Scientific Name: Eriobotrya japonica
Flavor: Earthy, very mild, subtle hint of sweetness
Color: Light reddish brown
It is a mild and pleasant beverage, with numerous health benefits. It is quick and easy to prepare at home, as Japanese have done for centuries. You can serve it hot or cold.
The glossy leaves are picked green, after which they are thoroughly washed and cleaned. After a period of drying, the leaves are chopped into small pieces and become ready for brewing.
Japanese cut the dried leaves in large strips, in a style called sun-giri .
One sun is the Japanese unit of measure equal to the width of a person's thumb at the knuckle.
The larger cut sun-giri leaves remain closer to their original, natural form, at the same time minimizing oxygen exposure along the cut edges.
Senjiru (煎じる, to infuse, to decoct) brewing in essence is a rapid boil, followed by simmer and then cool down period.
It is a time-tested Japanese method for extracting the maximum goodness locked deep in the leaves, and to deliver the optimum combination of aroma, flavor and color.
Senjiru is easy to do and does not require any spacioal setups. The following instructions are to prepare four 250ml (8 oz) cups of Biwa Cha.
Pour a little more than 4 cups of cold water into a tea kettle. Add 5 grams of Biwa leaves (about 2 heaping tablespoons.)
Heat to a full, rolling boil.
Turn heat down, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Turn heat off, and wait for about 10 minutes.
Strain and serve.
Biwa Cha is a mild and subtle tea. If your tap water tastes bad, then so probably will your tea.
You should use fresh, good quality water without a lot of minerals (but not distilled water) to get the best flavor out of your tea. If using tap water, let it run cold for at least 10 seconds before using it.
Herbal teas, and indeed all teas, should be prepared in kettles made from a material that is as non-reactive as possible. The material your kettle is made of can chemically react with water, and cause contamination.
Aluminum kettles should definitely to be avoided. Aluminum is a reactive material which has been proven to cause toxic contamination. Glass, ceramic, stainless steel, enamel, marble or cast iron are excellent non-reactive, non-toxic materials.
Biwa leaves are listed as a medicinal herb in the Pharmacopoeia of Japan (Nippon Yakkyoku Hou), the authoritative record published by the Japanese government since 1886. 
Japanese use Biwa leaves as a traditional cure to relieve itchy skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema)and for treatment of chronic bronchitis and coughs.
Biwa leaves contain natural high-fiber complex sugars (polysaccharides), which help suppress appetite and sugar cravings. Loquats leaves have shown to be effective in combatting type 2 diabetes and in treatment of hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). Various compounds in promote powerful physiological actions such as
Recent research has demonstrated the anti-osteoporosis effect of the Ursolic acid contained in Biwa leaves.
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