Wild Bitter Tea (Tianshan Lushui) from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

This is a rare and expensive tea grown in Zhejiang province. In Chinese medical journals the Tianshan Lushui is known to lower cholesterols and help with weight loss. This tea produces a green color liquid. The better its quality is, the greener the color. This tea has traditionally been used as a diet tea in palaces by the empress and princesses of ancient China. Because this tea is very concentrated, we suggest using one teaspoon of tealeaves for every 500ml of water.

Taster’s Review:

These tiny leaves are so much fun to watch as they brew.  When I first watched them, the first thought that came into my head is that this is “instant gratification for tea watchers” – because it unfurls much like a gunpowder or pearl, but much faster.  It is kind of like watching a gunpowder tea unfurl in fast forward.

I was a little afraid to taste this tea, to be honest.  When the name of the tea is “bitter” – I get a little worried.  But, really, this is “bitter” in a good way.  Kind of like dandelion greens.  And that is a really good description of this tea, because when they unfurl, the damp leaves look like baby dandelion greens!  Really tiny, baby dandelion greens!

This is actually quite good.  It has a savory quality that I’m finding very rewarding.  The key is to not over brew it, I found that with a short brew time (I brewed it for about 1 1/2 minutes in hot but not boiling water) the flavor is lightly bitter, with an interesting sweet background note.  It’s a very crisp, bright, herbal taste that I’m finding rather energizing.  Vibrant!

I also recommend not using too much leaf when you brew this, because the flavor is quite intense.  Too much leaf will result in a cup that is quite bitter, and because the bitter is so overwhelming, it is difficult to enjoy the other flavors that this tea possesses.   A lighter infusion allows the many dimensions of this leaf to come alive in the teacup!

By now, you might be wondering what “Tianshan Lushui” is – is it a tea (as in Camellia Sinensis) or is it something else?  Well, I was not entirely sure if it came from the Camellia Sinensis plant, so I contacted Enjoying Tea for more information.  I was very impressed with the speed in which they responded!

They informed me that it is in fact an herb and not from the Camellia Sinensis plant.  I also did a little research of my own, and found that this herb is also often called “small-leaf bitter tea.”  It is often utilized to help cool the body temperature, as well as help to lower cholesterol and improve blood circulation.  It’s also supposed to be good for the skin!  So while it’s not a true tea, it is a tasty herb and very good for you!  Cheers!


Co-Founder/Co-Creator of SororiTea Sisters, Mad Tea Artist at 52Teas
Anne (aka the Mad Tea Artist) has celebrated her 29th birthday for many years now. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her hubby and her youngest daughter. Her oldest daughter is married and has bestowed Anne with the proud title of "Gramma" and her grandson is about the cutest boy you ever did see.

Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!

Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!

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