I was sold that I needed to try this tea as soon as I saw lychee – it’s a weak spot for me and it sounded heavenly paired with lemon! The smell of the dry leaf is pretty intoxicating: fruit forward dewy lychee with a fragrant floral undertone and sweet honeyed black tea. So, so, so fresh!!
The steeped cup is simultaneously straight forward and complex in its flavour delivery; I felt, as I sipped, like I was opening up a Russian nesting doll with these layers of delicious flavours. First and foremost, and to my own delight, the most prominant flavour, which I would call the outer layer of this nesting doll, is the lychee. The whole tea feels saturated in sticky, sweet lychee juices with their sweet perfumed floral undertones and coating sweeping juiciness across the palate. What a lychee flavour!
The next layer is probably actually the wild Yunnan black tea base – despite the richness of the lychee it manages to have a still strong presence in the cup. The full bodied and almost starchy mouthfeel actually gives another layer of richness to the tea that feels differentiated from the rich fruity flavours, and the notes of honey and malt with golden toasty and carmelized yam undertones are so interesting and in contrast to the fruit notes that they just make each other so much more dynamic.
The final layer is the lemon, and this for me is the lightest of the three key elements by far. It’s more an undertone and lingering flavour after the sip, and it has a little sweetness but mostly is reminiscent of the classic “unsweet” lemon black tea profile you see across the South – more static and just a little pithy. I like that, because if it was overly acidic I think it would taint the black tea’s beauty and if it was sweet then combined with the lychee I think that would be cloying.
With each tea I try from this company I get more and more excited for the next one – they seem to have such a strong understanding of how to pair these incredible flavours with their tea bases in a way that makes the flavours of the featured ingredients and the natural notes of the tea really stand out and pop. It’s a solid understanding of flavour composition and looking at and tasting each blend I feel like I can see the artistry and craftmanship that’s gone into each one. These teas were created with love and passion and it makes me SO excited!!