There are many coffee and tea lovers around the world, and the war between the two beverages has been going on for ages. Tea is still leading by being the second most consumed beverage in the world right after water. But this might change soon. Recently coffee farmers have something new that could potentially be a real alternative to tea: Coffee Leaf Tea.
As the name already reveals, it’s a tea made from the actual leaves of the coffee plant. Wise Monkey is one of the first companies that attempt to revolutionize the coffee industry with this tea. See their video below:
Tea type: tea or tisane?
Coffee leaf tea is in fact not a real tea, as it’s not made from the original tea plant called ‘Camellia Sinensis’. The official term for other steeped beverages made from other plants, herbs, or fruits are called ‘Tisane’. In reality, most people still tend to use the term ‘tea’ by classifying it in a separate category of ‘herbal teas’. Popular teas made from other herbs such as kuding and honeysuckle tea also belong to this category.
Health benefits of coffee leaf tea
Though it’s often claimed that coffee leaf tea has more antioxidants compared to green tea, there is no reliable academic evidence for this yet. See the video below discussing the benefits:
Coffee plants & processing
Coffee leaf tea can be made from one of the two types of coffee plants:
- Arabica coffee plant: originally from to the mountains of the southwestern highlands in Ethiopia
- Robusta coffee plant: originally from central and western sub-Saharan in Africa
The processing of the leaves aren’t as complicated as for real tea. Right after picking the leaves are dried, roasted and then crumpled. At the moment, there are no such tea available yet made from full leaf or buds. The cultivation is mainly focused on making sure the quality of the coffee bean is good, so the quality of the leaf is kind of ignored. Besides, that coffee production regions don’t have the tea cultivation knowledge yet, to produce better quality coffee leaf tea.
The most important question: How does it taste? If the taste isn’t good, this all doesn’t have any meaning. The tea community describes this tea with the following words the most: earthy, grassy, vegetal, licorice. The taste is often rated from bad to reasonably good.
Though the taste isn’t as well received yet, future improvement in processing (and maybe even better cultivation) can make this type of herbal tea only better.
Secondary income for farmers
Independent from whether it tastes good or not, the idea of coffee leaf tea is great, because it can offer secondary income for bean producers, as the discussed in the video of Wise Monkey above. It has economic meaning, as the leaves aren’t gone to waste. And, if the taste is good, then all tea lovers can benefit from it.
So what about you? Is it going to be coffee or tea? or coffee leaf tea?