the species-specific aroma wheel for "bergtee".
2012 Honeybush Sensory Wheel
2017 Rooibos Aroma Wheel