I was in a small coffee shop in Beppu, Oita Japan one day mostly to check it out to see if it would be a good place to display my work. I didn't want to drink coffee so the owner offered me goya tea. I knew what goya was - bitter gourd used in stir fries, and fresh in salads. Goya is the Okinawan name (southern Japanese island).
But as a tea? I knew it was quite bitter for those who are not used to it but now I really like it and don't think it is bitter. However, goya tea is goya dried and then roasted and then infused in hot water for a tea that is not bitter at all. If you have ever tried mugicha (barley tea) then it is similar.
Now in Southern China, I decided to give goya tea a try since goya is very abundant here. I sliced up a few and dried them then roasted them. You have to be very careful when roasting them because the dried goya is very combustible as I have experienced! The first batch burst into flames in the fry pan
I also found it interesting that goya tea is marketed as "Goya Tea" and sold in the local supermarket here!