Lemon Lily’s Caramel Apple & Honey

Caramel Apple & Honey by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$10.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s Caramel Apple & Honey came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s October themed subscription box.

First Impressions

When I first saw the name Caramel Apple & Honey, I was intrigued. I love the idea of the classic carnival treat, but I never liked eating them because there’s always way more apple than caramel – the ratio is just off! Give me more caramel, I say! Caramel Apple & Honey comes in a familiar white, matte resealable foil bag with the label on the front that tells me everything that I need to know about the tea. The tea itself is covered in palm sugar, it’s super visible and pretty much everywhere (especially coating the apple pieces). The aroma of the tea is primarily that of the black tea base and the bee pollen, which gives it a honey fragrance. I feel like the bee pollen is stronger than the apple, so I can’t really smell the apple pieces.

Caramel Apple & Honey consists of organic: black tea, apples, palm sugar, and bee pollen. All of the ingredients are fairly visible, the bee pollen is a different colour than I’m used to. I buy locally harvested bee pollen to take during allergy season for my seasonal allergies – if you buy bee pollen that is local to you, you’ll find it comes in different colours as well because it’s dependent on the type of pollen in your area.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping Caramel Apple & Honey in 200°F (93°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. My initial steep was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Caramel Apple & Honey steeps to a slightly cloudy brown colour. I believe part of the cloudiness is due to the addition of bee pollen, I’m pretty familiar with the other ingredients and most of them don’t make tea cloudy. The aroma of Caramel Apple & Honey is primarily that of the bee pollen, honeyed sweetness. I don’t really smell the apple, which is not too surprising considering I couldn’t smell it in the dry leaf either. The flavour of Caramel Apple & Honey does have more honey/bee pollen flavour in comparison to the apple, but I do get a hint of the fruity apple goodness in my cup. I do wish that the apple was stronger though, to better remind me of a caramel apple.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Caramel Apple & Honey and found that it didn’t resteep well, I couldn’t really taste the bee pollen/honey flavour. I would say that Caramel Apple & Honey is good for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Lemon Lily’s Caramel Apple & Honey was just okay. I found it almost ironic that the tea is the polar opposite of an actual caramel apple – one has more apple than caramel! That said, I really like the idea of drinking teas with bee pollen in it, and as we get closer to allergy season, I’m going to have to put this idea into the back of my mind. I want to get a bit more creative with my bee pollen intake since I don’t really enjoy the dry, powdery texture of it when it’s not mixed in with something (I sprinkled it into my yoghurt last year!) and dissolving it into my tea sounds perfectly doable! The one thing that I think would improve Caramel Apple & Honey would be more apple pieces to boost up the apple flavour – just a little somethin’ somethin’ to make it live up to its name and expectations.

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Lemon Lily’s Candy Cane Chai

Candy Cane Chai by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s Candy Cane Chai came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s December themed subscription box.

First Impressions

It’s never too late for a little peppermint and cheer in your cup, right? I received Candy Cane Chai as part of my December box from The Sugared Teacup and I’ll be zooming through those teas before they get out of season. Candy Cane Chai comes in a familiar white, matte foil bag that is resealable (which is awesome!). The aroma of the tea itself is heavily ginger and cinnamon, I can’t really make out the peppermint from the candy cane at all, which is a shame. The candy cane pieces that I do see are speckled and mostly covered with the other ingredients.

As per the label on the bag I received, Candy Cane Chai consists of: black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, candy cane and natural flavours. According to the product page on Lemon Lily’s website, Candy Cane Chai consists of: black tea, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, candy cane, and vanilla bean. I also see the shells of cardamom pods in my tea, so I’m questioning how accurate the ingredients lists are. I didn’t really smell any peppermint in my blend, so I’m not sure when the blend was changed.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping Candy Cane Chai in 212°F (100°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I did a 5 minute steep.

First Taste

Candy Cane Chai steeps to a cloudy brown, which is due to the candy cane pieces. The tea itself has a strong cinnamon and ginger aroma to it, and I can smell the peppermint from the candy cane pieces. There’s a nice sweetness to it, but I do wish that the candy cane came through more since it does have some heavy chai spice flavours to it.

I did add some cream to my cup and found that it was tastier with it, and I also happen to have some leftover candy canes to stir into my tea… This also helps boost the peppermint flavour a lot! Highly recommend doing this to make it live up to its name.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Candy Cane Chai and found that it didn’t hold up to being resteeped. The peppermint aroma was gone and the spices weren’t as strong as the initial steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Lemon Lily’s Candy Cane Chai was just okay. I’m a little torn between giving this one or two cups, because there’s some confusion for me with the ingredients listed on the packaging versus on the website. Did I get old stock? When did the blend change? I found the chai spice level to be pretty good and tasty, I just wish that the peppermint/candy cane flavour stood out more, was stronger, and had a presence in the steeped tea. I would definitely recommend adding in some milk or cream, and then using a candy cane as a stir stick to make it more like a tea latte – I think the addition of a candy cane and cream would really help it to live up to its name. Overall, I think the blend works well as a chai blend, but it doesn’t live up to my expectations on the holiday flavours.

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Lemon Lily’s Cherry Vanilla

Cherry Vanilla by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s Cherry Vanilla came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s August themed subscription box.

First Impressions

Cherry Vanilla came to me in a matte white resealable foil bag. What I enjoy about Lemon Lily is that they do take care in selecting their ingredients for their tea blends. For example, this black tea blend contains all certified organic ingredients: black tea, cherries, vanilla bean, safflower, and natural flavour.

The dry leaf mostly smells like vanilla to me with a hint of cherry. Vanilla in teas always remind me of baking or making me want to bake, so it’s probably good that I’m having this tea as the weather starts to turn cooler since I can stand having the oven on now.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping Cherry Vanilla in 93°C (200°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. My initial steep was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Cherry Vanilla steeps to a golden orange. There are hints of cherry and vanilla in the aroma of the tea. On first sip, I do note that there’s a nice sweetness to the tea, it’s very pleasant on the tongue. I find that the cherry flavour is a bit lost, I think that the vanilla is a bit stronger and so is the black tea base. At a five minute steep, there’s just a subtle hint of astringency behind the base of the tea that may be overpowering the delicate fruit flavours.

With the natural sweetness, I think this tea may fair better being had iced or even cold steeped, which may help preserve some of the more delicate cherry flavour.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Cherry Vanilla once and found that the flavour of the vanilla was mostly gone, and couldn’t find the fruity flavours. The black tea base is, however, very nice on its own and does well in being resteeped.

My Overall Impression

I liked Lemon Lily’s Cherry Vanilla. I think that the black tea base is a bit too strong for some of the more lighter flavours of the vanilla and the cherry, although I really do think the flavour concept is great. I would recommend having this tea iced or cold steeped, to help temper some of that astringency from the black tea and to also help the vanilla and cherry notes shine through a bit more.

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