Coffee fads: coffee leaf tea

Can we offer you a cup of tea? Or coffee? Or, if you can’t make up your mind, how about a hybrid version of both? The new kid on the block is coffee leaf tea, made from the leaves of the coffee plant rather than from beans. Scientists have discovered that the brew contains high levels of antioxidants, as well as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Researchers, including staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, believe that up until now the value that we placed on the coffee berries themselves prevented anything thinking about the health benefits of the rest of the plant. The drink apparently has an earthy taste, without any bitterness, and doesn’t have coffee’s distinctive strong taste. Although the drink is relatively unknown in Europe, it’s been drunk in South Sudan and Ethiopia for centuries. The drink was briefly popular in the mid 19th century, and was believed to assuage the pangs of hunger, combat fatigue and provide a mental pick-me-up. It seems to have been the ‘Marmite’ of its day, with contemporary reports describing it as both ‘refreshing’ and ‘undrinkable’.

The leaves of Arabica coffee plants contained the highest levels of the natural anti inflammatory, mangiferin. which also had other health benefits including reducing the risk of diabetes.

If you fancy trying coffee leaf tea for yourself, you may struggle at the moment. It’s available online, but isn’t widely stocked in the UK. Mainstream coffee producers may be reluctant to turn coffee bushes over to be used for their leaves rather than their beans, which could explain the restricted supply.

Unfortunately you can’t get coffee leaf tea from us, either – but you can get great quality coffee beans and supplies for your commercial coffee business. Just take a look at our main website at to browse our range of coffee accessories and coffee beans, all at great wholesale prices.