Mulberry leaves tea (Toot chai)

Most people who have a general knowledge of the Middle-East will tell you that the reason that Lebanese people speak French is due to the fact that France had a mandate on Lebanon for a few decades. Wrong.

The reason that France had such an influence on Lebanon was primarily economic. How?

Lebanon had since the times of Justinien (Byzantine emperor, 7th century) been cultivating mulberry trees.

Mulberry trees have leaves; these leaves are the only food that the silkworms would eat; as a result, the silkworms would grow a cocoon which would then be used to make silk.

The economy of Lebanon benefitted greatly from this and enriched many people locally; since France was the major buyer (more than 90% of the local production was sent there), French interests began to develop the infrastructure of the country, setting up water and gas plants, schools and missions and a host of other concerns. In other words, France was our number one trading partner.

What is left of the mulberry trees and silk production? not much.

Today,  we enjoy the mulberries as a oh so delicious berry and make mulberry syrup; the mulberry leaves are made into a tea that is way healthier than green tea (without any caffeine). It is an excellent diuretic.

Mulberry tea leaves have 25 times more calcium than milk! Ten times more iron than spinach! More than twice the fiber of green tea! Full of potassium, magnesium and other minerals. It was used in China for medicinal purposes.

Its taste? Mild, almost sweet, faintly herbal.

Mulberry tea is made in Lebanon and in Asian countries; it can be purchased online.



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67 Comments

  1. Joumana
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    @Selena: Enjoyed your visit and the story about the mulberry tree! I myself live for the day when I can have a mulberry tree instead of eating the neighbor’s berries! :) Also traditional ways to use them in Lebanon is to make a syrup; unfortunately it is not exported. It is the most wonderful mulberry drink you ever had; plus mulberries are so full of fiber and great for digestion! Interesting about the tea leaves, it goes against what I had heard about sun drying too.

  2. Selena
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Ha, ha. Actually since the trees cover a circle of 15 ft or so each of my back yard, and the neighbor has no interest in the berries (and I share my tomatoes and peppers with them), I think it works out for all. Better than the birds eating them all, which is what happened the first year. But I got a good laugh from your comment.
    But maybe the sun drying works really well in places where it’s quite hot. Perhaps the leaves would dry very quickly. I’ve always dried herbs out of direct sun and they keep the color,aroma, and medicinal characteristics well.

  3. Selena
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    By the way, I’ve seen mulberry syrup in a couple of middle eastern stores: a Turkish brand called Sera, syrup is “Dut Pekmezi,” if that’s what you were referring to earlier.

  4. Joumana
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    @Selena: I would try this brand, since I have never seen it before; I have been sorely disappointed by the Lebanese brands and have since only bought mulberry syrup in Lebanon when I know it is home made.

  5. Posted October 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Mulberry plants grown well in my garden. It is easily could be converted into business activities.

  6. Posted December 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    i am so pleased to see that so many people are interested in mulberry. we here in melbourne are producing organic mulberry from the trees grown for a silk research project. i get a lot of mulberries so we started thinking of doing something with it, yes fresh is always good but because of the short fruiting period and also that i have to share it with nature….we decided to make some syrup and liqueur. have been bottling up. for sale as well. if anyone needs. thanku all.god bless.
    sarita

  7. Joumana
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    @Sarita: Can you provide the link to purchase it? Thanks!

  8. Ezna
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    When I read about mulberry tea I had to buy the eat. I have never tasted tea like mulberry tea loved it.

  9. Jeanninw
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I live in Las Vegas Nevada and have 3 Mulberry trees in my yard. None of these trees are fruit bearing. Is it safe to dry these leaves out to make my own Mulberry tea?

    Thanks.

  10. Joumana
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    @Jeanninw: I dont know what variety you have; I would ask the nursery or someone who is in agriculture nearby.

  11. Posted August 17, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the
    site is really good.

  12. sue woods
    Posted August 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I am so happy to have stumbled onto your page. I have 3 mulberry trees in my yard and usually can’t beat the birds to the berries. I love it when I can. I had no idea I could use the leaves or dry and use them. I also had no idea how healthy they are. Thank you for this information especially right now when I am trying to find a healthier alternative to my black tea addiction.
    I got my mulberries from the arbor foundation years ago.

  13. mohammed jabir
    Posted November 3, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    hi, anyone interested to buy mulberry leaves in bulk quantities please contact me, my mobile number is 9886971129. My email address is jab_mba@yahoo.co.in. awaiting your prompt response as earliest. Thanks, Mohammed Jabir. Askco International, India

  14. Kathy
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi
    Where do I order the mulberry leaf tea? I can’t find where to order.
    Thank you,
    Kathy

  15. Joumana
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    @Kathy: I had bought mine from a company in Beirut and I need to check to see if they still carry it (it is a tea from the museum of silk in Lebanon) and also if they do ship. I would check online for purveyors; at the time, I had located a few from Asian countries. The Lebanese company is called awan, I believe.

  16. Posted June 4, 2014 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Hello friends.

    can any one help me to find market for toot chai (mulberry green tea)

    thanks
    karim

  17. S.Mahesh Kumar
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    Hai Every body,
    We are supplying Mulberry dry leaves. Any body interested can mail or call us to
    asmithaimpex@gmail.com or +91 9443709447

    Thanks

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