Vijayawada: Ever wondered if tea can be made from coffee leaves? An experiment on India’s first tea prepared from coffee leaves from Araku valley has yielded positive results. While it is not the regular tea that is consumed with milk, Araku coffee leaf tea is consumed with water like any other green tea. Usually, coffee leaves are considered waste material as only the beans are used to make coffee, and are thrown away.
US-based NRI Raman Madala, who has been working on natural products made from ingredients available locally but overlooked by mainstream businesses, has developed exotic and unique teas with herbs and premium quality coffee leaves available in the beautiful Araku Valley in Vizag district. Mr Madala has floated a company, Natural Farmacy India Pvt Ltd, to develop natural products.
Talking to this newspaper from the US, he said, “Almost two-and-a-half years of research went into developing tea from Araku coffee leaves. I went deep into the genesis of coffee leaf tea which was first prepared in Ethiopia thousands of years ago.”
He said Araku coffee leaf tea was developed using that technique. In Ethiopia, this coffee leaf tea is called ‘Kuti’. “I am passionate about developing products from naturally available ingredients that will benefit mankind with less intervention of artificially made medicines. Our Araku leaf tea is very good for overall health,” Mr Madala said.
About five varieties of dip teas blended with various combinations of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, lemon grass, Indian gooseberry, moringa leaves, black cumin seeds, ajwain seeds, long pepper, roselle flower, ginger powder, chamomile and lavender have been developed by Mr Madala.
“While coffee leaf teas are available in the West, such variety is not available in India. This is for the first time in India that coffee leaf tea has been developed. The concept is unique and will also help the coffee growing farmers make some money out of the leaves that are usually thrown away as a waste material,” Andhra operations head of Natural Farmacy India Pvt Ltd, Ramachandra Valluru told DC. He said Araku coffee tea leaf is healthier than the regular green tea varieties.
He added they are contemplating various models of mass production of the tea from coffee leaves from Araku. The AP Tourism Development Corporation has also decided to promote this special and unique Araku Chai.