For those who missed my last Sips by™ review, I was supposed to receive this last month, but didn’t. They were kind enough to throw it into this months’ box as recompense.
This one might take a little explanation. I know I had no clue what I was looking at when I first received this. If you don’t already know, yaupon is a type of tea made from the yaupon holly, or Ilex vomitoria. Yaupon has a long heritage, particularly in the southwest United States. It is reputed to have been used for centuries by the natives of the southwest in making what they called “black drink.”
Interestingly, the yaupon holly is the only plant native to North America that contains caffeine and, unfortunate name notwithstanding can be used to make a very mellow, quite drinkable tea. Tea drinkers may well know its close cousin, yerba mate, though yaupon-based teas don’t tend to have the bitterness common in yerba mate teas.
Such a subtle tea blended with lemon balm, lemongrass and lemon peel (that’s a LOT of lemon flavors!) seems like it would be overpowering, but I found it to be beautifully blended. I’m on the fence when it comes to lemon… anything. A great many lemon-flavored foods and drinks come across as overly tart in my opinion. Somehow, however, this tea pulls if off expertly; particularly impressive given the company that produces is, Asheville Tea Company, has only been around for two years and change.
I recently reviewed another tea (Viking Moxie by MoxTea) and concluded that it was an excellent alternative to a morning cup of coffee – providing a decent energy boost, without the unfortunate side effects that coffee presents. I haven’t decided if this tea trumps Viking Moxie yet, but I can say that it has a similar effect and a wonderful flavor that makes it more than worth keeping on hand. MAJOR props to a small tea shop in North Carolina!