Mulberry trees also grow here in Germany, but so far they have received relatively little attention. Yet the mulberry tree not only has the delicious mulberries themselves to offer - the white mulberries (Morus Alba) can also be found here in dried form in the retail trade. Less well known is that the leaves are also rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids and secondary plant substances.
The mulberry leaves were previously known as the sole food source for silkworms. In Chinese folk medicine, however, the tea infusion made from mulberry leaves has been used for thousands of years, among other things, to relieve fever and colds and to regulate blood pressure. It was not until scientific research on mulberry leaves began, especially in Japan, that the special composition and the abundance of active ingredients contained became known.
Mulberry leaf is not only caffeine and tannin free, it also contains valuable nutrients such as GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), phytosterol, flavonoids, vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, amino acids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc as well as 15 - 25 % protein, which is a very high percentage for a plant.
Particularly noteworthy, however, is the alkaloid DNJ (deoxynojirimycin), an iminosugar which is found in higher concentrations in nature only in mulberry plants and which, according to studies, can have a supportive effect in the treatment of diabetes.
From the very first sip the infusion of the mulberry leaves creates a pleasant and smooth taste experience, with a mild, subtly sweet and delicate herbal aroma. With a longer brewing time, a heavier, round - almost malty aroma is elicited from the tea. The infusion has a golden-brown colour with olive-greenreflections. The taste, though quite different from green tea is strangely reminiscent of it. It is not for nothing that the powder of ground mulberry leaves is also popular in Japan for caffeine-free "matcha latte". The taste and colour are similar to matcha tea, especially in powder form. This may be due to the fact that the mulberry leaves are steamed and processed just as carefully as Japanese green tea, which also preserves the sensitive ingredients in the best possible way. Mulberry leaf tea is remarkably soothing and ideal for caffeine-free and relaxing enjoyment, even in the evening.
Uses and Preparation
Combine mulberry leaf tea with green tea or matcha - as with the KEIKO Matcha Blends - and experience more exciting sides of this tea. Mulberry leaf tea and mulberry leaf powder balance amazingly with the flavours of other teas, as a caffeine-free supplement or as a sweet component - mulberry leaf tea does well with everything.
Tip: the catechin-rich Benifuuki tea can become quite bitter if steeped for a long time. By combining Benifuuki and mulberry leaf tea, you can round off the flavour according to your preferences.
The great quality, the beneficial properties, the full aroma and the many possible uses and combinations of mulberry leaves have prompted us to include this exceptional product in our otherwise purely Japanese tea range.
Cultivation and Production
We are currently working with two manufacturers for our mulberry leaf products.
The mulberry trees of the Morus Alba variety are cultivated on a family farm in Thailand according to EU organic guidelines before they are steamed just as gently using the Sencha method and processed with the same machines as Japanese green tea. This preserves the delicate ingredients in the best possible way.
To achieve maximum quality and sustainability, organic cultivation methods such as composting, mulching and mechanical weed control are used. Under local climatic conditions, several harvests a year are possible.
The picture shows Markus Hastenpflug visiting our supplier Pilan on site in Thailand. Pilan's parents fulfilled a long-cherished dream by establishing the mulberry plantation in a disused quarry and have created the best conditions for delicious mulberry leaf tea through good climatic conditions and soil composition, organic cultivation and gentle processing.
The Thai mulberry leaves are currently used in leaf tea items.
We are now pleased to have found a producer of mulberry leaf tea in Japan. The mulberry trees are cultivated here in a dreamlike mountain landscape. The processing here allows for even gentler steaming, which produces a somewhat softer, rounder aroma and is noticeable, especially in the powdered version, by a much greener coloration of the tea.
From mid-2023, the mulberry leaf powder will be produced pure as well as in the Matcha Blends (Matcha Magic Mulberry, Matcha Charming Chai and Matcha Roasty Rebel) from the Japanese mulberry leaves. The powder is more finely ground than before, making it easier to froth. Also, the color now shines a little greener (see photo gallery)!