Latest advances in Rooibos research are opening more doors to the benefits of the spiky bush that grows naturally in the Cederberg. Picture: ISTOCK
Latest advances in Rooibos research are opening more doors to the benefits of the spiky bush that grows naturally in the Cederberg. Picture: ISTOCK

1. Illy buys Prestat

Italy’s Illy Group will buy Buckingham Palace’s chocolate truffle supplier Prestat. The Illy family, owner of one of Italy’s most renowned coffee brands, illycaffè, has diversified into premium chocolate, tea and wine brands. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

The chocolate maker was founded in 1902 by pastry chef Louis Dufour, who created the first chocolate truffles in 1895. Prestat posted revenues of £7m last year. The UK chocolatier is said to be the inspiration for Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

2. Fresh plans

Architectural Digest, the Condé Nast magazine known for its design authority and access to celebrity homes, is launching a business-to-business digital offering for architects, decorators and contractors as the publisher moves to cater to professionals in a bid to grow revenue. The members-only platform, which will launch in April and be called AD Pro, will cost $240 a year or $25 a month.

3. Their cup of tea

More than 2,000 tons of rooibos was shipped to Japan in 2018 — the largest consignment since the SA indigenous tea was introduced to the Japanese in the 1980s. Japan is one of the largest tea-drinking nations in the world.

4. Taking reservations

Aerospace start-up Orion Span plans to build a space hotel called Aurora Station that will launch into orbit in 2021 and accept its first guests as early as 2022.

For three-month training, lift-off and a 12-day stay in orbit, passengers will cough up $9.5m per person. The hotel will have six people aboard at a time, including two crew members.