Before I drank “real” tea, my hot beverages of choice were brewed from a few varieties of herbal unsweetened teabags from Yogi tea. Lemon Ginger was among my top three favorites. Translate that flavor combination to a loose leaf blend with a much higher price tag (theoretically correlating to freshness and quality), and it seems that my expectations grew with every minute of steep time.
And that was my lesson: watch those expectations. Whether positive (as in this example) or negative (such as dreading a family gathering), expectations get in the way of simply allowing something to be what it is.
Because really, this tea was fine. It was me that tried to shape it instead of appreciating it for what it is. No off flavors. Nothing overpowering. Lightly flavored: I first brewed 1 heaping tsp with 8oz of water, and then after seeing that Rishi recommended a full tbsp, brewed as directly. Seems like that would have made a big difference, but I didn’t notice much.
The ginger is apparent (though I wouldn’t consider it spicy by any means). There’s some lime; it’s neither tart nor fragrant. Its quietness surprises me, since West Indian Lime seems to be used predominantly as a fragrance, and since the ingredient list also contains lemongrass and lemon myrtle. But perhaps Rishi was going for a quiet, balanced blend. Another ingredient, licorice root, is also subtle in this cup — seemingly adding only the slightest sweetness and its flavor nearly undetectable even to this fan of tisanes containing licorice. I would not have known that the blend includes green rooibos, perhaps because I am new to rooibos. At the end I added a couple spoonfuls of simple syrup, and somewhat predictably I found that to increase my enjoyment.
Curious what my tastebuds would think of it now, the aforementioned Yogi Lemon Ginger became my next cup. Far more flavorful and entirely tasty — still quite a pleasant cup, despite a “best before” date of October 2014. It’s bright, spicy, and naturally sweet, since this blend also includes licorice root (and evidently a larger amount and/or more potent source). The peppermint leaf and black pepper, both near the bottom of the ingredient list, are barely there — I doubt I would have been able to place them without having read the label. There are plenty of teas that captivate me now, but I’ll hang on to these old teabags, especially for those times when I’m sniffling or away from home.