Lemon tea is a staple at cha chaan tengs in Hong Kong. Bottled or powered lemon tea come close. Or, if I have fresh lemons, then black tea, lemon and sugar. The thing about lemon tea, is that it doesn’t always work in tea bag form. Lemon-flavoured or lemon-scented tea has always used lemongrass and focused too strongly on its mint and ginger notes than lemon or lime. So, I resigned myself to its impossibility.
That is until I got my hands on London Fruit & Herb Company Lemon & Lime Zest Infusion from Hong Kong. The ingredients list apple pulp, flavourings, blackberry leaves, malic acid, citric acid, lemon peel (5%), lemongrass (5%), roasted chicory root, rosehip, lime juice (2%).
Infusing for 5 minutes in 200 ml of boiling water yields a golden brown liquor and releases a citrus aroma much just like my preferred lemon teas. The aroma veers dangerously close to the lemony fresh of cleaning products but pares back on the zesty flavour just enough to allow a pleasant sweetness to come through. Like it’s smell, the first sip leaves you in no doubt that this is a tea is all about citrus with the sourness of lemons and the bitterness of lime — it’s no easy feat and something likely achieved by their use of real concentrated fruit juices. A complementing sweetness — from the rosehip — builds behind this initial citrus hit that’s much like a less sweetened version of the lemon teas at cha chaan tengs and lingers in the aftertaste. This is the perfect lemon and lime infusion in tea bag form.
This box of London Fruit & Herb Company Lemon & Lime Zest Infusion contained 20 tea bags. It was packed in the United Kingdom and purchased in Hong Kong in 2014.