Anyone visiting an oil mill in Greece during the production season would see a huge pile of olive leaves accumulated at a corner of the property after the olives have been defoliated.
This solid byproduct is of negligible importance to the producer, and it usually serves as a soil fertilizer. But this paltry leftover can play a more important role, adding to the producer’s slim profits.
Dried olive leaves are used in countries like Japan, Korea and the USA to produce tea. Back in 2006 there was only one Greek producer exporting olive leaves to Japan for €3,5 per kilo, and since then only a few others have started such a venture. The task is not a demanding one, with the only prerequisite being that the leaves must come from organic olive groves to avoid the presence of foreign substances.
Olive leaf tea is becoming quite popular and is considered to be of high nutritional value. Producers in Greece should consider taking advantage of the big quantities of olive leaves going practically unexploited and increase their revenue, at least marginally.