How To Brew Jiaogulan Tea Correctly

Jiaogulan tea has been used for centuries as a mood booster and possible life-enhancing tea. It has been claimed as a tea for longevity, and been given the nickname, ‘the herb of immortality.’

If you clicked on this article, you are probably already aware of the apparent benefits of drinking this wonderful concoction, and have decided to try it out. Good for you! Here is where we will let you know how to prepare Jiaogulan tea properly, so you get the most out of your tea.

Tools needed to make the perfect cup of tea

If you’re serious about using Jiaogulan tea long-term, it’s probably a good idea to buy the right tools to brew it in. Beings it is the leaf itself, fresh herbal teas do not come ready-made with their own bag, so you’ll be needing the right tools in order to make your tea (don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds!)

There are a few different ways it can be made:

  • You could simply buy a mug that includes a diffuser within, so once it has steeped, you simply take it out, and drink.
  • Other diffusers sit on the side of your cup, or are attached to the handle and can be taken out once it has brewed.
  • You can use a traditional tea pot, with bonus points if it is Chinese (from where Jiaogulan originates)

We recommend using a kettle made specifically for infusion, in which the tea has a ready-made diffuser and can be left to simmer for as long as necessary

An alternative to this method of gentle steeping is to pick a diffuser of your choice

If you’re really strapped for cash, or don’t intend on brewing a lot of it, you can fashion a diffuser out of tin foil with holes in the bottom. -Simply envelope the leaves in foil and pierce the bottom of the foil  a few times with the point of a knife.

Making the tea as an infusion

 One important thing to know when making a great cup of Jiaogulan tea is that it can be made two ways, either as an infusion, and or a decoction – the difference simply being the temperature of the water. A decoction is steeped in boiling water, whereas an infusion is left to brew instead, in hot water (not boiling). The herb is left in bubbling water in order to extract the goodness from the substance that makes a great cup of tea.

Cinnamon sticks, cloves and apple cider are all created in water that is below boiling temperature, and would not be the same without this basic requirement for their production.

Be careful to make sure you don’t add too many leaves if you are sensitive to any kind of new substance. Everyone reacts to things differently, so make sure to pace yourself. If trying for the first time, you may have heard of the many benefits, but don’t be surprised if you don’t feel any different for a few days- it takes awhile for the tea to get into the system.

Brewing Jiaogulan Tea Correctly

 When making your tea, you will want:

  • The water temperature to be between 140 and 212 degrees fareinheit (60-100C)
  • To use 1 to 2t (1-2.5g) of leaves
  • To use around 6 to 8oz of water (175-250ml)
  • To infuse it for around 4 minutes (and no longer than 10 minutes)


Begin by boiling your water. Water is a whole other issue in terms of health, and using as pure-a water as possible is recommended. You can simply buy a water filter for your tap, but this will not go as far as buying water with as PH balanced water as you can find.

You can also use fresh spring water, which will be the most refreshing, but always make sure you know it is safe to drink before trying it.

Once boiled (or taking if off just before the boil), make sure the temperature is correct and the water is lightly bubbling. If you don’t have a thermometer, you just bring it to the boil and leave to cool for 2-3 minutes, and it should be around the right temperature.

Use 1-2 teaspoons of the jiaogulan tea per cup, and leave to steep from anytime between 1 and 10 minutes. If you’re using a pot, be sure to add in another to ensure a strong enough brew.

How long to leave it to steep?

You can, of course experiment with the length of time you leave it to steep, and adjust depending upon preference of taste. If you’re not sure, we would recommend 3-4 minutes.The longer you leave it, the stronger and possibly more bitter it will taste, the shorter you leave it, the sweeter and weaker it will be. Just don’t leave it for less than a minute, as then you will out on all of the goodies it has to offer! Naturally, the longer you leave it, the more of the goodness in the tea, will be extracted into the water.

