I am visiting Hunan, where I came across a strange-looking tea. It had tiny green needles, and at first, I got the impression that it might be green tea. Smelling it and looking at it closely made me notice that it was not tea. I then had a chance to try it in a tea house, and they steeped it like tea.
The taste was not vegetal; surprisingly, it had a nice sweetness. But it was about it. Obviously, the taste is not the reason why this tea is consumed. It has multiple health benefits. Eucommia bark initially appeared in Shen Nong’s Classic of the Materia Medica in the Eastern Han Dynasty (about 200 A.D.).
Eucommia bark extracted is made into pills and used to lower blood pressure, nourish the kidney and liver, strengthen bones and muscles and stop bleeding. Research suggests that this plant may also have anti-stress, anti-ageing, analgesic, anti-tumour, anti-inflammation and antibacterial properties (Chinese Materia Medica).
The male flowers of the Eucomia Ulmoides plant are processed into the and have been used as a folk medicine in China and other countries (e.g. Korea). This tea is found to contain about 112 compounds which include lignans (polyphenols), and a variety of flavonoid compounds.
Origin: Hunan, China
Harvest time: 2020
Leaf colour: Vibrant green and yellow
Liquor colour: Dark green
Tea aroma: Slightly vegetal
Tea taste: Mellow with some sweetness
Steeping/brewing: Brew like loose-leaf tea. Place 3-5 g of eucommia male flowers tea into the tea cup and hot water at boiling water. Steep for about 30 seconds and drink. You can multi-steep. To each subsequent steeping, add 10 seconds.
Shelf life: 18 months