70
drank Pineapple Oolong by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

Both pineapple and coconut are flavours that can be very difficult for me to appreciate (see how brave I’ve been this time around – melon, lychee, pineapple and coconut; I’m taking on all my taste nemeses) and in the bag, this is all piña colada, with an emphasis on the coconut. No bland, artificial coconut, though, but one that takes me straight back to a coconut farm I visited in Ben Tre.

Steeped, the scent mellows considerably, but there’s still an emphasis on the coconut – which is surprising, as I thought this would be far more about the pineapple. In the sip, though, the fruit comes through and balances the coconut very nicely. I can’t help thinking, though, how perfect this would be with a little almond or vanilla thrown in for added complexity.

As the tea cools, the flavours come out more and more, but the balance remains excellent – again, surprising, as I thought the pineapple would take over completely.

This one might just grow on me, too, which could get expensive in the long run – all I want to do now is google island vacation spots.

[From my Lupicia spree at Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara, October 2013.]

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

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.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

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.

2013

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.

Ever.

  • * *

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.

100-90
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.

89-80
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!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

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