I won this tea in an Instagram giveaway earlier in the year and I’ve been eagerly waiting for a spot to open up on the blog so I could share it with you! Jade Forest Lychee Orchard sounds like an oolong tea name to me, but this is in fact a black tea blend.
One of the things that I really liked from the start is that Jade Forest don’t use any flavourings, aromas or colourings. It’s just tea and whatever natural ingredients are listed on the box – in this case, liquorice and goji berries.
But you can learn more about the ingredients and the tea brand below. First, let’s dig into my review covering the flavour and best brewing method.
Jade Forest Lychee Orchard at a Glance
- Blend: Lychee black tea with liquorice root and goji berries
- Flavour: Fruity and malty black tea with very pleasant smooth and sweet sensations
This tea is gorgeous. The quality is amazing and the flavours are perfectly balanced. It’s sweet but not too sweet and really allows the malty black tea to play with notes of lychee and goji.
Full Review – Black Tea with Goji Berries
- Type: Loose leaf
- Tea: Black tea from the Guangdong region of South China
- Additives: Lychee (infused with the tea), goji berries, liquorice root
- Flavour Notes: Smooth, malt, fruity, sultanas, stone fruits, goji, sweet
- Aroma: Earthy, sweet, oolong tannins, molasses, berries, malt, roots, berries, jam
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: Inovita Laboratory
I’m always a little unsure when I’m trying a new tea brand. Sometimes the initial aroma is a good way to judge what the tea will taste like, and other times it’s a red herring. In this case, Jade Forest Lychee Orchard has an aroma that matches the flavour – delicious. The black tea is smooth but also quite light, I almost mistook it for a heavily oxidised oolong. There’s a sweet and earthy note to this tea too. I detected berries and molasses, along with rich earth and freshly dug-up roots.
It brews into a golden brown, amber tea. It’s clear and enticing, but nothing special. It’s not a tea that must be brewed in a glass teapot.
The aroma develops once the tea has brewed fully. Notes of berries and malt have deepened into jam and the earthy hint has retreated a little.
The flavour is gorgeous. Rich, intense, smooth and sweet but not in an overpowering way. Often, liquorice creates a pungent aniseed flavour, but by using large whole chunks of liquorice root sparingly, this tea blend is beautifully balanced.
The goji berries and lychee create a sultana and stone fruit note when combined with the natural tannins and malt of the black tea. It’s very pleasant and has a slick, smooth texture that goes down a treat. This tea is really easy to drink and I will steep the same leaves 3 times within an hour easily.
How to Brew Chinese Lychee Orchard Tea
The method for brewing this tea is a little longer than usual, but it results in a very smooth tea so I highly recommend taking the time to follow it.
- Preheat your teapot and add 5g of leaf (for 2-3 cups),
- Add a small amount of 95°C water, swish it around, and immediately pour it out,
- Add enough water to cover the tea leaves completely and leave it until they unfurl (usually around 5 minutes),
- Top up the teapot so it is full, then strain into cups and enjoy.
That rinse step is really important as it enables the tea leaf to open up and discard the bitterness. Don’t skip it!
Why Jade Forest?
Jade Forest is a brand owned by Inovita Laboratory, a company that specialises in science, wellness, and nature. Their range of loose leaf teas are inspired by tradition and are ethically sourced (although I can’t see any certifications to back up this claim).
Regardless, I do believe in the high quality of their teas and the expert way they have been formulated and blended. The tea I have tried is utterly delicious and you can see in my photos that the tea leaves are full, whole and unfurl beautifully in my teapot. Furthermore, you can actually see thick slices of liquorice root and dried goji berries that rehydrate when you add hot water.
I love this!
The flavour you get from using actual liquorice root, not just powdered liquorice flecks, is amazing. It’s subtly sweet, rather than shockingly aniseed-like.
The black tea itself is infused with lychee, which creates more depth and complexity. Both lychee and the black tea are grown together on the banks of the Pearl River, in the Guangdong area of Southern China. As lychee has a short harvest time, this tea is only made once a year.
I highly recommend that you try this tea. Jade Forest Lychee Orchard is smooth, well-balanced and has a very pleasant flavour. You can find it available to buy directly from Inovita Laboratory using the button below. At the time of writing, I can’t find this tea available to buy anywhere else and this company seems to have closed their social media accounts since I won the giveaway.
If you want to try another fine loose leaf tea with fruity notes, read my review of What-Cha India Assam Mancotta SFTGFOP. It doesn’t have any additional ingredients besides the single origin tea leaves, but somehow it has this gorgeous raspberry jam flavour. Give it a try!