What is Bamboo Leaf's Tea? (Japanese Madake)
Bamboo Leaf's Tea, from S. Korea, is not to be confused with Green Bamboo Leaf - Green Tea* which is from China. The distinctive tastes of the two teas are in no way similar, and the teas are derived from two different sources.
Bamboo Leaf's Tea is made from the leaves of naturally growing young bamboo leaves that are grown and gathered in the clean environment of Damyang-Gun, S. Korea. The processing involves roasting, steam boiling and scenting, which is described as a complex and sophisticated process.
This tea is alkaline, and rich in fiber and protein. Unlike green tea, it is caffeine-free. It has a light golden color and a bamboo aroma.
It is a very light, smooth, refreshing tea. It has a distinctive bamboo fragrance, and a bamboo taste as well. Although, it may resemble a brewed green tea in appearance, there is no mistaking the taste and aroma of this tea for a green tea. You can re-steep the bamboo tea leaves once or twice and the leaves will not get bitter.
While most often sold in leaf form it can be purchased as a powder, and is also sold in tea bag form. Often the powdered form is used as a food additive.
Bamboo Leaf's Tea is new to the tea market. It was as recently as 1994 that research on the health benefits of bamboo leaves were conducted in the Department of Food Technology, College of Agriculture and Life Science at Chonnam National University in S. Korea. From 2000-2002, further research was conducted at the University into the medical effects of bamboo and the use of bamboo leaves in food.
On December 23, 2002, patents were applied for; this was for bamboo leaf beverage and bamboo leaf tea. In November 2003, a factory was opened and production was started.
As a tea drinker, it is always nice to find a new tested tea. However, I have not been able to find it in New York City as of yet; when I request it, often people confuse it with the Chinese tea. The factory, 'Bamboo Health NARA' in S. Korea, that produces the tea, remains in Damyang-Gun, which is in Chullanam-Do and so far the website is only in the Korean language.
*Green Bamboo Leaf - Green Tea (aka Zhu Ye Qing) is a green tea, first grown and produced by a monk near the top of Emei Shan, a famous Buddhist mountain. It is called Green Bamboo Leaf - Green Tea, because of its bamboo leaf shape not because it is actually made from bamboo leaves.