The clock was showing around 10:00 PM by the time I had a moment to sit down and relax for some tea. My body was begging for as good of a sleep as possible, so I reached for one of the many herbal tisane samples that I had received recently. The packet with the name Jiao Gu Lan was most appealing to me. This packet of Jiao Gu Lan was provided by Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas, which sources their teas and herbs from near Chiang Rai City in northern Thailand.
Jiao Gu Lan’s scientific name is Gynostemma Pentaphyllum. The name Jiao Gu Lan translates to “twisting vine orchid”. This herb has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, and has been gaining much attention in other parts of the planet for it’s numerous health benefits.
The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet, dark chocolate smell is emerging. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a light to dark forest green color. The leaves are rolled, giving them the appearance of some gunpowder styles of green tea. Some leaves appear to have the stem attached. The aroma is sweet, with strong scents of dark chocolate and spice.
Four grams of dry leaves were placed in a 9.4 ounce (280 ml) Tokoname kyusu teapot. Filtered tap water was heated to 212°F (100°C). The leaves were infused for five minutes.
The infusion produced a liquor with a yellow color and a slight brown tint, clear and transparent. The aroma is strongly herbaceous and spicy. The body is medium, with a lively, mouth-filling texture. The taste is very unique, strongly herbaceous at first, almost like overboiled dark green leafy vegetables, and evolving into a strange, oily sweetness toward the back of the tongue. I think, should I ever have this product again, I will cut the amount of leaves used in half to two grams.
The infused leaves have a dark forest green color. There are quite a few whole leaves, some still attached to long, stringy stems. There are hair-like strands on the leaves and stems. The aroma has scents of cooked dark green leafy vegetables and spinach.
Although I appreciate the health benefits of this herb, I think I will stick with Camellia Sinensis as my hot beverage of choice. The taste of this Jiao Gu Lan was very different, and it will take some additional experimentation to find a suitable strength. Perhaps it is my fault for being overzealous on the amount of leaves that I used. Regardless, everyone’s tastes are different, and many people seem to love this product. I am happy to have had a chance to try it out. Cheers!