14 October, 2020 | Samira Valiyeva
Lychee Tea: What is It and How to Make One?
While the heat waves of summer drain our energy, it is the best time to enjoy many delicious fruits. Besides mangoes, strawberries, or watermelons, Lychee finds its way to our fruit consumption once the summer brings its sunny days. Some people living in warmer places are pretty familiar with this delicious and nutritious fruit, while others might have never heard of it. Lychee is a tropical fruit with reddish skin, white, grape-like flesh, and brown seed. The fruit can be used in many recipes, from desserts to Lychee tea variations, with its intense floral aroma and sweet taste.
In this guide, we will discuss two main types of tea that come to mind when we hear about Lychee tea. On the one hand, there is an iced or bubble tea with fresh fruit. On the other hand, black tea leaves scented with Lychee fruit's peels or flowers is called "Lychee tea." Do not worry; you will be an expert about both types of tea at the end of this article.
What is Lychee?
Lychee is a unique tropical fruit. People living in colder areas are usually unfamiliar with this fruit because it grows in warm places. Lychee natively grows in China, but it is common to find it in warm parts of the US and Hawaii. Visually, it looks like a tough strawberry because of its bumpy red skin. Therefore, in some places, Lychee is also called "alligator strawberry." Though the skin looks tough, it is effortless to remove it. Under its husk, there is a thin, juicy white flesh. It might remind people of grape flesh, but Lychee is much more sweet and fragrant. In the middle of the fruit, there is a large brown seed.
Lychee is ripe between spring and summer. When it grows enough, its seed can easily be removed. The fruit can be used in salads, drinks, and desserts. People who try Lychee for the first time claim that its taste is between strawberry and watermelon, because it's juicy and sweet. Others say that the fruit reminds them of rose water as the flesh has a strong floral aroma.
How to Use Lychee?
When it comes to tasting Lychee fruit, one needs to be careful. As its flesh is gentle, you would not want to be fierce and waste all the tasty juice in it. First, try to remove the skin with your thumbnail gently. If you are eating it directly, you can put the fruit with its white flesh to your mouth and spit the brown seed. For making salads or tea, you need to divide the fruit into half like an avocado. Once you get the first half quickly, you need to dig your finger a little to get the second part and throw the seed. When the fruit is ripe, it requires less effort.
There are some different conceptions when it comes to Lychee tea. On the one hand, there are tea recipes that involve the actual fruit. In these cases, the drink is looking similar to any other fruit tea or lemonade. In other cases, Lychee tea is the shortened version of Lychee black tea. Some tea producers scent the tea leaves with Lychee peels. As a result, they produce black tea with a fruity aroma. In this guide, we will talk about both Lychee tea options and provide recipes and instructions for them.
Lychee Iced Tea
One of the refreshing beverages for summer can be Lychee Iced tea. Its preparation is like any other iced tea. First, brew two tea bags with two cups of hot water for ten minutes and then take out the bags. In another cup, mix a quarter cup of sugar and hot water to prepare simple syrup. You need to keep stirring it until sugar dissolves completely. Next, remove the red skin and the seed of the fruit as instructed above in how to use Lychee. You can divide the fruit into half or much smaller pieces to your taste. Lastly, add tea, syrup, fruit, and ice in one large pitcher to make delicious iced tea.
Lychee Bubble Tea
With its strong sweet aroma, Lychee is the perfect fruit for making some bubble tea. You can prepare this beverage at home or visit Bontea cafe to get one ready. First, you need to boil water in two different pots. We will use one to prepare the black tea and the other for boba pearls. It is enough to add four or five cups of water and then add the tea leaves. People can choose black, green, or any other type of tea to their preference. Once you add the tea leaves, turn down the heat to medium and wait for 4-6 minutes for the tea to brew.
In another pot, boil your tapioca pearls or boba pearls. You need around a quarter cup of pearls for one pot of water. It takes ten to fifteen minutes until the boba has the right texture. Sometimes, the packaging of the boba also has instructions for preparations. Hence, make sure to check it before cooking.
Next, remove the skins and the seed from a handful of fresh Lychee. It is hard to resist the delicious aroma of the fruit, but be patient until the tea is ready. Add the fruit and half a cup of Lychee juice into the blender and process it. Do not worry; the tea is almost ready.
Lastly mix the fruit, tea, and boba pearls. Depending on your taste, you can add brown sugar syrup and any creamer. If you do not want to purchase brown sugar syrup, you can make it at home by mixing some water and sugar. Then boil it while stirring and the syrup will be ready in a few minutes.
Where to Get Lychee?
While Lychee tea is easy to prepare, it is not as simple to find the fruit in stores. People living in areas where the fruit grows are lucky to get them in stores or even pick them directly during the summer- June and July. If you cannot find the fruit in stores, you can visit an Asian market or order canned fruit online.
