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Sampler Sipdown September! This was a sampler I got ages ago (like, a year ago now?) from California Tea & Herbal as an order freebie (I’ll admit, I ordered from them only because I wanted 2 oz. of Rishi’s West Cape Chai, and Rishi only sells it themselves in a ridiculous 1 lb. size… like I have the space for that in my tiny apartment! CalTeas happened to source that tea from Rishi in the size I wanted, soooooo…)

California Tea & Herbal lists this tea as “Citrus Mint Rooibos,” and it took me a long time to Nancy Drew out the source of the blend, which as it turns out is wholesale company East Indies Coffee & Tea’s “Lemon Souffle”.

Steeped this sampler up in my small Japanese teapot, which holds 16 oz. (I am really enjoying making a small herbal pot of tea before bed in this teapot!) The steeped tea has a creamy aroma reminescent of vanilla, which I really was not expecting from the “Citrus Mint” name on the sampler package. The tea has a very sweet base, with some caramel/toffee notes, and I’m really impressed with the particular blend of red rooibos, green rooibos, and honeybush that has achieved this flavor; it doesn’t come off as woody or medicinal at all. The main flavor note I’m getting in the tea is lemon, and it’s a creamy sort of lemon zest flavor, like would be in a dessert; the exact opposite of the strong, overbearing, furniture polish sort of lemon flavor I was getting from the last cup of tea I tried. This is sweet, succulent, tasty lemon. Toward the end of the sip is a note of mint, and again, it isn’t a strong or overbearing minty taste, as mint can be, but a bit more subtle, leaving a slight cool and refreshing sensation on the tongue. It comes off a bit more like sweet sarsaparilla than menthol. I don’t know what I was expecting with this, but I certainly wasn’t expecting something that is so desserty! This tastes like sweet melted toffee with subtle citrus and mint that compliments it perfectly, and makes me wish I had a plate of buttery scones topped with lemon curd. Why don’t I have any scones with lemon curd?!

This is really good. I would not balk at getting more of this, though admittedly probably would not place a special order for it; likely I’ll pick it up next time I need to restock my West Cape Chai again.

Flavors: Caramel, Lemon Zest, Mint, Sarsaparilla, Sweet, Toffee, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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