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World's Strangest Illegal Souvenirs

Coca Tea

Michael Tyler

Coca Tea

An essential drink when traveling in the Andes, coca tea is prepared simply by pouring hot water over fresh coca leaves and sweetening to taste. It’s a delicious way to hydrate in the dry, thin air, and its stimulant properties (about as strong as a good cup of coffee) help fight altitude sickness. It’s sold widely and cheaply everywhere in the region, so you could easily get used to keeping a bag of leaves handy—but U.S. law takes a zero-tolerance approach to the molecules of potential cocaine inside.

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