Kuding tea (also known as 'Ku Ding Cha') is a medicinal tea that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The word 'Ku' means bitter and the Chinese character for 'Ding' means 'spike' as is the shape this tea. Needle kuding tea, is commonly known as 'bitter nail tea'. The leaves used to make this tea are from the evergreen Ilex Kuding cha plant which is grown in China. The long narrow leaves are twisted together to form distinctive long stick/spike-like shapes. Another distinctive feature, as its name implies, is its bitter taste. Though, some drinkers find that the bitterness is followed by a slightly sweet taste.
The traditional Chinese medicinal properties associated with kuding include its ability to disperse wind-heat, clear the head and the eyes, and resolve toxin, thus being used for common cold, rhinitis, itching eyes, red eyes, and headache. It could calm fidgets and alleviate thirst, especially when one is suffering from a disease that causes fever or severe diarrhea. It transforms phlegm and alleviates coughing, thus used in treating bronchitis. Finally, it can invigorate digestion and improve mental focus and memory.
Some research may suggest that the herb, derived from either Ilex or Ligustrum, promotes blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, and lowers blood lipids, including cholesterol. It has the reputation of preventing deterioration of the heart and brain function and maintaining proper body weight. It has also been found that kuding made from L. robustum has similar anti-oxidative effects to tea in addition to additional anti-inflammatory properties.
Different from common black color Ku Ding tea, this green and white color type is handpicked from 1800 meters misty high mountains, 100% wild, grows naturally, no fertilizer, no insecticides.
Brewing Guide: Steep tea leaves in hot water at 80C/176F to 90C/194F for 1 minute for the first and second brewing. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewing. Since this tea has a very concentrated taste, it is suggested to brew this tea with less tea leave and more water.
When making Kuding tea it's a good idea to use just 2 needles/spikes if it's your first experience of the tea because of its strong bitter taste. As you become accustomed to the tea, then you could increase it to 3-4 needles. Begin by warming your tea cup and teapot with hot water. Then steep the Kuding tea in the pot using hot water for two minutes. The spikes can be used several times - after the second brewing you will need to increase the steeping time.