I recently received from Umi Tea Sets a lovely china tea cup and a sample of their Litchi Chinensis Black Tea, or lychee black tea. So I took sat down on a leisurely Saturday morning to brew the tea and enjoy it as it was meant to be drunk, in a charming china tea cup direct from China!
First thing I have to say about the tea is, does this not come in the most beautiful packaging? Branding and marketing really do have impact – I just love the bag it comes in; don’t want to hide it away in another tea caddy.
This blend of black tea comes Guangdong province in China, and is infused with juice from the lychee fruit. The fruity, citrusy aroma just hits you when you open the bag and breathe it in.
The leaf is dark and woody, as is the brew. The guidance is to brew for 3-4 minutes, though I did it for about 2, and it was plenty of time to brew a very dark copper tea. I like my tea dark, so it was long enough for me – the flavour was the perfect strength for my taste. And better yet, I could use the leaves for more than one cup.
The lychee aroma hits you again when you brew the tea – I could have dabbed it on like perfume, honestly! Loved the scent, and the flavor in the tea which was subtle but distinct. I found the tea to be smooth like silk; not a hint of tannins for the brewing time. It reminded me of when I find a really good wine – the really good ones I could just drink right down and start on the next glass, but you don’t want to because you want that flavor to last, and linger on your tongue.
I would also describe the flavor as somewhat woody and earthy, Sometimes I think I default to the “earthy” term because drinking a really good black tea makes me feel connected to the place from where it came, the soil, the sun, the rain that makes drinking the brew from the leaves so satisfying.
Taking tea should always be a ritual, one best enjoyed when you can sit down and take the time to let it swirl around your tongue to get all the subtleties of pure flavor.
This tea was so delicious I drank it straight – no milk or sweetener, and I do love my sweet, milky tea just about any time of day. However, paired with a bowl of fresh strawberries, this lychee tea was the perfect, clean start to a relaxing Saturday.
I haven’t tried it as an iced tea yet, but I’ll bet it’s fab that way too. Guess that’ll be for next Saturday!
So, if you can’t tell yet, I highly recommend giving this tea, and Umi Tea Sets products, a try!