Different the Lei Tea (pounded tea) from other places, the Lei Tea in the Haifeng, Guangzhou is salty. Therefore, the Lei Tea there is also called salty Lei Tea. Here in Haifeng, salty Lei Tea is a must try local food.
Zhuo Chunmei (known as “Sister Mei”) is currently living in Zhaoqing, who’s hometown is Haifeng. When she is entertaining guests at home, salty Lei tea is one of the indispensable dishes. When you take a sip of salty Lei Tea, you will have the fragrance of the freshness of tea, fried rise, crispy of peanut and the mellow of sesame.
Even it is the most basic salty Lei Tea, the process of making it is not simple at all. You will see Sister Mei put appropriate amount of tea leaves into the mortar. Then, use the wooden pestle smash the tea leaves fast, until the tea leaves (mostly green tea) are made into powder. Last, you add an appropriate amount of salt. The mortar is an open cylinder. On the side of the mortar is a dense zigzag line. On the bottom of the mortar have four lines of pattern. The aim is to increase friction, so it would be easy to grind the tea. The whole process is called “lei” (pound).
The tea pestle is important, too. The ordinary wooden material will not work. The wood has to be hard and has no odor. Sister Mei’s tea pestle is made from the pomegranate tree, given by her mother.
Once the water is boiled, pour the water into the mortar. Soaking the tea powder for a while. Then pour the tea with the tea powders into the bowls. Then you add a thick layer of white and fresh fried rice on the top of the tea. Last, you will put fried peanuts, sesame, green bean and others into the bowl in order. Then, you get the flavor Lei Tea.
Of course, this process is just the basic way of making Lei Tea. There is more complicated method of making Lei tea by adding spinach, cabbage, celery, lettuce, garlic, snow peas, mushrooms, noodles, shrimp, lean pork, sausage, squid, pepper and other nutritious ingredients. It can be more than 18 different ingredients, or you can even make it with the bone soup and chicken soup. Because the tea’s contents are rich and various. Therefore, you can call it “dessert” or “vegetable tea”.
People call it “Salty Lei Tea” is because they added a little bit salt in it. So it can supplement the energy people need after sweeting for working.