Review: California Tea House Lemon Meringue Pie

California Tea House, Lemon Tea, Lemongrass Tea, Rooibos Tea, Vanilla Tea Add comments
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The deep, toasty reddish brown brew beckoned just like pie fresh from the oven with sweet scents of vanilla tobacco, toffee and cooked lemon rind as if the meringue was caramelized. "
Raven’s Teaview: 8.7/10
Other Teaviews: Laura gave it 9/10, Shaiha gave it 7.2/10, Dan gave it 9.8/10
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californialemonmeringueWhen life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade. But alas, there just may be dreamier things to fill your half full or half empty cup than lemonade. California Tea House’s tip to turn your luck is to trade up your lemons for a cup of Lemon Meringue pie. Here, the angelic delight of lemon meringue pie comes in the form of a mixture of rooibos, lemon preserves and lemongrass as described on the California Tea House's website.
Although the tea may not look like the ethereal pastry, it is gorgeous with pale yellow petals and lemongrass bits dancing amidst an array of perfectly uniform deep mahogany rooibos needles. Plus, it might just have one believing they are the eponymous pie from the fragrance which combines a tangy lemon lime rind scent with vanilla and the molasses character of rooibos. So this pie isn't exactly the traditional confection with its blond base for it definitely has a graham cracker crust. Apart from the petals and lemongrass pieces, I didn't see anything that might be the lemon preserves mentioned in the ingredients amongst the leaves although it was easily forgotten with the delicious lemon rind, marshmallow and bourbon vanilla cascading from the leaves.

Before one can get a piece, you need quite a bit of tea with one to tablespoons or about 5 grams of tea suggested by the California Tea House per cup. So each four ounce package should maximally yield about 20-25 pieces of this pie but less if two tablespoons of tea is used. They also recommend brewing 5-7 minutes with fully boiled water, so I popped this pie in the oven for 6 minutes to find a happy medium. The deep, toasty reddish brown brew beckoned just like pie fresh from the oven with sweet scents of vanilla tobacco, toffee and cooked lemon rind as if the meringue was caramelized. The unusual combination of richer aromas with the sharp lemon notes proved both interesting and enticing to carve out a piece. The first bite delivers on the tempting smell presenting molasses, tobacco and prune of the rooibos to accompany the vanilla and lemongrass flavours. Much of the vanilla in the taste comes from the aroma while it touches the breath with it's lush scent after each sip. The light to medium body of the tea offered a full array of flavour that opens with a cooked lemon, rather than a lighter candied lemon or lemonade taste, that touches the tongue in a short to medium finish. However, I found I preferred a five minute steeping over the six minutes or longer infusion where the lemon flavour reminded me a bit too much of NeoCitran.

There are easily three pieces to this pie as the deep colour subsides into a lighter orange and the bright lemon remains while the toffee, tobacco character is muted. Although the scent is mild in later brews, it is still lively and inviting. This pie would also taste just as good after a night in the fridge as the flavours are vibrant enough to hold up as it cools.

So when you are looking for a pick me up or perhaps a change in your luck, this interesting combination and its sweet cozy flavours could have anyone forgetting their worries for a big piece of lemon meringue pie. It might not be like what mom made but it would be ready in minutes, definitely dreamy and almost as tasty.

— To purchase California Tea House Lemon Meringue Pie, 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.

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