I’ve recently been introduced to Olive Leaf Tea by Sue-Ann, a friend who lives in London and has quite a good selection of Tea and herbal infusions. I was very surprised because we have a culture of producing olives and olive oil in Portugal but I’ve never heard of Olive Leaf Tea before.
This one was bought at the Borough market’s Oliveology stand – greek artisan farmers who share the culinary treasures and gastronomic traditions of Greece.
After some research, I found out that Olive leaf Tea has been used by ancient Egyptians and Greeks as a daily drink to protect against viruses. It is considered very healthy for its detoxifying and healing properties. Olive leaves are exceptionally rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, and will give your body anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal boost. Ideal to boost the immune system.
The leaves are handpicked from the olive tree, carefully washed, quickly air-dried and then left to cure with the absence of sunlight. Once processed, these leaves can stay fresh for up to one year as long as they’re properly sealed and stored away from sunlight. Like any other Tea, the essential oils will eventually vanish leaving the drink with little flavor and benefits.
This infusion has a smooth, mellow and savoury flavour (It doesn’t taste of olives!) and you can also add some lemon or honey to enhance the flavour.
The olive leaves can also be used for cooking – just sprinkle it over a salad or a soup or use it in a marinade or spice rub to season a variety of dishes.
Happy Tea Break.