This is the Golden Sail brand of Lichee Tea. This is a very inexpensive tea and is easily available in teashops and many Chinese department stores. Do not look down at this tea........heard this tea was served to VIPs who visit our country.
You will realize an anomaly when you purchased a tin of this lichee black tea. The English text on the tin labelled Lichee Black Tea contrasted significantly to the Chinese label - Lichee Red Tea. So what is in this tea, black or red tea? Its very simple really. The Chinese tea industry labels this tea as red tea (hongcha) due the color of the brewed tea.....which is reddish. I believe that the 'black tea' label are used by the Chinese for certain post-fermented tea which when brewed, is very dark and blackish in color. Tea classification outside China, especially in Europe, label teas by their color of the tea leaves, hence, black tea in this instance (see pix 3). You and I, can conclude, that the labeling on this tin of tea is commercially correct, as this tea is mainly sold outside China.
Lichee or Lychee (thats what we call it here in this part of the world) is a juicy fruit. Slightly bigger than the American quarter coin, you remove the skin and eat the fleshy interior. You can sample these fruits fresh when they are in season in China and South East Asia. These fruits are also available in tins and are sold in grocery shops in your neighborhood Chinatown. A sweet and delicious fruit.
This tea is flavored and scented with lichee. Its interesting that, when I visit a supermarket and drop by the tea section, its common to see many boxes of tea being sold now with flavors like strawberry, mint, lemon and other fruits. Trust me, soon there will be a 'supper tea', since there are now breakfast tea. Chinese breakfast tea anyone?
After brewing this lichee black tea a few times, I like to brew this tea weak...........and sweetened. Yes, all serious Chinese tea drinkers......you can throw rocks at me. I know tea should be truly appreciated without any additional milk or sweeteners, but this tea tasted much better sweet. (even chilled). I suppose with this blog post, my ascension to the peak of tea appreciation is now in serious doubt. Its ok .... time to reheat up my cup of pu erh in the microwave.