Kuding is known as "The Tea of Health, Beauty and Longevity". It was first mentioned in the medical compendium "Ben Cao Gan Mu" in 1765, under name "Dong jing" or "Evergreen". Later this caused confusion in the terms (two different drinks can be called Kuding): 1) drink made of ilex (Ilex kudingcha and Ilex latifolia), a plant of the Aquifoliaceae family 2) drink made of Ligustrum, a plant of the Oleaceae family.
Kuding "Spindle" is made of leaves of Ilex kudingcha, an evergreen tree with thick branches and large (up to 25 cm long) fleshy leaves. The plant belongs to the same family is Ilex paraguariensis, known as the source of the beverage called Yerba mate.
In Chinese tradition, the Kuding tea is used for prophylactics and to cure colds, as a drug eliminating expectorations, to replenish bodily fluids, to treat digestive disorders and other sicknesses. Some modern researches prove the healing properties of the drink: it contains more than 200 healthful substances including proteins, aminoacids, poliphenols, flavonoids, vitamines C, D, E, B-carotin, potassium, calcium, manganese, zink, selenium, phosphorus etc. It normalizes blood pressure and benefits cardiovascular system, eases the course of cold-related diseases, helps excretion of toxins and half-decayed proteins, regulates metabolism, with no negative side effects.
In appearance: long flagellum of dark green colour. Its fragrance is intensive, smoky. The infusion is transparent, light green colour.
The drink has bright, luscious bitter taste which changes into a wonderful sweet finish.
Preparation: brew with hot water (70-85°С) in a gaiwan or glass teapot. The proportion is 1 spindle to 200 ml of water. Use "pouring brewing method" (pour hot water through leaves, gradually extending brewing time).
Kuding is a drink which may surprise you very much when first tried, but afterwards it may become one of the most favourites. It goes well with honey, ginger, chrysanthemum, bamboo leaves, Pu'er and other healthful ingredients. Its influence is especially beneficial during the cold season.