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Cleaning South Africa From Invasive Species One Cup at a Time

Cleaning South Africa From Invasive Species One Cup at a Time
Mesquite seedpods make for an excellent and healthy hot drink similar to coffee, but without the caffeine and with health benefits for diabetics. AfroVerdict host joins Brandt Coetzee, the founder of MannaBrew - a company that produces this drink whilst simultaneously getting rid of the mesquite tree - an invasive species to South Africa.
Mesquite, a plant native to Mexico, has been plaguing the arid lands of South Africa's Northern Cape Province by sucking up the already desert-like soil. Mr. Coetzee took it upon himself to get rid of this invasive species by removing the trees and shrubs, but soon realized that the problem lies in the seeds.
This is when he discovered that brewing the seeds makes an ideal drink similar to coffee. The beverage is caffeine-free, offers health benefits for diabetics and the production process creates jobs for South Africans, according to Mr. Coetzee.
"This coffee has got a unique vanilla-caramel taste to it. However, it's very soft on your digestive system and normal coffee is known to cause acidity in the body. The Manna Brew, the mesquite coffee doesn't do that. [...] So we just see [that] by harvesting more seed pods and creating more market demand we can actually make a difference in the environment, and in the process we also create a lot of jobs," Brandt Coetzee explains.
To hear what else the founder had to say, check out the entire episode of the AfroVerdict podcast, brought to you by Sputnik Africa.
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