Sampler Sunday! This is the last of my California Tea House samplers, which I brewed in my large teapot (I am not regretting that investment!) The dry leaf has a strong lemon zest aroma, but is pungent enough that I’m wondering if this tea is going to have that floor cleaner/furniture polish sort of lemony taste to it, rather than juicy, citrusy lemon. I have been pretty impressed with the blends from this company so far, though, and there are quite a few chunks of vanilla bean in this sample, so I’m hoping for a sweet/creamy element.
The tea is light red-orange color, not as deep a red as a typical rooibos brew, and the aroma still smells a little more medicinal lemon to me rather than desserty… Tasting it, it really is an odd, pungent sort of lemon… and it isn’t really the sort of lemon flavor that appeals to me. Perhaps it’s the amount of lemongrass in the blend? Because the start of the sip is a sharp citrus note but then it quickly pulls me into something else that is more herbaceous, and I think that hay-like/herbaceous quality is pulling more of a medicinal taste out of the rooibos base, as well. The flavor is coming across with this mildly alcoholic/floor cleaner vibe, though not as badly as some artificially lemon-flavored teas I’ve tried. The lemon tastes more like a citrus zest to me… a lemon-lime citrus zest, rather than a juicy, tangy lemon. And for all the vanilla bean I saw in my sample, while the tea does have a sweetness to it, I’m not getting a vanilla note or a creamy element. It doesn’t even seem to be coaxing out the honey/vanilla notes from the rooibos base.
The other California Tea House teas I sampled were major hits for me, but this one is a miss. I actually like Tazo’s grocery store bagged tea, Glazed Lemon Loaf, better than this.
Flavors: Citrus Zest, Herbaceous, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Medicinal, Sweet