Tag Archives: tea

Bamboo leaf tea – part 3

bamboo leaf teaExperimentation with bamboo leaf tea continues. I’ve been drinking a cup or more of bamboo leaf tea most days for past 3 months with a view to observing any noticeable health benefits. Most importantly though, I really like the flavour of the tea.

Bamboo Leaf Tea – part 1 enumerated some of the benefits I could expect. I’ve just reread them. Some beneficial changes I might have been able to observe (and any change) include :

  • skin elasticity (same)
  • teeth and gums (same)
  • connective tissue and musculoskeletal system (no improvement in weights-induced shoulder injury)
  • hair (maybe)
  • nails (no change)
  • diuretic (possibly)

Despite my research efforts, I was unable to locate any definitive research on the bio-availability of nutrients in bamboo leaf tea. In the course of the research however, I did come across another tea called bamboo leaf tea. 

The ‘other’ Bamboo Leaf Tea
bamboo leaf tea

Emei Shan

Also known as Zhu Ye Qing, this is a green tea first grown and produced by a monk near the top of Emei Shan, a famous Buddhist mountain in Sichuan province, China. It is called Green Bamboo Leaf because of its bamboo leaf shape not because it is actually made with bamboo leaves. You can read more about Zhu Ye Qing here. The tea undergoes seven processes before it’s ready to drink. It’s quite expensive. 

How to make bamboo leaf tea: The Life with Bamboo hybrid method

In Bamboo Leaf Tea – part 2, I shared some different ways the tea is made in Japan. Not having the same kinds of equipment, I developed a similar method using what I have in the kitchen here.

  • Young green leaves are picked and cut into small pieces with scissors
  • The cut-up leaves are tossed around in a wok and toasted until the aroma changes from green grass to toasted rice and the leaves are just starting to brown.
  • A saucepan of water is bought to the boil and toasted leaves are added. Slow boil the leaves for a few minutes.
  • Its ready to drink now. I put my cooked tea in a coffee plunger (I don’t have a teapot) and drink the tea throughout the day.
bamboo leaf tea

Left to right: Green leaves, toasted leaves, cooked leaves, plunger

If this is all too much bother, or you just don’t have access to fresh young bamboo leaves, search online for a range of bamboo leaf teas.

Bamboo vending

bamboo vending machine

One sexy vending machine

A friend and fellow blogger in Japan recently sent me a photo of my kind of drink vending machine (Thanks, Megumi). This one was spotted at Kamakura Station.

As anyone who has visited Japan will attest, vending machines dispensing all manner of drinks are found nearly everywhere. Japan has the highest number of vending machines in the world, per capita. Low rates of vandalism and petty crime in Japan make vending machines a practical proposition.

One only needs to think about drinking something and a vending machine will be nearby. In the cooler months, hot drinks dominate the selection of teas and coffees available. In the warmer months, cold drinks abound.

Although vending machines in Japan started with drinks, and the vast majority are still drink machines, there are lots of other things one can buy from a vending machine. Searching online to find a bamboo vending machine (I didn’t find one), I came across a huge variety of stuff one can buy from these ubiquitous apparatus.  Here’s a partial list:

  • cup noodles
  • ramen noodles
  • soba noodles
  • pornography
  • religious icons
  • souvenirs
  • batteries
  • fresh flowers
  • bait
  • sake
  • beer
  • sushi
  • umbrella
  • solder
  • live crabs

That’s a small selection just in Japan. Kotaru has a post full of photos of vending machines in Japan, if you’d like to see more. Have you seen a bamboo vending machine? Or at least one covered in bamboo? I’d love a photo.

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

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Bamboo leaf tea – part 1

bamboo leaf teaHave you heard of bamboo leaf tea? The proponents of bamboo leaf tea make it sound marvellous, of course. The main health benefits proclaimed are those associated with the intake of silica.

Bamboo Leaf Tea lists some of the benefits;

  • improves skin elasticity
  • benefits teeth and gums
  • improves connective tissue and strengthens musculoskeletal system
  • plays a role in helping the body to eliminate aluminium
  • strengthens hair and nails and encourages new growth
  • thought to improve cardiovascular system
  • may help to reduce high blood pressure
  • essential for bone growth

I consulted Michael Tierra’s book, The Way of Chinese Herbs (1998) to see what he had to say. Bamboo leaf is listed under ‘herbs that clear heat and purge fire’. The properties of the bamboo leaf are listed as anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (reduce or prevent a fever), and diuretic (promote passing of urine). “Indications: This herb is used for heat conditions associated with irritability and anxiety. It can also be used for swollen, painful gums and urinary tract infections with signs of irritability” (p. 171). All this said, he makes no clear suggestion as to how to ingest the bamboo leaves as a medicinal herb.

bambooleafteaThis morning I went out and picked some low-hanging bamboo leaves. Following some ideas I found online, I roasted them in the bottom of the oven for short time and made a tea. The liquid was rather colourless, but the flavour was fresh, slightly sweet and subtle. Rather delightful really.

I made another cup of tea with fresh, raw leaves. The flavour was quite different – more like grass, but in nice way. Still, the lightly roasted leaves win the flavour stakes.

And the effects? I don’t know yet. I’ll continue to make and drink bamboo leaf tea and tell you another time. Do you have experience with bamboo leaf tea? Please leave a comment.