365 Challenge > Day 42 - Kuding Bitter Tea

Updated: Mar 31


Kuding is a loose-leaf tea made out of the leaves of ilex or ligustrum plant. Therefore, it is considered a herbal tea. Due to its taste, it is also known as bitter tea. ‘Ku’ means bitter and ‘ding’ refers to a small piece such a nail which describes the shape of the tea. It is grown in the provinces of Yunnan, Hainan, and Fujian in China however, this one comes from Taiwan.


Kuding is rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, and polyphenols and due to its benefits, it has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a very long time. It is believed to have some health benefits such as curing sore throat, cold, and headache, helping digestion, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Kuding also has a reputation for being effective in weight loss.


Despite its warning name, I was still surprised by how bitter this tea was. I steeped it in gongfu style, which is one of the best ways to alleviate bitterness, but it was there and stayed on my tongue for a while. Probably, it will take some drinking practice until I can drink this tea without making funny faces. Some drinkers of this tea find it bitter but argue that the more you drink it, the sweeter you will find it. I really hope that this is a true claim.



Tea Profile:


Type: Herbal (non-tea)

Origin: Taiwan

Harvest time: 2019

Leave colour: Dark green rolled leaves

Liquor colour: Bright and cloudy yellow

Tea aroma: Vegetal

Tea taste: Bitter

Steeping/brewing:You can use around 80-90°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves at least a few times. To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.

Shelf life: Up to 1 year (the freshest the better)

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