Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Yaupon tea...

Yaupon tea...  My yaupon tea arrived yesterday, and I had a nice big cup of it this morning.  When I took the dry tea out of the bag to put it in my cup, the aroma instantly brought back memories of my childhood, working with cut American holly (Ilex opaca).  That's a different species than yaupon, but a relative – and the smell of it confirms it.  Holly leaves have a pleasant and distinctive odor, like many other trees do.  They don't smell much like black tea, though, so it felt a bit odd to be steeping them in hot water.

The tea, when finished, is distinctly green – it looks much like Japanese green tea in the cup.  I made it my usual way, in a 16 ounce cup with a level teaspoon of sugar and a few tablespoons of milk.  The sugar, it turns out, is much more than needed to offset any bitterness.  Tomorrow I think I'll try it sans sugar; it may not need any at all to suit my tastes.  The flavor is light and quite nice – surprisingly it didn't taste at all like holly leaves smell.  Within a few minutes of finishing the cup it was evident that the caffeine was there in sufficient quantity to get me going, though perhaps not as much as my usual Darjeeling.

Overall, I liked the yaupon tea.  I only bought two ounces of it, and I will definitely finish that off.  When I'm done with that little bit, I'll decide whether to get some more.  At the moment I like it well enough to say that I likely will do so...

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