Luscious Lemon. With a name like that, how can I not be at the end of my perfect lemon search? And let’s look at the ingredients, shall we? Is there anything in there that doesn’t have the word “lemon” in front of it? There’s even a cute story on the bag it came in.
In the bag it does smell incredibly lemony, and steeped, it still maintains its lemonyness in the aroma. But alas, the taste. It’s lemony, but it seems… not really weak, but light. And I can’t decide if it is sweet or whether it needs sweetening. There’s a hint of sweetness to the aftertaste, but there’s also a bit of tart vegetalness and a slight bitterness in the finish. I do like a little sweetness in my lemon flavor, not that it has to taste like candy.
This is the second night I’ve tried this. Last night it was really disappointing; it tasted washed out. Tonight, I made it in a smaller cup and I must have gotten the tisane/water ratio better because it has more flavor and tonight it’s actually somewhat sweeter. I think it tastes better a little cooler, too.
As an experiment, I made another cup to which I added some Upton Peppermint. I thought that might tame the tartness and approximate what I like about I Love Lemon a bit more since that also contains peppermint. It really does help with the tartness and adds some depth to the flavor as well, except that I don’t love the Upton Peppermint. It has an earthy, dirty taste to me. And I think I put too much in, too. So there is a downside as well as an upside. Note to self: try with another peppermint. I have a sample from Adagio, and I opened it up to take a whiff. It doesn’t have that same earthy smell the Upton does, so that may work better.
Last variation: Luscious Lemon plus the last of the Upton Peppermint (decupboarding after I finish this note) plus my all purpose sweetener, two bags of Tazo Honeybush. Not good. The peppermint must have been a bit dusty at the bottom of the can and I have this strange coating on my tongue now. Mostly, I seem to have overpowered the lemon almost entirely. I’m going to try this one more time before I give up on it, with the Adagio peppermint and less of it.
Not perfect, and not as close as the Harney & Sons Lemon Herbal or the Teavana Strawberry Lemonade. But it does show promise, if I can get the steeping and peppermint right.