Jawa Tea or Orthosiphon stamineus is an herb that is widely grown in tropical areas. It is also known as Orthosiphon aristatus. The plant can be identified by its white or purple colored flowers that resembles cat whiskers. It is also commonly referred as “Misai Kucing” or “Kumis Kucing” which means cat whiskers. The herb is popularly known as Java tea and is used widely in the form of herbal tea in Asia.
Java tea was possibly introduced to the West in the early 20th century. The brewing of Java tea is similar to that for other teas. It is soaked in hot boiling water for about three minutes, and honey or milk is then added. It can be easily prepared as garden tea from the dried leaves. There are quite a number of commercial products derived from Misai Kucing or Kumis Kucing. Cultivation areas and post-harvesting method can significantly affect the quality of the herb.