Ku Ding Cha bitter tea May 8, 2010

Filed under: Food and drink — cnesgreen @ 7:11 pm


Kuding cha

Ku Ding tea, also known as "bitter tea"

Chinese Name: 苦丁茶(kǔdīng chá)

literally "bitter nail/spike tea"


In Chinese, "ku" means bitter, describing the taste, and "ding" means nail, or a small piece, indicating the shape of the tea leaves.


Kuding tea is a unique Chinese tea. It does not fall into any tea categories of green, black, oolong or white tea, which are all made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis. Kuding tea is made from the leaf of Broadleaf Holly which belongs to the Folium Llicis Latifoliae family.


It is mostly produced in the provinces of Yunnan, Hainan, and Fujian,China.


At one time the Ku Ding tea was used only as an offering to royalty. In Chinese medicine this rare and expensive tea is known to be extremely effective for lowering cholesterol and lowering high blood pressure.

Researcher found that people who drank this tea daily has a lower chance of getting a stroke or a heart attack.




Kuding tea has reputation of "health tea", "longevity tea" and "slim tea". it has been proved 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.


Medical research shows that Kuding tea contains many important and therapeutic bioactive chemicals: 22 Kuding Glycin, 1.4 aminophenol, 8.8 polyphenols, 41 Vitamin C, 1.2 flavonoids, etc.


Kuding tea has been proven to be a highly valuable health drink that has therapeutic powers of cooling, cleansing, alexipharmic, antibacterial, lowering blood pressure, improving digestion and protecting from cancer among medical practitioners throughout history.


The traditional Chinese medicinal properties associated with Ku Ding (and many other plants) 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 is also said to 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 is said to invigorate digestion and improve mental focus and memory.










To brew the Twist Shape Ku Ding Tea:


You need a tea pot or big glass with a strainer.


  1. Pour hot water over 1-2 Ku Ding Stick.
  2. Wash the Kuding tea for less than 10 seconds, strain the tea and pour the water away.
  3. Pour the hot water (around 80-90 degree C) over the Kuding Tea.
  4. Steep for 1 minute.
  1. Strain the tea and enjoy!



Steeping Notes:


Since this tea has a very concentrated taste, it is suggested to brew this tea with less tea leave and more water. For example, one Kuding stick with 500ml of water.


The taste should be only slightly bitter, and over-steeping will make it extremely bitter!


Kuding tea can always stand at least 2-3 brewings. To avoid over-bitterness of the infusion and guarantee the flavor of next brewing, remeber to take the tea leaf out of the water after sufficient time of brewing.


Steep Kuding tea for 1 minute at 80-90 degree C for the first and second brewing. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewing.








Kuding tea has a very special type of bitter taste which is sometimes hard to be accepted by new drinkers.

But the more you drink, the more you will be able to appreciate the sweet flavor accompanied by the bitterness.









Once a bag of herbals or flowers is opened, The herbals could be kept in ambient and dry conditions such as in the living room, the study or the office, but it must be completely away from light, moisture, smell and heat.


An airtight container or a vacuum tank is an ideal storage solution.



Sealed Clips are also a good choice for opened packaging bags.




The quality of the herbals lasts longer if they are kept in the fridge. But please make sure the package is sealed and cover with a box to insulate from temperature change.


In addition, if the bag is taken in and out from the fridge very often, this will cause heat stress to the herbals as temperature is increased and decreased very frequently. Air will be drawn from outside and condensation will occur.



That is why we packed our herbals into small sealed packaging bags instead of large bags or boxes. You could open a small bag of the herbal and enjoy its freshness while the other bags are sealed and well kept in the fridge.








Many alternative medicine health care providers feel that using certain herbal teas during pregnancy is a great way to support optimal pregnancy health. Herbal teas can often provide an additional source of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.


However, due to the lack of studies on most herbs, the FDA encourages caution when consuming herbal teas during pregnancy.


It is always best to talk with a qualified medical professional about any herbal teas that you are interested in drinking.


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