There is tea that is made from coffee. Now we haven’t been transported to an alternate universe, the space time continuum isn’t shattered, Leonardo DiCaprio is not around and we are not in a Christopher Nolan film – this is real. It seems like the great shattering of boundaries of our time: like the Montagues and Capulets, Cats and Dogs, Vegans and Hard core meat eaters – just getting together without any sort of drama or bloodshed. I’m not joking when I say this – if there is a holy grail, it is this drink: tea made from coffee leaves.
Researchers have created this coffee leaf tea, which is said to have an ‘earthy’ taste that is less bitter than tea and not as strong as coffee. It boasts high levels of compounds which lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It also contains far less caffeine than traditional tea or coffee and contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The coffee leaves were analysed by researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, South-West London, together with researchers in Montpellier, France. These researchers believe the drink , from the leaves of the coffea plant , has been overlooked because of our preoccupation with the the seeds of the plant, coffee beans. Although there is evidence coffee leaf tea is drunk in places such as Ethiopia, South Sudan and Indonesia, previous attempts to import it into Britain from as early as the 1800s have been unsuccessful. After analysing 23 species of coffee plant and finding many health benefits, the researchers now hope the coffee tea could rival the more readily accepted types of coffee and black and green teas available now.
Dr Aaron Davies, a botanist at Kew, reported in the journal Annals of Botany that seven species of coffee plant contained high levels of mangiferin – a chemical usually found in mangoes which is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects as well as lowering cholesterol, protecting neurons in the brain and reducing the risk of diabetes. He said,
“In 1851 people were touting it as the next tea and there were all these reports about its qualities. It was said to give immediate relief from hunger and fatigue, and ‘clear the brain of its cobwebs’. It was also said to be refreshing – although some found it undrinkable.”
So maybe this drink is the new frontier in terms of tea and coffee lovers and even help those divided on the line between leaves and beans can finally live together in harmony. The undoubtedly countless star crossed lovers separated by the combating drinks can finally “go for coffee” in peace. Either way, it’s definitely something to try. Maybe if all goes well, we’ll all be putting a kettle on for a cuppa joe.