So i've ordered 2 different brands of gynostemma (or jiaogulan in chinese) and they each taste very differently. The first one I've ordered tastes extremely bitter, the second one I've ordered tastes light and sweet, even though I can detect somewhat of a similar bitter after taste.

According to the boxes they are both 100% gynostemma leaf, and the tea bags appear to be exactly the same in size. Why does one taste very bitter why the other one doesn't? Is it possible the leaves from the first box were older when i ordered them?


Age won't change the flavour of gynostemma tea much. The difference in taste can be due to 2 reason:

  1. Raw material: the picking is a different grade (younger leaves versus larger leaves). There's also a seasonal and regional difference in taste.
  2. Processing: given the extreme difference in flavors, most probably it's the processing that makes the taste differ so much. Producers use different techniques to drying and roasting. With very bitter gynostemma, there has been no regard for taste when they're produced. Most likely, the goal was for such gynostemma to be part of a final medicinal blend for just for medicial use. Tasty gynostemma teas are often made with optimizing the taste in mind, and are meant for pure drinking. A technique that is often used is by brushing the edges of the leaves as well as rolling the leaves. This allows the sweet flavors to come more to the surface allow for a nicer taste experience. Other things that are considered are how much water content should be left in the final product and to what degree the leaves are first left to oxidize before the oxidation is stopped ('fixing').
| improve this answer | |

If they come from 2 different brands, there can be many reason why they taste different.

Could be harvested from different areas; picked at different time/season and/or mishandled.

Could have been badly stored and packaged.

| improve this answer | |
  • Might be sun grown vs shade grown or sun dried vs shade dried. Those make for flavor differences. – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 20 '18 at 22:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.