Would you like a cup of coffee? No, wait, it’s tea. No, it’s coffee. The hottest new beverage is a delicious tea made from coffee leaves. Brilliant, right? It’s a drink that doesn’t just sound novel; it’s also really good for you. Ranking low in caffeine and packing more antioxidants and polyphenols than green tea, coffee leaf tea provides a stable income for coffee farmers in addition to some really satisfying sips.
The key difference between the business of coffee beans and coffee leaves is the reliability of the income. Coffee bean harvesting is a seasonal job, lasting for only about three months from December until March or April. It’s easy to understand why this would be a problem, especially when you learn that 90 percent of a farm’s workers become unemployed for the other nine months of the year. Coffee leaves, on the other hand, can be harvested year-round. Coffee leaf tea essentially provides coffee farmers with a second income, and one that is consistent throughout the calendar.
From an agricultural perspective, there is one small hitch. Farmers can’t harvest both beans and leaves from the same plants, since coffee leaf tea requires dedicated production. Some coffee farmers easily manage both types of coffee crops, while others are actually considering switching from being “bean farmers” to “leaf farmers” and devoting their entire harvest to the sustainable, steady source of income provided by the coffee leaf tea market.
Coffee leaf tea is reported to have a “clean, refreshing” taste with no tannic aftertaste, so it’s not likely to replace your morning cuppa anytime soon. That said, it could still prove to be a great alternative. If it tastes good, is good for you, and allows you to feel good about supporting a sound economic system in coffee-producing countries, little can go wrong.
Where can one find coffee leaf tea, you wonder? A Vancouver, Canada-based startup called Wize Monkey currently has the market cornered. Wize Monkey is run by two young entrepreneurs, Max Rivest and Arnaud Petitvallet, who raised $11,000 CAD of their $40,000 Kickstarter goal in three weeks before closing down the campaign. They expect to fulfill orders in late spring, following the next harvest.
You can order samples or preorder a full batch of coffee leaf tea on the Wize Monkey website.
Images via Wize Monkey