Bamboo leaf tea – part 2

A friend and fellow blogger in Japan was kind enough to send me links to some Japanese blog posts about bamboo leaf tea. (Thanks, Megumi!). So, following on from Bamboo leaf tea -part 1, here is some how-to (with the aid of Google Translate) for making your own bamboo leaf tea at home.

The instructions in the blogs are similar and use Kumazasa, a bamboo that grows in Hokkaido. In fact, Kumazasa is something of a Hokkaido speciality and is sold as tea (loose leaf, tea bag, and canned drink), granulated extract and candy. Bears are also very fond of Kumazasa bamboo.

Kumazasa bamboo

Kumazasa bamboo

Two blogs, Shiroikumo and Peperoncini,  provide instructions for making the tea in a kitchen:

  • Pick fresh young bamboo leaves
  • Wash the leaves and let them drain
  • Cut the leaves in half lengthwise
  • Cut the leaves again into bits of about 1 cm
  • Dry fry in a pan until the colour starts to go brown.
  • To make the tea, they suggest cooking the dried leaves in gently boiling water for a few minutes.

A third blog post, Misato, gives a pictorially-assisted description of making bamboo leaf tea in the great outdoors. Bamboo stems with leaves attached are gathered and bundled.

First, set the leaves alight

First, set the leaves alight

The bundle is set alight and allowed to burn for a short time before being plunged into a waiting kettle of “boiling wobbly” water, and boiled a little longer.

Then, plunge the burning leaves into the kettle

Then, plunge the burning leaves into the kettle

The tea is strained with a fine strainer, such as a dishcloth, to remove the ash.

All three blogs laud bamboo leaf tea for its alkaline and health-giving properties. For my part, research is still under way to find reputable, preferably peer-reviewed, studies on the health benefits of drinking bamboo leaf tea (in English). And, in the interests of experimentation, I’m drinking one or more cups of bamboo leaf tea a day. Stay tuned for bamboo leaf tea – part 3.

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