This just looks like oolong tea, but it is not. It is the leaves of the mulberry plant rolled into ball shapes.
Mulberry leaf was mentioned in Shen Nong’s Classic of the Materia Media around 200 A.D. The records of 3000 years of cultivation of mulberry trees are found in China. According to this source, the mulberry tea leaves has 25 times more calcium in comparison to the milk. It has ten times twice the fibre of green tea and more iron than spinach.
Like tea, the picking time of the leaves is essential. For medicinal purposes, they are collected after the first frost in early winter, which makes the leaves richer in terms of the nutrition it contains. The quality could be understood by looking at the colour of the leaves, which should be greenish-yellow.
The taste and smell were very vegetal. It reminded me of dandelion leaf tea I tried recently, perhaps a little tastier than dandelion. The mulberry leaves have been used in Chinese medicine for relieving coughing, improving eyesight, and pacifying the liver. Pharmacological research found that mulberry leaf can reduce blood sugar and bad cholesterol.
I was not aware of mulberry leave tea before when I searched about it, I found a lot of online retailers from China and Japan in particular. I think due to its health benefits, I will keep drinking this tea. The taste, I will try to ignore.
Harvest time: 2020
Leaf colour: Vibrant green and dark yellow
Liquor colour: Golden
Tea aroma: Vegetal
Tea taste: Mellow and vegetal
Steeping/brewing: Place 3 g of the leaves in a teapot and add about 50 ml boiling water. Rinse after 5 sec. Add about 200 ml boiling water and steep for 2-3 minutes.
Shelf life: 2 years