drank Tsugaru Green by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

This is the first apple tea I tried (that wasn’t of the super-sweetened Turkish variety) that I really enjoyed. To my nose, there is nothing artificial about the scent of the leaves – this is exactly what it smells like when you’re in your autumn kitchen, peeling harvested apples for jams and chutneys. Long, fragrant ribbons of tart apple peel spiraling to the floor. Dipping my nose into a sample of Tsugaru green, I can almost feel the stickiness on my fingertips.

I’ve said it before, but this is what Lupicia tend to do so well – steer clear of even the slightest note of artificiality.

The flavour is a perfect, mild apple. There is some tartness, but not the kind of tartness all too often found in certain berry teas – the kind that hits your tongue just before you sip the tea down, at the very moment you thought you were safe. No, this is a tonge-tip tartness, dissolving into sweet fruit. I like to let this tea cool a bit to get more flavour out of it. I have yet to try it iced.

Good re-steep.

[Purchased at Lupicia in Honolulu, December 2012.]

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Ahh—that makes me long for fall.


It IS the best season.

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Ahh—that makes me long for fall.


It IS the best season.

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I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.


  • * *


This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.


Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.


  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.


Rome, Italy

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