The Kuding tree, Ilex kuding or Ilex latifolia, is a large and nowadays rare tropical tree grown in the Chinese provinces Hainan and Yunnan. Its leaves are used for tea much like the Puer tea leaves.
The tea, which has a bitter-sweet taste, has long been associated with the traditional Chinese medicinal properties. It’s listed as valuable Chinese medicine as early as the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties for its beneficial effects to eyes, heart, brain, and stomach.
Even today, people usually drink the tea to calm fidgets and alleviate thirst, especially when one is suffering from a disease that causes fever or severe diarrhea. It’s also said to invigorate digestion and improve mental focus and memory.
The tea comes in 3 different shapes:
1st: Kuding balls:
2nd: Kuding spines
3rd: Kuding roles
These leaves come from the Wuzhishan Mountains of Hainan Island. One ball, spine, or role of leaves is enough for one large can of tea. Use only the first and second refilling of boiling water as later refillings are getting very bitter. A truly rare and precious tea!

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