There’s a Chinese place in my town named Lychee, and when I rent to try/review this tea, I suddenly realized I had no idea what a lychee even was.
It’s a soapberry fruit, guys. It’s a pink/red berry that you pull apart to reveal — and I’m quoting Wikipedia here — “a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh.”
Let’s all take a moment to mull on the fact that “sweet, translucent white flesh” is totally something Hannibal Lecter would say. Am I alone in experiencing a frisson of fear upon reading that?
Anyway, to my best guess, a lychee effectively tastes a bit like a tangy plum. There are also some rich, malty, maybe a little chocolate-y notes in this tea. I’m not sure if that’s the black tea or the lychee. This is not a sweet berry. This is a bitter, exotic, interesting berry. VERY tasty hot.
But this tea is really weird iced.
The tea’s original description (it’s not currently on the site) said “pour over ice for a refreshing change to regular iced tea.” I made this iced the other day in the spirit of adventure. I hadn’t actually made it hot yet. I dove right in. (That’s my motif for 2017: “spirit of adventure!” My husband is already making fun of me for it. You can feel free to pile on if you’d care to.)
I had actually considered the iced taste peculiar, sort of soapy and sickly sweet and unnatural. I kid you not: the word “soapy” occurred to me several days before I found out that lychee was a “soapberry.” I also think the notes I read as “chocolate” were off-putting cold.
If you’re grasping the spirit of adventure, try this cold, but if you want to try out a lychee flavor in a safer way, go hot.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Persimmon Tree Tea Company
Per the Persimmon Tree Tea Company’s website, they are on hiatus.