Rich, creamy and sweet micronized Mulberry leaves to make a CAFFEINE-FREE Matcha style drink.
Calling this drink a 'Matcha alternative' is doing it a bit of a disservice. It is a delicious tisane in itself which can be used in exactly the same way as Matcha - to make Usucha, Koicha or be blended with milk to make a Latte. It is caffeine-free so it is the perfect substitute to Matcha for your early morning or evening drink.
We tried about a dozen different Mulberry leaves from China and Japan and there is a huge variety in taste and texture. This Mulberry was produced in Japan and is a huge step above the majority of Mulberry powder which you may find on the market.
The producer uses the 'Ichinose Mulberry' leaves grown without pesticides using natural farming techniques which is much higher in labour but producers the purest and most nutritious Mulberry. This is then ground to a micro-fine powder at low temperatures to maintain its vibrancy and phytochemicals.
Mulberry leaves have a long history of use in Chinese, Japanese and other traditional medicines. In China it is used as a herb for cooling and clearing heat (especially from the Lungs and Liver Zang Fu Organs). It is commonly used in formulations to help reduce stress, hypertension, headaches, dizziness, blurry vision and resolve dry coughs.
Mulberry leaves contain many phytonutrients which are in tea - GABA, quercetin, Rutin amongst others. It also contains compounds not found in tea like Resveratrol.
Studies have shown a huge potential for the medical use of Mulberry leaves. A lot of attention is being placed on Mulberry leaves ability to control blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. Studies are also showing promising results in the maintenance of good heart health, the treatment of hypertension and a whole host of other areas such as neurological protection, anti-cancer, anti-nflammation, anti-microbial, digestive health and skincare. Please read this summary study to dive deeper.
The extent of their healthful effects requires further study but there is no doubt that Mulberry leaves are medicinal and have been safely consumed for millennia. By consuming the actual leaves (rather than brewing as an infusion), the beneficial effects of Mulberry are going to be maximized just like in Matcha.
For Mulberry Usucha, we recommend using a teaspoon (or 2 Chashaku scoops) placed in a bowl or Chawan for 60-70ml of cold or warm water (between 70 and 80 degrees). First, make a paste with a splash of warm water (between 70 and 80 degrees or 160-175F) with a Chasen whisk and then 50-60ml of warm water and whisk vigorously in a 'W' motion to make a smooth and slightly frothy drink. Slurp and enjoy.
For Koicha (a much thicker and intense drink) you would use double the amount of Mulberry (2tsp or 4x Chashaku Scoops) with about 50ml of water and whisk slowly to make a smooth drink without froth.
Mulberry leaf powder can also be used in Lattes (make a Koicha and then add steamed milk), iced drinks or for culinary use (Mulberry Ice Cream anyone?).