Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
|"Perky rather than puckery, the tea is full of lemon without the tang but with enough flowery raspberry flourish for a sassy sip."|
There may be marriages made in heaven but so too are there matches made in Tropicana land as it seems every blushing berry bride has been paired with a gallivanting citrus groom. Strawberry and lime, cranberry and orange and lemon and raspberry (Although there may be a case for polygamy with lemon and blueberry and in the usual rounds, grapefruit would likely go stag). Just as eye catching, as appealing combos, they seem natural matches to have at the tea altar in the wedding months of summer to refresh and engage. The Necessiteas Lemon Raspberry is such a contender for a tart sweet sip. Not only from a company that flaunts its flavouring wiles so adeptly, a green tea is a fun backdrop for the pair rather than a more traditional black.
So with the wedding march bopping through my head, a first glimpse at the tea reveals less of the duo than I anticipated. Amidst the herb sized dark army green leaf pieces of the green tea, are beige and tan lemongrass pieces and fewer golden orange lemon rind cubes to add some visual interest but it doesn’t really scream lemon raspberry, nor could I find any whole raspberries as mentioned in the tea’s description on The Necessiteas website. There’s no worries there though once the scent of the leaves hits one’s nostrils. The bouquet does a surprisingly good job of conveying lemon’s tang in a completely non-Pledge way that is quite unique in its closeness to concentrated lemon juice. The full scent reminds me of RealLemon with a more intense zeal than the herbal lemon of lemongrass or lemon balm, often found in teas, or as rounded, like lemon drops. Yet, the tea’s aroma is quite floral, in a talcum powder kind of way which may be accentuated by straw notes from the green tea base although it is otherwise pretty quiet, without any discernible green or grassy notes. The floral adds a bit of raspberriness to the aroma in an abstract way as it seems to combine gardenia like powdery scents that along with the lemon seem a bit like Febreeze. Although I miss raspberry jamminess or fruitiness, it is lemony and then some. Plus, the bouquet certainly has personality that is none too shy, which can often be a disappointment in flavoured blends.
So off to the I do of the brew, I steeped the tea as kindly included on the package of the tea. With one rounded teaspoon of the tea and less than boiling water, which was 175°F, for three minutes. Emerging from the steep, the cup is full of sunshine with a dark lemony ochre hue rather befitting cooked lemon juice. Quite aromatic, the scent also shines as lemon bursts from a pretty backdrop. Sweetening, the lemon aroma becomes more enticing as it opens with a chiffon like veil that isn’t as dry or severe as the dry leaves and seems more like lemon balm with the light grassy notes of the green tea. The prettiness draws from the raspberry floral that builds on the bouquet but still doesn’t scream raspberry or fruitiness.
However, the flavour is quite a surprise while also seeming to find a better marriage between the lemon and raspberry than the bouquet. With an awakening boost of flavour, the surprise is the abundance of lemon in the sip without the sour. The completeness of the flavour is delightful, having a straw like medium body full of a natural lemon, yet the lack of tang is a bit strange. Though natural tasting, the lemon is also slightly mineral in a silica or powdered crystals kind of way, combining a sweetness of lemon balm with a lemon concentrate quality, rather than a lemon zest kind of lemon. Yet there’s more than just lemon in the sip, as the raspberry falls in behind.
While the raspberry flavour is a bit more berry-like than in the aroma, it still seems more floral than fruity, but doesn’t seem overly fabricated. Yet the raspberry resounds more in the aftertaste than the body, as the sip ends in a medium finish surrounded with a lovely raspberry rigor on one’s tongue and sweetening one’s breath.
After such a lively first cup, a second steeping of the leaves is irresistible. And it doesn’t disappoint as the aroma remains vibrant. Similar to the first brew, the bouquet is sweet and lemony. The lemon is still a bit powdery, like dry lemonade, while it zings from the gardenia or white musk kind of floral of the raspberry scent. More comes through from the green tea though, as a chard like vegetal chimes into the bouquet. Wonderfully, the flavour also remains ample, as more of the lemongrass seems to define the lemon flavour. Along with more of the green tea piping up, there’s a reedy green lining to the citrusy wholesomeness, as the flowery raspberry rounds out the flavour and fancies a lighter aftertaste. The green tea also increases the dryness and astringency adding a slight tinniness that is on the verge of sharp. A third steeping also retains enough gusto in aroma and flavour to enjoy. Although there’s hardly an aftertaste, there’s still some sweetness to the scent with more of a lemon concentrate twang to the citrus and a touch of soapiness to the raspberry flavour.
The Necessiteas Lemon Raspberry does wed lemon and raspberry into a merry match. There’s plenty of love in the gregarious bouquet and full hearted flavour that could hold its own against the summer breezes. While the lemon seems to take the lead, both do join hands along the aisle of the modest green tea which is a pleasing proof of promise. Their harmony isn’t quite the juicy, fruitiness one might think of the pair but together, they certainly offer a radiant, peppy blend to make one happily ever after…at least until the last sip.
— To purchase The Necessiteas Lemon Raspberry, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.