This is simply a trial as part of our ongoing efforts looking for new tastes, creating new blends or simply rediscovering existing herbs and plants with medicinal benefits.
With these leaves, we are processing them the same way Japan makes its green sencha tea. After the first leaves are picked, we steam them, then leave them in a withering trough for a few hours. After that, we roll them to bruise the leaf and then straight into drying.
The reason we do this is that the olive leaf contains oleuropein, the polyphenol that is also present in olive oil. The taste of olive leaf tea has a mildly sweet, pleasant taste and science has suggested that it can provide many of the health benefits associated with olive oil when consumed regularly.
Not only do I love a good salty olive but I am fascinated by olive trees as they are one of the oldest cultivated trees and are an ancient symbol of peace and hope while being a provider of food and medicine.
Research has shown Olive leaf extract to exhibit powerful antioxidant activity as well as the ability to lower blood pressure. It has also been shown to inhibit bacteria and viruses and boost the immune system. This research was based on a traditional use of the leaf in which a strong tea, was brewed and used as a treatment for fevers.
We will keep processing and trialling this leaf until we are happy to produce a tea that not only tastes great but is backed by science.