Sunday, September 24, 2006
High mountain kuding yen cha
Kuding cha, also known as "bitter tea" is a unique Chinese tea. Kuding Tea is made from the leaves the holly category of ilex, t ilex or ligustrum.In Chinese, "ku" means bitter, describing the taste, and "ding" means nail indicating the shape of the dry leaves. The bitterness of the tea is an acquired taste to most. While the first impression is strong bitterness, sweet taste immediately follows leaving a bitter sweet after taste, resembling fresh bitter melon.
Quote: "Kuding tea has reputation of "health tea", "longevity tea" and "slim tea". It has been proven that kuding tea can diminish inflammation and ease pain, enhance salubrity and clean out toxins, reduce fat and blood pressure, and keep the body fit. Kuding tea is widely used to cure cold, rhinitis, itching eyes, red eyes, soar throat and headache. Kuding tea is very effective in weight loss. Kuding tea is mostly produced in the provinces of Yunnan, Hainan, and Fujian. " This sounds a little over the top, but there might be a good portion of truth to it.
I find this to be a wonderful tea while I was recovering from the ordeal, which was a period of time my taste buds were numb. It's also psychological that the bitter sweet taste also reflect human life, it can be bitter, however the sweetness is what you look forward to ultimately. This will be my comfort tea from now on.
3 to 5 "nails", gaiwan, boiling water - Glacier vending, Tony suggested hotter the better.
1st brew: 45 sec, light green tea soup, roasty, bitterness that stings your tongue, as soon as you swallow, sweetness follow and lingers for a while, not much aroma, leaves began to unfurl
2nd brew: 60 sec, a true green tea soup, intense bitterness with sweet under tone, mostly sweet after taste. The bitter taste shocks you like jumping in a frozen lake, shocking but kinda feels good too. Okay, I am exaggerating, maybe like iced cold water in your face.
3rd brew: 90 sec, green again, mellow bitterness, sweet after taste
Open leaves: large tender leaves, tender as green vegetable, 2 leaves on stems
This tea can take HOT water, 5 brews is not a problem. After drinking this tea, my body feels the need to rest, I can sleep better as well. I wonder if it contains caffeine, most likely not, if it does, my body would react differently. $39 per lb, it can last a long time.
I also tried making this tea with New Zealand Artesian water, it didn't bring out the bitter flavor like the vending machine water did. It's smoother and lighter in taste, both the bitter and sweet taste were lighter.