75
drank Milk Caramel by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

This is interesting – I bought this with very low expectations, as it sounds so generic – I mean, caramel this or caramel that seems to be in everything – it’s hardly a novelty.

Then again, it’s Lupicia, so I absolutely had to try it.

In the bag, this is a boozefest – a very liqueurey caramel, which really does veer far closer to hazelnut. I think this would have been the potentially fatal flaw of this tea – the blend of sweet, thick dulce de leche caramel and the roasty houjicha adds up to something very close to hazelnut/walnut/whatevernut tea, as it is generally presented in much lesser (yes, I mean German) blends.

But even though the flavour is very familiar, Lupicia take it to another level entirely. This is what really does it for me with their teas – they never feel disgusting or wrong in any way. I have never had a green anynut-flavoured tea that didn’t make my throat slightly itchy as the liquid cooled, or that wasn’t thick and oily from the leaf. But this one? No – every sip is clean and smooth, all toasted nut caramel. Even cold, the dregs of this are beautiful. I’d latte the fuck out of this one if I could.

I don’t want any of the other nut teas anymore (coconut, you are exempt and may go back to your seat) because this is all I’m going to need. (And I haven’t felt like that about anything since, say, February 2012 or so.)

[From my Lupicia order to Rome, April 2014.]

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
VariaTEA

Anna, we are tea twins today!!!

CHAroma

Mmmm, reading your review reminded me how much I love this tea even though I haven’t tasted it in years. I need to pick some up!

Sil

want

Anna

VariaTEA – yes! And now I REALLY REALLY have to try Japon even more, haha.

CHAroma – have you had it with milk? Was it good?

Siller – add it to the swaplist, then. Type type! Swift pawfeets!

Sil

swap list! oh noes..my hairs, they were slacking…

VariaTEA

I am always happy to share some Japon :)

Anna

Sil – Siller Slackerhairs.

VariaTEA – Aww, that’s so sweet of you. Well, it certainly doesn’t seem like I’ll be getting it any other way (SIDE-EYE LAURENT) so let’s consider a swap, maybe? =)

VariaTEA

Haha I think we decided like a month ago to swap and nothing ever came of it :P. This time, we must be proactive

Anna

Oh, the SWAMP that is my inbox. I really must try to go through it some day, but all those nice messages! I love them! Nooooo.

Do you remember what we talked about swapping then?

CHAroma

The last time I tried this tea was back in 2010 before I found Steepster. I believe I drank it straight with no additions.

Anna

Oh, it’s definitely time to get some more and see if your palate changed! Always scary, but interesting.

VariaTEA

I have no idea. I just remember we decided in the comments of another tasting note and then nothing ever happened. Haha. C’est la vie.

Anna

Haha, yeah – but let’s make it happen. I’ll come find you after my deadlines.

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Comments

VariaTEA

Anna, we are tea twins today!!!

CHAroma

Mmmm, reading your review reminded me how much I love this tea even though I haven’t tasted it in years. I need to pick some up!

Sil

want

Anna

VariaTEA – yes! And now I REALLY REALLY have to try Japon even more, haha.

CHAroma – have you had it with milk? Was it good?

Siller – add it to the swaplist, then. Type type! Swift pawfeets!

Sil

swap list! oh noes..my hairs, they were slacking…

VariaTEA

I am always happy to share some Japon :)

Anna

Sil – Siller Slackerhairs.

VariaTEA – Aww, that’s so sweet of you. Well, it certainly doesn’t seem like I’ll be getting it any other way (SIDE-EYE LAURENT) so let’s consider a swap, maybe? =)

VariaTEA

Haha I think we decided like a month ago to swap and nothing ever came of it :P. This time, we must be proactive

Anna

Oh, the SWAMP that is my inbox. I really must try to go through it some day, but all those nice messages! I love them! Nooooo.

Do you remember what we talked about swapping then?

CHAroma

The last time I tried this tea was back in 2010 before I found Steepster. I believe I drank it straight with no additions.

Anna

Oh, it’s definitely time to get some more and see if your palate changed! Always scary, but interesting.

VariaTEA

I have no idea. I just remember we decided in the comments of another tasting note and then nothing ever happened. Haha. C’est la vie.

Anna

Haha, yeah – but let’s make it happen. I’ll come find you after my deadlines.

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Profile

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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