Our Delisse Coca Tea bags provide an uplifting and invigorating beverage, even when brewed like any other tea bag.
However, due to the nature of how the coca alkaloids are stored within the coca plant leaves, brewing in hot water alone will not extract the maximum amount of these precious beneficial alkaloids.
I regularly employ all the methods below with the tea bags, depending on my mood and the situation.
Note that we recommend taking this tea on an empty stomach for the best results.
Method 1 – Brew in Hot Water
- Place one, two (or more) Delisse tea bags in a cup, and pour hot, but *not* boiling water over them. Around 160°F to 175°F (70°C to 80°C) is good, so let the kettle cool a little before pouring.
- Coca is a high-altitude plant, and grows in areas where the boiling point of water is lower than at sea level. Boiling water is said to destroy the delicate alkaloids.
- Use the back of your teaspoon to press and squeeze the tea bag for at least 30 seconds, then let it steep for at least 4 or 5 minutes, occasionally pressing on the tea bags to increase the strength as much as possible.
- Sweeten and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste. Do not add milk. Like most herbal teas, milk just doesn’t work.
Method 2 – Brew in Hot Water with an Activator
An activator is a substance that helps to draw out the alkaloids from the coca leaves. You need look no further than your pantry for a way to make your coca tea stronger, and the effect more noticeable – Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) is the ingredient to add.
- Gently remove the string from the tea bag and place one, two (or more) Delisse tea bags in a cup. Optionally, tear open the tea bags and empty just the tea leaves into the cup, discarding the bags.
- Drop a pinch of Sodium Bicarb per tea bag into the cup.
- Note: I have measured my standard “pinch” on an accurate scale to be about 0.25 grams (around 0.01 oz), and this seems to be the right amount to use. The amount to use is a little arbitrary, but with time, you’ll find what works best. Feel free to experiment and use more than the minimum amount suggested. More isn’t always better though, at least as far as flavor is concerned. Bicarb affects the flavor of the tea, so the more you use, the more you will probably want to mask the flavour later on.
- Add a small amount of hot water, approx. 1oz to 1.5 oz (30ml to 40ml). For this step, I use water that has just come off the boil, around 195°F (90°C). As we are using just a small amount of water in this step, it will quickly lose its heat and not damage the alkaloids.
- Press the tea bags with the back of a spoon repeatedly for around 30 seconds to 1 minute to work the water into the tea bags. You should notice you get a darker green liquid in the presence of bicarb than without.
- Top up with the usual 160°F to 175°F (70°C to 80°C) hot water and let steep for a further 4 or 5 minutes.
- Sweeten as desired, and add lemon juice to taste. Usually, a little more lemon juice is required when using bicarb to counteract impact on flavour.
Method 3 – Cold Brew
My favourite summer beverage! I think this is really delicious. The flavour of the Coca leaf really shines through when cold brewing, and the tea is surprisingly uplifting given that we are not using hot water to extract alkaloids.
Prepare a large jug of this several hours before serving for maximum strength and best flavour.
We won’t repeat the recipe here, but you can find it at our Australian website –
Or just head to www.teaforlife.com.au and find it under the Recipes menu:
Method 4 – Just Eat It!
This is a favourite method for a sustained energy burst, but won’t appeal to everyone. I usually eat the contents of 2 tea bags before my daily walk for a bit of extra “vavoom”.
Coca leaf is good for the gut in many ways, and eating it allows the stomach to break down the leaf matter and absorb more of the alkaloids.
- Tear off the top of a tea bag and place the contents directly in your mouth.
- Optionally, add a pinch of bicarb into the bag after tearing off the top
- Allow saliva the wet the leaves, while sucking the juices. I think the raw juices have a nice, almost nutty flavour.
- Keep chewing and sucking on the leaves until the flavour has mostly gone, then swallow the remaining tea leaves with some water.
- You can also add a pinch of sodium bicarb to the crushed leaves, and keep the mass under your tongue or against your inner cheek for up to 30 mins…you’ll soon feel a local numbing in the area…those precious alkaloids getting absorbed into your bloodstream to do their magical work!