The coffee plant has primarily risen to prominence because of its seed, which we roast, grind and use to fuel our lives. But beans aren’t the only usable part of this caffeinated plant. The leaves are usable, and this is what one company is hoping will be the next big coffee trend.
Wize Monkey is a Vancouver-based start-up that plans to begin selling coffee leaf teas next spring. Besides the product having an obvious novelty appeal, the company’s CEO, Max Rivest, told Food Navigator it tastes great as well: “It’s got the body and full flavor of black tea without the bitterness; it’s totally unique, and very low in tannins.”
The bad news is that coffee leaf tea has far less caffeine than the beverage made from the beans, and even significantly less than black tea. However, drinking these teas has other benefits. Research shows they have a high ORAC score, giving them potential health benefits. Additionally, harvesting the leaves of the coffee plant could provide a financial boost to coffee farmers.
The whole thing isn’t as crazy as it sounds. People in parts of Ethiopia have consumed coffee leaf teas for centuries, and Sumatrans also partake in the practice. Still, Wize Monkey admits that the beverage is rare and getting into the business is a bit of a risk, though they claim those who’ve tried their product “are just blown away.”
If you’re interested in supporting Wize Monkey’s efforts, it’s currently running a Kickstarter, hoping to raise $40,000 by December 7 to help bring the product to market. For $15, you can get some sample teas by Christmas.