The coca plant has experienced some controversy in the past years, to the point that many visitors may forget the real, traditional value of the coca leaf. Since the pre-Inca period, locals have used coca leaves as a powerful stimulant that fights hunger, fatigue, and altitude sickness. Recent studies have suggested further nutritional value: by weight, the coca leaf contains more calcium than milk!
Coca tea is a very simple drink (literally jet boiling water with coca leaves into a cup), but it will bring the spirits up – especially if you are ready for a walk or trek in Cusco. Local cafe La Valeriana offers coca mixed with different traditional herbal teas and with great desserts for pairing.