Scientists have discovered a “super brew” — tea made from coffee leaves — which they claim is healthier than both.
The coffee leaf tea, which is said to have an “earthy” taste that is less bitter than tea and not as strong as coffee, boasts high levels of compounds which lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease, experts said.
It also carries far less caffeine than traditional tea or coffee and contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the Daily Mail reported.
The coffee leaves were analysed by researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, South-West London, together with researchers in Montpellier, France.
They believe the drink — from the leaves of the coffee plant — has thus far been overlooked because of the preoccupation with the plant’s seeds, coffee beans, which are nowhere near as healthy.
While there is evidence coffee leaf tea is drunk in places such as Ethiopia, South Sudan and Indonesia, previous attempts to import it into Britain from as early as the 1800s have been unsuccessful.
After analysing 23 species of coffee plant and finding many health benefits, the researchers now hope the coffee tea could rival the well-established types of coffee and black and green teas in Britain.
Dr Aaron Davies, a botanist at Kew, reported in the journal Annals of Botany that seven species of coffee plant contained high levels of mangiferin — a chemical usually found in mangoes which is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects as well as lowering cholesterol, protecting neurons in the brain and reducing the risk of diabetes.