05 Feb

How to make tea from olive leaves?

By Sarah Vine,

Boil two quarts of water, then place 10g of olive leaves (alone or mixed with other herbs/teas) in an infuser or directly into the boiling water.
Immediately reduce the heat to a high simmer and allow the tea to brew for about 15 minutes.
Stir the tea occasionally, then strain to drink and/or refrigerate.
The tea should be a medium amber colour with a slightly bitter taste.
To combat a specific ailment, sip the refrigerated or reheated tea and consume the entire two quarts over the course of three days.

Olive-leaf tea: looks good, smells good, tastes weak

Olive oil is one of the great staples in life and finds its way into almost everything I cook, as well as my bath (it’s very good for dry winter skin).

People with an interest in nutrition have made claims for the health benefits of olive oil for many years, but I’ve never heard of the leaves being a part of it.

Do they really have cancer-fighting properties if liquidised with water and taken as a drink? I doubt it. It seems to me a lot like the wheatgrass thing: mix up a revolting gloop, tell people it’s good for them and watch the money roll in.

That said, I was happy to give it a go. The tisane was surprisingly pleasing. On a day when I felt like death (revolting cold and chest infection), I chucked a handful of leaves into a pan of boiling water, allowed to simmer for ten minutes, then poured.

Hmm. It had a wonderful golden colour, a lot like good extra virgin olive oil but without a trace of actual oil. Yet it had a ghostly viscosity, as though the spirit of the oil were in the leaves.
It smelt delicate and tasted like very weak green tea (I imagine it would be nice with a slice of fresh ginger in it). I drank a whole pot and felt rather better, though that might just have been the Nurofen Plus-Panadol Extra cocktail kicking in.
Nevertheless, it was much nicer than chamomile tea — although, I suspect, no more effective at kicking cancer.

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