Scented tea can be a mixed bag. Sometimes it can be way too fragrant and the cup ends up tasting like it has been spikee with artificial flavourings, nasty chemicals. Then there is the opposite side of the spectrum, where the tea is lacking in scent and flavour.
This particular tea has been scented with fresh juice from the Lychee nut. It is, perhaps, the first scented tea ever created.
Legend goes in the Chinese Tang dynasty, there was a imperial concubine, Yang GuiFei, who was addicted to Lychees. Each year, the Emperor shipped a large amount of the fruit in order to ingratiate himself with his concubine. In the fleet of vessels, there were many kinds of handcrafted ‘Tribute Tea’ destined for the imperial household. One such tea was Lychee Congou. Yang Guifei loved the tea and, subsequently, it became popular with the Chinese.
Back to the tea. The dry leaf smells incredible. Lychee fruit is unique and distinct. It has a natural sweetness, yet slightly tart. Infused in water that has been brought to a rolling boil (96-degrees) for 3-5 minutes the tea reveals a wonderfully exotic fruity (Lychee!) note. However, the Chinese Keemun base isn’t hidden behind the Lychee. Rather, the tea tastes rich and smooth, with a hint of smoke that pairs well with the fruit.
Exotic. Sultry. Intoxicating. Sweet.
Flavors: Lychee, Smoke