Lupicia Watermelon Barley Tea

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.