This looked like a green tea in pictures and was listed as such but I’m inclined to think it’s actually a herb. There are two types of Kuding tea traditionally, llex kaushue and Ligustrum robustum. This is the Ligustrum robustum trype, which is basically a shrub or small tree that grows all around Asia and is included in the top 100 invasive plant species across the world. Frankly that is misleading from the green tea description I saw when purchasing this so called tea.
As much as I don’t like being duped, I also don’t mind the chance to try something new. And just look at these Chinese medicinal claims: “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 diarrhoea. It transforms phlegm and alleviates coughing, thus used in treating bronchitis. Finally, it is said to invigorate digestion and improve mental focus and memory.” – As taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuding
Also another read.
So this is a Chinese herb used in traditional medicine to aid with a number of ailments. As I am not ill I suppose the best it could do for me (should it be true information) is to help with my digestion and concentration.
The leaves are small and curly, bright green too which made me think it was a green tea (well that and the fact it was named a green tea). Once steeped the leaves open and they are very small but mostly fill leaf, and very cute! Also super duper bright green.
The steeped water smells slightly sweet but pretty unscented, though the colour is darkish cloudy yellow.
Flavour is sweet yet bitter and rather strong at times, though it reduces quickly. They don’t call Kuding Cha “bitter nail tea” for nothing! It’s not as bitter as you might think though, it’s manageable. It tastes like a very mild green tea that you’ve steeped a little too long and it’s bitter, but still with some sweetness and remaining fairly mild. Strange and unusual but not horrible or without it’s charm. Not something I can drink often but if it truly does have health benefits then I may drink it purely for that. Similar to how I started with matcha.
So this was not a tea, but a herb, and I’m still getting used to that. Though for all the mistakes in the labelling of this on AliExpress I am still happy I picked some up. I say some…it’s roughly 250g!