The Future of Coffee and Tea: The Coffee Tea Leaf
On a dreary January Monday morning, this might be the best news we could ever find: scientists have discovered a tea leaf made out of the coffee plant. Mind = blown.
The Smithsonian and the Telegraph report on this new "hybrid" kind of tea, made from Coffea plant leaves. And apparently, it's even better for you than coffee on its own. The "coffee tea" is loaded with compounds known to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well mangiferin, the same compound found in mangos that combats inflammation (which can trigger many diseases). And that's not even including all of the antioxidants found in the coffee tea.
According to an expert at Kew Gardens in the U.K., this coffee tea is nothing new; it was hugely popular in the 1800s. "In 1851 people were touting it as the next tea and there were all these reports at the time about its qualities," said Aaron Davies to the Telegraph, who said he found village elders in Sudan making the tea. Back then, the tea was said to combat hunger and fatigue, and "clear the brain of its cobwebs." (We find that regular coffee usually has the same effect.)
Of course, this hybrid may be too good to be true — at least for rabid coffee drinkers. For one, the coffee tea has much less caffeine than a regular cup of joe. And many coffee and tea lovers aren't fans of the flavor. Most describe the tea as having an "earthy" flavor, while others have compared it to a green tea-like flavor. One U.K. tea expert to the Telegraph described flavors of "fresh cut grass," menthol, and eucalyptus in the tea. Well, maybe adding one packet of sugar to your cup wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to get all those health benefits.