drank Lemon Youkou by Teavana
1192 tasting notes

Today the two lemon Teavana herbals recommended by denisend arrived. This is one.

They’re both pretty amazing looking. Huge hunks of fruit mixed in with other ingredients; very colorful, multitextured mixtures. I kept wanting to pull handfuls out of the bags and chow down on them. They really remind me of trail mix.

The variation in the size of the pieces makes me wonder whether different servings of this will taste differently since it’s very likely that no two steeps will be identical. One might be half taken up with a two inch dried orange slice, for example. The dry fruit smells tart and citrusy, though the first ingredient is listed as apple bits.

When brewed, it smells slightly sweeter, and is a clear, pale yellow. The dominant taste is citrus, and I’m definitely getting lemon which I find interesting since there’s nothing identified with the word lemon on the bag. The description on the page here must be from a previous blend. My bag says: apple bits, roseship peels, citrus peels, orange slices, apple slices, citric acid flavoring and marigold petals. I guess the citrus peels could be the lemon variety of citrus so maybe that’s where it comes from.

Unsweetened, the lemon flavor is on the tart side, but not bitter, and (yes!) not at all soapy. A significant improvement from my lemon myrtle experience. It’s a little too tart in my book to be my perfect lemon. I did try to sweeten it up a bit, but a small amount of sugar didn’t make much of an impression on it and I suspect the amount of sugar I’d have to use to bring it into the ballpark would make me not want to go there. However, there are times when tart is called for, and besides, the next cup could be completely different given the distribution of the ingredients. For now I’m liking the Strawberry Lemonade better (wombatgirl recommended that one, too), but I’ll save that discussion for another note.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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