stars, based on
Initially the taste is mildly grassy but soon a natural sweetness fills your mouth with a lightly astringent finish. Widely consumed in Southern China.
Luxury Ingredients: Gynostemma leaves.
Tea(s) From: China
Antioxidant Level: Low
Caffeine Content: None - Caffeine Free Herb
Variously known as Jiaogulan, Poor Man's Ginseng, Miracle Grass and the Immortality Herb, Gynostemma has been credited with helping people live extremely long lives. (As with many herbal products, the evidence is anecdotal rather than scientific however so it should be taken with a grain of salt.)
In the remote villages near Fanjing Mountain in Guizhou province, inhabitants routinely drink Gynostemma tea instead of traditional Chinese green tea. They believe that a cup in the morning invigorates them for the day ahead and a cup after work helps them unwind. Now here's the amazing part - the people of these villages routinely live to be more than 100 years old. In the 1960s, a team of Chinese medicinal practitioners and herbalists researched the phenomena and made some interesting discoveries. They found that the herb was very high in antioxidants and functioned as a powerful adaptogen, an herb that increases the body's resistance to trauma, anxiety and fatigue.
Interestingly, the herb's adaptogenic properties were known about at least as far back as 1406. In that year, a writer named Zu Xio wrote a book called Materia Medica for Famine. Zu Xio noted that Gynostemma was an excellent survival food, good for warding off starvation and building up the immune system during periods of drought. He recommended collecting the leaves of the plant and boiling them into a kind of sweet soup.
Which brings us to the best part - unlike many herbs that are sour or bitter, Gynostemma has a wonderfully sweet flavor. The extract of the plant is so sweet in fact that it is used as a natural sweetener in Japan. A hot cup of Gynostemma tea starts off with a delicately herbal grassiness that leads into a natural sweetness and soft astringent finish - it truly is a miracle
HOT BREWING METHOD:
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 7-9oz / 200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).