Health kick: coffee leaf tea

January 14, 2013, 11:54 am Nicola Heath Yahoo7

A new study has found that tea made from coffee leaves could be healthier than either tea or coffee.

Health kick: coffee leaf tea

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Coffee or tea? It's one of those classic dividing questions, like cats or dogs, and the Beatles or the Rolling Stones.

It now appears you can have both, in the form of coffee leaf tea. Research done jointly in France and the UK suggests that tea brewed from the leaves of Coffea plants may be a healthier option than either tea or coffee.

Coffee leaf tea was found to be high in both antioxidants and an anti-inflammatory compound called mangiferin (also found in mangoes), and relatively low in caffeine.

The leaves of the coffee tree were found to be richer in antioxidants than both coffee cherries and black tea leaves.

The research, carried out by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, and the Joint Research Unit for Crop Diversity, Adaptation and Development in Montpellier, suggests that the tea may also lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Tea made from coffee leaves isn't new of course. While it isn't widely available in Australia except in the odd health food shop, coffee leaf tea is common in places like Ethiopia (believed to be the home of coffee) and South Sudan.

The drink has a long history too. Alan Davies, a botanist who worked on the research, said that Kew Gardens held samples of coffee leaf tea dating from early last century.

The Coffea cherry quickly became a prized commodity however as the popularity of coffee, made with roasted beans, took off, and coffee leaf tea remained overlooked until now.

More from Cafe Culture: Coffee price continues to rise

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