The Lemon Chai Complex
Not seen in your typical blends, chai spice flavors are brightened with lemon zesty citrus elements for an eclectic blend of warm and refreshing flavors. The path is varied with this most versatile medley. Cold waters produce a refreshingly clean and juicy experience with a hint of elevated spice. Warm to hot water accentuates the chai licorice and sharpens the citrus floral elements. Flavors are clashing, but that’s what makes this quirky blend fun and quite elegant at once. Sip slowly and allow the relationship to unfurl.
A deconstruction of the Yacuy Relax Erva Mate Blend, we have here a pure leaf and stem version that’s smoke free. Yacuy has made significant investments in their smoke free oven which draws away the smoke from the secondary drying process, making for a clean and green leaf, both in taste and appearance.
Yacuy now has three smoke free pure leaf offerings: Acai Guarana, Pure Leaf and Lemon Chai. These yerbas allow Yacuy to speak to a more health-conscious Matero, seeking yerba with less smoke contact and supplemental herbs that provide additional health benefits and properties.
The three primary differences between Yacuy Relax Erva and Lemon Chai are the following: Lemon Chai is a leafy cut, not pure powder; there is no carqueja in this blend; and this version has significantly less smoke contact for a cleaner profile.
In short, you don’t need a cuia and special bomba to enjoy this blend, as the leafty cut allows easy use from any bombilla and gourd, as well as more traditional methods such as french press, tea infuser etc.
For some reason, Yacuy doesn’t give their yerbas names, instead opting to list the ingredients as the product’s name. I’ve taken the liberty to name many of their yerbas in order to best communicate the products to the widest audience possible.
This blend sparked many interesting flavor profiles. There is a chai element with both star anise and anise seed adding a licorice spice undercurrent. The chamomile and lemon balm add woody citrus lemon notes that are crisp enough to cut through the malty erva, adding a beautiful floral bounce to the sharper chai spice.
Lively, playful and snappy clean energy from this beautiful blend. For some, the licorice flavors will be an acquired taste, as it wasn’t love at first sight with me when I was introduced to these flavor combinations in the erva version, but in time the licorice element grew on me, becoming one of my favorite Yacuy blend complexes.
It’s a rare event when a blend tastes as good hot as it does cold. This blend does just that. Cold to just above room temperature water brightens the florals and tampers the chai spice for a super-refreshing and delicate experience. Turn up the dial a tad to hotter temperatures and the chai elements come to the fore, for a warm and comforting drink with a lemony chai zest.