While purchasing at stores, people need to choose the fruit for their Lychee tea carefully. Ripe fruit has a bouncy texture if it is pressed a little. The red colour is vibrant, and it has no blemishes or soft spots on its skin. If the fruit is smelly, cracked or its skin has liquid on it, it is better not to purchase.
In general, it is advisable to consume the fruit as fast as possible because it is hard to keep Lychee fresh for an extended period. Besides, it can ferment as it waits. You can keep it for one week by wrapping the fruit with a paper towel and placing in a plastic bag. For longer periods, it is better to freeze the fruit in a zip-top bag. Though Lychee will lose its colour, its flesh will still be delicious. As a result, you can even enjoy Lychee tea during the cold winter.
Lychee Black Tea
As mentioned before, when you see Lychee tea, it does not only mean an ice tea with Lychee fruit. In some cases, Lychee tea is organic black tea leaves scented with this fruit's peels. It is a distinctive tea from China, mostly from Guangdong and Guangxi provinces. Producers roast black tea leaves with Lychee or its peels to make this delicious flavour. However, there are no fruit pieces. People who like flavoured black tea might give a try to Lychee black tea.
There are several ways to make a scented tea. In China, producers mostly make scented tea by mixing it with Lychee peels or flowers. It is mixed until the leaves absorb the flavour and the smell of the fruit. Hence, it is a natural way of making Lychee black tea. However, some people do not prefer such tea because there are no pieces of fruit in it. In this case, they can purchase the tea from the western countries which use blending methods. Those producers blend the leaves with flowers, or dried fruits so that when you brew the tea, the aromas mix. Another way of scenting the tea is by adding artificial flavours. While flavours can still be natural, most people are sceptical of such products.
Purchasing the right tea type is not the end of the quest for delicious Lychee tea. Its taste might highly depend on the time and method you utilize for brewing. People can use a standard teapot, small Chinese teapot to brew the tea or re-steep it. Re-steeping is a popular concept which claims that using the same leaves multiple times to make tea helps to fully extract the flavour.
Brewing is a simple process. All you need to do is add a teaspoon of leaves per cup of water into the hot water. Then, wait for three to five minutes for the drink to be ready. In the case of re-steeping, you can brew the same leaves for a few times to have a more intense flavour. However, you need to use four teaspoons of Lychee tea leaves per cup of water. Every next steeping in this process requires more extended time. For the first time, you can brew the tea as short as twenty seconds. In subsequent steps, increase the time by ten to thirty seconds.
Iced Lychee Black Tea
Previously, we gave the recipe for Lychee Iced tea using the fruit. It is also possible to prepare that recipe by using Lychee scented black tea leaves. As a result, the iced tea will have a much more intense aroma of Lychee. People living in areas where they cannot access the fresh fruit, can use the scented Lychee tea to make as fragrant iced tea as in the case of using the fruit pieces. These scented tea leaves are also perfect for making bubble tea.
If you want to try the scented tea, you can order a package online from platforms like Amazon or visit an Asian store nearby.
Health Benefits of Lychee
Besides being incredibly delicious, there exist a lot of health benefits of tea. First, it is rich with vitamin C. The fruit can meet the daily ascorbic acid, which is essential for immunity, in a single serving. Vitamin C is also great for skin problems such as ageing and blemishes. Plus, the fruit supports the digestion process and creates wonders for constipation and other issues. People who fight with inflammation problems can eat Lychee to support their treatment.
The high content of copper found in this fruit can improve the blood circulation and increase the Red Blood Cells. If you are dealing with high blood pressure, Lychee can help to keep it stable.
When we say Lychee reminds watermelon, we do not only mean its taste or texture. Like watermelon, this fruit also has high water content. Hence, people who want to lose weight can enjoy the fruit with peace in mind. Besides, it hydrates the body during hot summer days.
People should also keep in mind that except its benefits, Lychee is a sweet, sugary fruit. Hence, it can create problems for consumers with diabetics issues. Sure, consuming in a little amount might not cause huge problems, but it is always advisable to consult with the doctor about the diet.
Enjoy Your Tea
In this article, we have discussed the recipes and general instructions for Lychee tea. Whether it is tea with fresh fruits or a scented black tea, Lychee has an excellent flavour for beverages. The fruit gives both freshness and sweetness to the drinks. If you have access to fresh fruit, it is recommended to try iced Lychee tea. Otherwise, you can order Lychee black tea and enjoy Lychee flavoured iced or bubble tea. If you are too lazy to make your tea, you can also visit Bontea Cafe. We offer a wide range of organic coffee and tea in a cosy, artistic place. Our friendly staff will prepare beverages with fresh and natural ingredients, together with serving you with a friendly attitude.