January 14, 2013
Experts Tout Health Benefits Of Tea Made From Coffee Leaves
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
A rare blend of tea made from the leaves of the coffee plant is actually healthier than either of the individual beverages, containing more antioxidants than tea while also containing a natural chemical that possesses anti-inflammatory effects, a team of European scientists has discovered.
According to Richard Gray, Science Correspondent with The Telegraph, researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the UK and the Joint Research Unit for Crop Diversity, Adaptation and Development in France found that this coffee leaf team could potentially, as a result of their ingredients, help lower a person´s risk of developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
“Tests on 23 species of coffee by Dr. Davies and Claudine Campa from Montpellier have found that the leaves of seven have high levels of mangiferin, a chemical found in mangoes and believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, reduce the risk of diabetes, lower blood cholesterol and protect neurons in the brain,” Gray explained. They also found that the leaves “have higher levels of antioxidants, which is thought to be beneficial in combating heart disease, diabetes and even cancer, than tea or coffee.”
The drink also has “far less caffeine” than regular coffee or tea, said Paul Bentley of the Daily Mail. Researchers believe that the beverage, which is regularly consumed in Ethiopia, Indonesia, and the South Sudan, is often overlooked because of the obsession with the seeds of the coffee plant — coffee beans — which are nowhere near as good for you as the tea made from its leaves, he added.
The results have been published in the journal Annals of Botany.
Of course, the most important question might be, how does it taste? According to Examiner.com´s Cara Batema, the researchers described its flavor as “earthy, a bit like cut grass" according to master tea taster Alex Probyn. "Flavors akin to menthol or eucalyptus help to soften the bitterness, similar to what you might experience with a green tea.”
“Coffee leaf tea is not yet widely available, but it just might turn into the latest caffeine trend, particularly with more research, as the scientists say is needed to discover the impact of the tea on the human body,” she added. Gray noted that the beverage is available in some health specialty stores, for those interested in giving it a go.