So what do you do when you have a self-imposed ban on buying more teas? Outsmart yourself, of course. Maybe one of your friends has a small debt to repay. Perhaps said friend is going on a trip. Maybe, just maybe, you refuse cash, but suggest your friend repay you in tea instead?
This is all hypothetical, of course, but there’s no denying the eight new teas that have mysteriously turned up in my cupboard, seven of them from Mariage Frères. I drank Marco Polo (black) first, but I need some more time to ponder that, so this will be my first note from this batch.
The best way for me to describe this is as a more refined, subtle Bravissimo! (Lupicia), which is high praise indeed, seeing as that’s my favourite green tea at the moment. On the other hand, I find Bravissimo’s lack of sophistication very endearing – in fact, I’d say that very exuberance is one of the greatest qualities of Lupicia’s tea.
But this is still so, so good. The balance of the various floral notes is very well achieved, and right at the end there’s that little triumphant, unexpected flavour (‘Surprise!’) that makes for a lovely aftertaste.
[Surreptitiously acquired from Mariage Frères in London, August 2013.]