When it comes to summer, watermelon and barley tea are a quintessential fruit and drink. There are few episodes of anime set in summer that doesn’t show the characters either enjoying a slice of fresh watermelon or a glass of cold barley tea. Combine the two, and Lupicia Watermelon Barley Tea is bound to be refreshing.
Infusing one tea bag in 800 ml of cold water in the fridge for 2 hours yields a golden liquor. The scent from the dry tea bag suggests strong nutty barley notes flavoured with a cloyingly sweet watermelon flavour. Watermelon would understandably be difficult to flavour a tea with a bold flavour like barley, given that the fruit is mostly water, so the candy-like watermelon smell of the dry tea bag is a welcome sign.
The infusion reveals a refreshingly balanced flavour with fresh, mildly sweet watermelon notes in the head. The watermelon flavour is achieved using freeze dried fruit, a technique that concentrates flavours. A nuttiness from the barley comes through in the body, complementing the refreshing notes of the watermelon and suggesting the flavour of grilled and caramelised watermelon. The flavour of the barley recedes in the finish, leaving the refreshing watermelon notes lingering in the aftertaste. It is very much a summer beverage.
Tea dust tends to be an issue when making tea in a larger volume that’s consumed over a period, rather than immediately, as it continues to infuse. While not an issue generally with fruit and herbal infusions, leaf and barley teas will see increased astringency. This is so even though Lupicia’s barley tea comes in a tea bag, as the fine tea dust results in an increasingly bitter infusion. To resolve that, I now infuse in a Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Pot, which has an ultra-fine filter to pick up the tea dust.
This bag of Lupicia Watermelon Barley Tea contained 10 tea bags. It was packed in Japan and purchased in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan in 2015.