Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tea Review: Lost Pines Part 1

Yaupon (YO-pawn) Tea Revisited

Kaya'aton'my's Research

This is really cool! The yaupon tea Melody found at the Ocracoke Preservation Society can be traced back to Native American purifying ceremonies. Some would travel up to 200 miles to gather the leaves they needed. 
Check it out. Archeologists found traces of caffeine on pottery in the southwest. This type of holly tree is the only caffeine producing plant native to North America.  Looks like it is popular in the southern states but can also be found along the eastern and western seaboards as well as the in the Gulf states. 
Pyewacket, this is really cool stuff! I can't wait to try the Lost Pines Yaupon tea now.

Lost Pines Light Roast Yaupon Tea

Kaya, Melody, both

Melody, would you give me a hand today?
Sure. What are we doing?
Reviewing Lost Pines yaupon tea.
Neat. Looks like we have a choice to make.
Yeah. Should we try light roast or dark?
I'm thinking light first. What do you think?
Sounds good. Hey, this look interesting.
Yeah? Let me take a  peek. 
Hmmm, the crushed leaf pieces are bigger than regular black and green tea leaves.
One of the many ways to brew this tea is in a coffee maker. It's good we have one that never sees real coffee.
Absolutely! The leftover coffee tannins would spoil the water and the tea.
Yeah. Okay, we have water and a filter in the basket.
I'll add 2 scant tablespoons* of leaves. Now we wait.
The website says you can also brew or steep this tea using a tea ball or infuser, French press, in a sauce pot, reusable Keurig, percolator, with the sun, or just cold in the fridge.
That's cool.
(tea maker finishes dripping)
It looks really good. A lot darker than I had expected. Smells nice too. Kind of sweet and a little grassy, but not too much. And something else...
(takes a sip) Oh, nice. I really like it plain. Warm, outdoorsy.
Outdoorsy? (sips) I see what you mean. It kind of tastes like a forest. Reminds me of a campfire without the smokiness.
How shall we try it next?
Let's see...the package suggests with lemon or cinnamon or "your favorite sweetener" or a splash of milk.
Cool. I've prepared three cups. One has lemon. Another has sugar in the raw and milk. The other is honey and cinnamon.

I'm not fond of unsweetened with lemon.
No, the lemon is a little overpowering. I bet it would be good in iced tea.

Honey and Cinnamon
Very nice.

Sugar and Milk
This is good. Creamy. Interesting color.
Yeah, it is. I like this a lot.

I have an idea! Let's mix the cinnamon one with the milk one.
Great idea!
Wow! This is really good. As soothing as hot chocolate.
This combination is the winner in my book.
I think I like it plain best.
Tea purists will say yaupon is not really tea since it is not from the regular tea plant.
But it brews, smells, looks, and tastes like a very nice tea blend.
We like it!

* Our scant tablespoons were about 3/4 for one and 1/2 for the other which translates roughly to 4 teaspoons. 1 teaspoon per cup, which is a bit heavy for this tea. We were told 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per cup and wanted to see how it would turn out strong.

Xyra's Notes

  • Tea Time with Melody Q received samples of Lost Pines light and dark roast yaupon tea in exchange for an honest review. The above review is comprised of our own words and opinions. Seriously, if we didn't like it we'd say so.
  • Using the coffee maker was awesome! I have a small 4 cup one that I use only for tea or tea water. With it I was able to get three good steepings from what Kaya and Melody prepared. The fourth was pretty weak, but still drinkable.
  • Whatever was left after filling my travel mug with hot was put aside to drink later as plain iced tea. Good, might try next with a bit of lemon.
  • Our brews were a lot more green than the photos on Lost Pines website. A neat dark green that looked dark brown.
  • My favorite way to prepare this was with sugar in the raw or honey, milk, and a dash of cinnamon. Fabulous flavor. Creamy and bold. The cinnamon mutes the grassy undertones. I suggest adding the cinnamon to the leaves before steeping so you don't get cinnamon sludge at the bottom of your cup.
  • Amusing note about adding milk...as I noted, our brewing resulted in a green brown drink. With the milk (2% milk) it changed to an interesting light teal shade (photo below) that reminded me of the leek soup Bridget makes in Bridget Jones' Diary. Made me laugh. The tea is much better tasting than her soup (judging by her friends' faces).
  • The flavor of this blend was different than the yaupon tea found on Ocracoke Island. However, that can be attributed to differences in soil, water, weather, and other environmental conditions. Like the difference in tomatoes grown in a hothouse vs. your home garden.
(Don't let the color fool you, this tastes great!)

So glad you stopped. Best wishes,


Note: Tea Time with Melody Q is not affiliated with American Girl or Lost Pines Yaupon Tea. As stated above, we did receive samples of the tea in exchange for an honest review. The above tasting review is comprised of our own thoughts and opinions and words. Links are provided for educational and informative purposes. No purchase is required or suggested to enjoy the post. Should you be inspired to learn more or to try it for yourself, the links will help point you in the right direction.

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