A rare and exotic Chinese black tea from the Congou region. Scented with the essence of Lichee, a wonderfully succulent and aromatic fruit. Lichee tea is made by combining fine China black tea with juice of fresh lichee, which adds an amazing fragrance and and natural sweetness.
To make iced Lichee tea,
1. Place the sugar and half the water in a 2-quart serving jug and stir to dissolve the sugar, then chill.
2. Bring the remaining water to boil in a nonreactive pot.
3. Remove the water from the heat as soon as it boils and add the tea.
4. Cover and steep for 5 to 8 minutes.
5. Strain the hot tea into the sugared water.
6. Add lemon slices or mint sprigs if desired, or place them in serving glasses as a garnish.
7. Fill serving glasses with ice and pour the tea in them to serve.
Fresh tea makes the best iced tea, so don't refrigerate it for days after you make it. Make it and drink it. Adjust sugar or sweetener to personal taste if used. Thoroughly chill the tea before serving. If you add ice, use cubes, not chips.
The water used to steep this tea should be at the boiling point. Use about 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea leaves for about every 5 ounces (150 milliliters) of water. A steeping time of about 3-5 minutes with more or less time is recommended depending on the desired concentration.
*****Black tea is a completely oxidized (fermented) tea. Black tea, or as it is known in China - hong cha (red tea), was originally only for export to the foreign markets. In China it is called red tea in reference to the color of the infused liquid or to the red edges of the oxidized leaves, as opposed to the color of the main body of the processed tea leaves. At one time, black tea was considered of lesser quality and not desired by the Chinese themselves and therefore, was exported. Which is why, to this day, black tea is what everyone outside of China thinks of when talking about tea, whereas, tea in China is understood to mean green tea.
Black tea is also known as "Congous" in the international tea trade business. The name Congous is actually taken from the Chinese term Gongfu or Kung-Fu. Northern Congous are also referred to as black leaf Congous, "the Burgundy of China teas", and southern Congous as red leaf Congous, "the Claret of China teas".
Black tea leaves come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis as does all real tea, but probably the best comes from the Assam subvariety of the plant, Camellia sinensis Assamica, or a hybrid. The infused leaf is a reddish copper color and the liquor is bright red and slightly astringent but not bitter. The important difference is in the processing of the tea leaves, which makes black tea different from the other kinds of tea.
Black tea's caffeine is approximately 3 %, which is the highest of all the different kinds of tea, but still lower than coffee.