April 17, 2022

Longan Jujube Tea 桂圓紅棗茶

Longan, chinese red date, Jujube, Tea, wolfberry, goji, recipe, 桂圓, 紅棗, 茶, 龍眼

Here's another one of the easy to make drinks we've been exploring making at home cuz we think it's great to make your own healthy drinks instead of buying them.  This Chinese "tea" will delight your throat and sooth your tummy; it's simple and quick to prepare yet very yummy.

The "tea" is not actually a tea but a simple simmer of Chinese dried fruits.  This Longan Jujube Tea 桂圓紅棗茶 is a delicious sweet drink, infused with the delicate florals of longan fruit and the rich undertones of Chinese jujubes and accented with the tart juiciness of wolfberries.   This tea is a warming tea and will help calm your mind and to have better sleep.  

I've been waffling about whether to do this post now or not as the weather here in HK has been having a topsy turvy month, first cold one day, then warm the next and then repeat.  Finally I've decided to do the warming one for now and a cooling one a bit later when the weather really does decide to change for good.  That way, dear readers, you can choose according to your needs!

Longan, chinese red date, Jujube, Tea, wolfberry, goji, recipe, 桂圓, 紅棗, 茶, 龍眼

One of the key ingredient for this delightful tea is the longan fruit 龍眼, also known as the 'dragon eye' fruit (direct translation from the Chinese name, what a super cool name for a fruit, amirite!?)  This fruit is similar to the lychee 荔枝  but smaller, about the size of a grape, and with more intense and sweeter flavor.  For more info on this amazing fruit see our post on longan fruit.  

Fresh these little pearls of fruity goodness are delicious, however, dried they are even more so, with the flavor intensified, bursting with delicate light sweetness and having a chewy textured goodness.  Dried longan fruit has a different Chinese name, it's called 桂圓.  Used in this tea they provide the fruity delicate sweetness that is particular to the longan.  Longan is considered warming to the body and helps with insomnia.

You can find dried longan at your local Chinese markets in the dried foods section.  Remember the Chinese name for the dried longan fruit is 桂圓.  In Hong Kong you can find them also at the Chinese medicine shops.

Psst...Check out our post on how to make dried longan at home.

Longan, chinese red date, Jujube, Tea, wolfberry, goji, recipe, 桂圓, 紅棗, 茶, 龍眼

The second ingredient is Dried Jujubes 紅棗, also known as Chinese dried red dates.  These dried jujubes are still slightly soft inside and should have the pits already removed.   These dried dates have a delicious rich sweetness all their own that counter parts the longan's delicate sweetness.  These little gems are added as a balancing sweetener to lots of Chinese teas, tonics and desserts.  Chinese jujubes are also considered warming in nature and help to improve sleep and calm the mind.

You can buy Chinese jujubes at the Asian supermarket in the dried Chinese food section or at the Chinese medicine shops.  You can also find them at the wet market.  Check to make sure that the pits are removed already.

Longan, chinese red date, Jujube, Tea, wolfberry, goji, recipe, 桂圓, 紅棗, 茶, 龍眼

Last is the lovely wolfberry 枸杞, also known as goji berry.  These tiny little dried red fruits have a sweet but tart flavor that's a lovely accent to the sweetness of this tea.  Wolfberries are packed with antioxidants and help the improve eyesight.  I love the little squish when I bite into a wolfberry and the little explosion of sweet tartness that pops into my mouth.  My little girl is always saying "Add more wolfberries, mom!"

Again find these at the Chinese dried foods section in your Chinese supermarket or at Chinese medicine shops.

Longan, chinese red date, Jujube, Tea, wolfberry, goji, recipe, 桂圓, 紅棗, 茶, 龍眼

This tea is ridiculously easy to make.  Boil a pot of water.  Once boiled throw all three ingredients in and let simmer for 20 mins or until the liquid takes on a rich tea like tone and the longan are plump and round.

Longan, chinese red date, Jujube, Tea, wolfberry, goji, recipe, 桂圓, 紅棗, 茶, 龍眼

When the color of the tea is deep and rich it's time to add the sweetener.  My hubby insists that this tea is to be served with honey.  If I use honey I like to use those that have a lighter, more delicate taste like the longan honey or lychee honey.  So as to not overpower the longan and the dates.

As an alternative I also like to use rock sugar for its delicate 'not too sweet' sweetness.  It stays backstage as the support for the taste of the main ingredients.


Once the tea is sweetened to your taste the Longan Jujube Tea is done!  Easy peasy, amirite, and now it's time to relax with a cuppa of hot sweet fruity tea that will calm, warm and relax you!

Longan, chinese red date, Jujube, Tea, wolfberry, goji, recipe, 桂圓, 紅棗, 茶, 龍眼
Longan Jujube Tea Recipe  桂圓紅棗茶
(makes 6 servings)  Prep time: 1 min   Cook time: 20 mins

1/2 cup dried longan 桂圓
8 dried Chinese jujubes 紅棗
1 tbsp dried wolfberry 枸杞
honey to taste (can substitute with rock sugar)

Add 6 cups of water to pot and bring to a boil.  Add in dried longan, dried red dates and wolfberries.  When water is boiling again turn down heat to medium low, cover and let cook for 20 mins or until the tea has achieved a dark tea color.  

Add in honey or rock sugar to your taste.  Stir to melt the honey or sugar.  The tea is ready to serve, enjoy!   Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.


More Tantalizing Teas at The Hong Kong Cookery:



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