If you want to experiment with taste, try steeping for just one minute, saving the leaves, and steeping a second or third time for just another minute. You will experience a subtle difference, each time.

If you’re going to reuse any leaves, make sure you only do so for one day – don’t leave them overnight and then continue to reuse them after that.

Taste can also be adjusted by using natural sweeteners (we’d recommend a good-quality honey), although the tea itself is naturally sweet.

Making the tea as a decoction

If you would like to try brewing Jiaogulan tea as a decoction, simply used boiling water, and brew immediately in a pot. Begin by covering them for 10-15 seconds with boiling water, and then pour the water out, taking care not burn yourself. Once done, add more boiling water and leave to steep for the same amount of time as if you were infusing. Adding boiled water directly will produce an even stronger tasting tea.

When to drink it

 We’d recommend drinking it first thing in the morning and some time in the evening, beginning with just two cups per day at most. This will mean you remember it is time to unwind with the tea, and it also gives you a nice routine to start and end your day with. Little things like this are a great way to show yourself some love!

You are best drinking it around half an hour before eating, or a few hours after eating. Starting off with a small amount of tea means you can also observe how it reacts within your body, as this tea may not be for everyone, occasionally causing mild side-effects (such as nausea or stomach troubles).

Use leftover tea leaves

Our top tip is to use the left over leaves from your tea as a food.

You can still gain a lot of goodness from the leftover leaves themselves. They can be put into your morning smoothie, as a replacement for chia seeds or spirinula powder. Just make sure to store them in an air tight container in the fridge, if you are saving them overnight.

You can also simply add them to your evening meal at the end of the day.

Sun Brewing Jiaogulan Tea

If you have the climate for it, you can brew this tea outside in the sun. Just make sure you have a glass bowl to put it in and leave in direct sunlight for around 2 hours. Use the same ratio as if you were brewing with a kettle or otherwise. You can drink it hot or leave it to cool inside, if you’re looking for a refreshing summer drink.

Other uses for Jiaogulan

Use dried Jiaogulan in baking

Who would have thought it? This tea can also be used in baking! Just as black tea often is put in cakes, jaiogulan can also be added to sweet things, such as cakes, cookies, muffins and even granola bars. Simply whiz up the dried leaves in your blender and add them to your favorite recipes for a nutritional boost.

Spice up your liquor cabinet

You can create a mix – 1 part Jiaogulan, 5 parts vodka, which will produce a heady brew. To make, put both in an air tight jar and store in a cool dark place (a cupboard or larder) for 30 days. Each day you will want to stir the ingredients. Small bubbles on the surface are a good sign, and show that the saponins – a beneficial ingredient of the plant have been drawn out and into the mixture.

Once the 30 days are up, put it through a colander to make sure all leaves are collected, and voila! You have your own unique brew to share with your friends, with extra healthy properties. Although, don’t overdo it! Just 1-3 tablespoons daily will keep you going for years (providing you keep it cool and in a dark space). For a different taste, you can also try this technique with apple cider, if that’s your preference.

The take away

Jiaogulan tea is a sensitive herb that, with good care, will leave you feeling uplifted and your taste buds satisfied. Taking a little thought about how to brew it turns tea making into an art form, and will always give you a little lift, in knowing that the small moments in the day where you take the time to make yourself a cup of this revitalizing liquid, are just for you.

There is a reason this care matters, and it is because, as they say, you are what you eat. Taking a moment to care for your brewing Jaiogulan tea, is a moment spent caring for yourself. And that truly is, priceless.

Looking for a powerful antioxidant 
with other health benefits?  Why not 
give Tumeric & Curcumin a try!
Looking for a powerful antioxidant 
with other health benefits?  Why not 
give Tumeric & Curcumin a try!
Looking for a powerful antioxidant with many health 
benefits?  Why not give Tumeric & Curcumin a try!

Are you ready to try brewing Jiaogulan tea?

Now that you know how, are you ready to start brewing for yourself?