During the clipper age, basically from 1840 to about 1870, the Great China Tea Run was one of the most anticipated and talked about events of the year. Great fortunes were wagered on the winner and the quality of the tea it would deliver. Back then, just like today, there was much debate about the medicinal qualities of tea.
I must say I was very proud of the little Kuding leaf and glad that my friends could appreciate it as much as I do. Kuding tea (bitter tea) is grown all over China, in two distinct varieties. The Sichuan variety, which I know very well, is called Qing Shan Lui Shui (Jade Mountain Green Water) and the Hainan variety is just straight Kuding (bitter nail).