623 Tasting Notes
Greenteafairy was kind enough to send me this one in our swap. I’m always on the lookout for more Lupicia samples! The tea itself is a mixture of medium green leaves with tiny pink flower buds and a few big pieces of sanding sugar? Odd. Dry, it smells like Peachy-Os to me with a touch of added vanilla.
Once steeped, I still smell peach gummies, but there’s a bit more tartness here now that helps round the aroma. I can smell a bit of vanilla as well. Wow, the vanilla is much stronger than I expected here! It actually almost outshines the peach for me, and it has that slight woody hint of bourbon vanilla. The peach is mild and mostly sweet with just a touch of tartness. I can taste it clearly in the beginning of the sip, but the vanilla takes over toward the end. The base tea is a mild, I can taste only a hint of grassiness.
Flavors: Custard, Grass, Oak wood, Peach, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla
This one came from boychik (along with many other generous samples). The leaves are quite large and dark, and they remind me of Taiwanese black leaves. I had one huge leaf that was about two inches long and a quarter of an inch in width! Dry scent is vaguely sweet and reminds me of golden raisins.
This tea has a very interesting aroma… There’s a definite spiciness that reminds me of coriander or caraway combined with lavender. This tea smells very savory to me. Hm… The flavor definitely has a touch of that spice/lavender taste to it, but thankfully it’s quite mild (I do not enjoy lavender). The main flavor for me is toasted nuts along with a mild clear sweetness reminiscent of honeysuckle nectar. I actually like this one much more than I expected, which is a shame considering the situation. Fairly tasty and unique!
Flavors: Coriander, Honeysuckle, Lavender, Roasted nuts, Sweet, Toasted
A sample from greenteafairy! I love trying French teas, so I tend to gravitate toward them when I’m poking around in people’s cupboards for swap ideas. My sample of this doesn’t have any red berries in it, and the leaves are smallish and a dark reddish brown. Dry scent is yummy sweet and tart strawberry mixed with cherry.
Steeped, it smells lovely. It’s both tart and sweet with a touch of candylike juiciness. The taste of this one actually kind of reminds me of Dammann’s 4, 5, 6, Cuellier des Cerises, which I suppose makes sense. It has that same deep, rich, somewhat tart fruit flavor, and there’s definitely a strong cherry presence. I do also get a touch of strawberry though, and it adds a little bit of brightness to the heavier cherry. There’s also a nice mellow malt flavor running through it from the base tea, and a bit of dark caramelized brown sugar richness. Overall, yums.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cherry, Malt, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart
This sample came from albertocanfly (I think). I’m not sure about the choice of a green tea base for this one, but I’m always up for trying anything almond or cookie-flavored. Dry, it’s a mixture of somewhat broken dark green leaves and pieces of what looks like almond? It smells quite sweet and reminds me of frosting!
Steeped, it still smells sort of vaguely sweet and dessert-ish, and it still makes me think of buttercream frosting. I can smell a bit of grassiness from the base tea. Honestly, it kind of tastes just like it smells. It’s sort of vaguely sweet and buttery with a vanilla note and perhaps a touch of almond. I don’t think it melds very well with the green base, which is definitely not high quality and mostly tastes grassy and like dried leaves. It also has a strange, almost waxy texture that I don’t love. Not for me!
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Frosting, Grass, Sweet, Vanilla
I’ve been a bit lazy with the tasting notes lately, mostly because I’ve been trying to sip down some samples that I’ve already logged. This sample came from Dexter! I’m excited to try it, as I’ve liked the other two Keemuns I’ve tried from TeaVivre (Mao Feng and Fragrant). The leaves are super tiny, but I see that a lot with this type of tea. They’re very dark in color.
Steeped, the tea smells very bready (yum) with raw oat and honey aromas. The flavor is also quite bready, which I love. I would call it a toasted slice of light-bodied whole wheat bread with just a touch of honey drizzled over. I can also taste that raw grain note that reminds me of uncooked oats. Yum!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Oats, Wheat
Cheri was kind enough to send me this one, along with three other Sayama teas. The expiration date on the packages says September 30th (which she warned me of ahead of time) but the tea still smelled very fresh when I opened the (sealed) packet. Visually, it’s a mix of almost lemongrass-ish light green flat stems and darker, smaller pieces. It smells lovely and sweet, with light marine and spinach notes.
Steeped up, the liquid is a medium green with a brownish hue. It smells amazingly buttery and rich with a lot of sweetness. Woo, it’s a bit more potent than I expected! So much for expired. :P The flavor is very buttery and rich with a lot of butternut squash and spinach-like notes. There’s a slight savoriness about this that is reminiscent of seaweed combined with a sweetness that manifests especially in the aftertaste.
Overall, tasty and more similar to sencha than I expected. Perhaps next time I will try a 45s steep!
Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal
Woo, I can’t wait to try this one! I got 5 sachets in my swap with Zack S. After trying the Plum and Lychee versions, I have an overwhelming urge to sample all of Lupicia’s barley teas, and since this one says it’s a limited flavor for summer, I wanted to make sure I got some before it goes away. Dry scent is lovely and very ripe sweet, juicy watermelon along with that toasted coffee-like aroma. I also put a sachet in the fridge to cold steep for later!
Steeped, it still has that nice, sweet watermelon aroma along with a strong roasty presence. I did add a touch of raw sugar to my cup. Yum, the watermelon flavor here does not disappoint. It tastes just like a very ripe watermelon with a touch more sweetness from my added sugar. I think this one may be the strongest flavored so far of the three I’ve tried, and the watermelon more dominates the barley than the other way around. Yum! Can’t wait to try the cold brew.
Flavors: Coffee, Melon, Roasted, Sweet
I got this as a free sample when I ordered some teaware from Teavana a few weeks ago. Mine says it has rock sugar included. I’m not sure whether this blend always does, but there was no entry for the rock sugar version so I’m putting it here. This is one of those blends that’s a mixture of giant chunky things. I think I see about five pieces of white tea in the entire thing, so I hesitate to call it “tea”. Dry scent is very strong and fruity, and would make a nice air freshener!
This actually isn’t terrible. It came out quite tart even with the rock sugar, mostly likely because one of the blends is tart orange and the other has hibiscus in it. I actually ended up adding a bit of raw sugar to my cup in addition to the included rock sugar, just because it was still unpleasantly tart. Once amply sweetened, it’s kind of like a tart fruit juice. I can see this one being nice iced.
Flavors: Cranberry, Hibiscus, Orange, Tart
It’s interesting how much my tastes seem to have changed. I used to find Yunnan teas to be sweet. Now I find that they taste more savory to me, but still with the same bread and sweet potato notes. Today this one is tasting like savory wheat bread and honeyed apricots, with a touch of smoked meats. Yum!
Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Honey, Smoked
This sample came from greenteafairy. I was pretty excited to try it after loving Lupicia’s Golden Honeydew (also a fruit-flavored green rooibos). There are a couple of teensy pieces of candied fruit mixed in with the rooibos, I assume it’s mango. Dry scent is sweet yet tangy fruit.
Once it’s steeped, this tea smells very tangy and mango-ish. I can also smell citrus, which adds even more tang. Yummy, this one is actually sweeter than I thought it would be given the aroma – I’m not getting a whole lot of tang. It’s very sweet and fruity with lots of mango/peach flavor. The citrus is there a teensy bit, and it seems like lime to me? It’s a bit odd to taste lime with no tartness whatsoever, but I like the dimension it adds. Overall, yum!
Flavors: Fruity, Lime, Mango, Sweet