263 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.]
French Lupicia have renamed a lot of the teas on their website – Momo, for example, isn’t Momo, but Pêche blanche, which is well and all, but it’s confusing even for second-language-French, third-language-English me, so I’m going to add the French names to the tea description – I hope this is okay with everyone. Thankfully, all national Lupicia branches use the same number system, so this is still trusty old 5404 all over the world.
So I guess there are three main questions here:
Black fruit tea, Anna? Also, a decaf tea, Anna? And, above all, MORE TEA, Anna?
Yes, yes, and yes.
- I’m not a black fruit tea fan at all, as you know – except that berry one that Ang shared in a swap and that still haunts me sometimes – but peach is one of this year’s projects, after all, along with pushing boundaries. Lupicia’s Momo Oolong is still one of my all-time favourites, and I’ve been eager to compare how the perfect pitch of that peach flavouring translates to a full-on black base. In addition, I don’t have a lot of experience with Lupicia’s black teas, yet my favourite blend ever is one of Lupicia’s flavoured blacks.
- Decaf, because, as you’ve been able to tell, I’m not really getting around to drinking a lot of tea right now. I’m very deep into my work and I can’t really drink tea when I’m off all over Rome visiting libraries and archives and museums – and so when I come home, if I finally do get a chance to steep something, I have to stick to rooibos, which doesn’t feel overly exciting if I only get to have one single cup in a day.
- More tea, because I’ve been really, really curious about French Lupicia and how they handle their stuff. I mean, Frenchies, I love you, but tread lightly, this is Lupicia we’re talking about. They’ve been an absolute dream, though – great service, fair tea selection which seems to be expanding at a solid pace, surprisingly modest shipping and quite adequate delivery speeds.
The tea (wow, that sure took a while to get to) smells insane in the bag, as always – more like peach candy than natural peach, but still without coming off artificial. It’s that typical Lupicia mind game that I can’t explain, but it presents all pure and perfect. The same goes for the brewed tea – light, clean and fresh both in the nose and the cup. It hits just the right peach note, because not only do I get the juicy fruitiness, but also the complex tart bite of the skin, which is baffling.
This is definitely light for a black tea, but that’s what I expected and what makes this so accessible to me. I do prefer my greens, whites and oolongs, and I love knowing there are black teas I can keep around that don’t feel like a full meal to take on.
Now I just need to figure out which Lupicia store I want to live close to, and plan my life accordingly. Priorities.
[From my Lupicia order to Rome, April 2014.]
I’m so unteaful right now it’s silly. I had a pot of this the other day; it was really nice and made me want more tea, but then I… didn’t have more tea. I don’t know if it’s because I relate tea drinking so much to writing tasting notes now. At the moment all the poetry’s been wrung out of me; I most resemble a limp, smelly dishtowel.
This really is lovely as a spring tea, though – the light green shade of it, the delicacy, the subtle florals. So much less flamboyant than some of the Mariage Frères greens, yet without lacking in personality.
Tomorrow. I’ll try to drink some more tea tomorrow.
Okay, so I had a pot of this today, and it’s a little too perfumey and handcreamy for a whole pot, at least that early in the morning.
I’m mostly posting this to screenshot what happens – there’s a bug that shows the most popular note for the tea rather than the new note upon posting. Let’s go bugfix!
I started my day with a pot of this and more strawberries. And banan(n)a. Today was a two-fruit day. Also, Facebook tells me, the day The Breakfast Club met for detention 30 years ago! I don’t know if I’m more excited about that, the multi-fruit situation, or this tea.
This one was actually tastier than I remembered and I enjoyed it very much. It came off more complex and well-balanced – fruity, sweet, and with that lovely base tea I love so much. I’m going to nudge it up five more points.
In other news, just work, work and more work. (And some missage. I miss you.)
Really? I am SERIOUSLY the only person to review this, still? This is such a gorgeous tea, and I wish more people would try it. It’s so well-balanced and delicately, sweetly floral, all the while carried by that nice, light base tea Lupicia do so well.
I made myself a whole pot of this for breakfast, and then I stayed in bed for a while, reading and eating strawberries with the window open. I barely ever stay in bed, and I pretty much never eat there, so it was definitely the lushness of this tea that made me all debauched.
Aside from that, today has been completely draining and I’m glad I bounce back so quickly. Now I need to just roll up like a good little hedgehog and tomorrow I’ll be spiny and new again.
Okay, so it’s this one again. I’m getting ready for dinner while performing various menial tasks around the apartment and I needed something non-caf. My plan is to hit the rooibos stash pretty hard in the near future, both to achieve some downsippage, and to keep my caffeine intake low.
I don’t quite see myself drinking all of this down, but I will give it a fair shot. I made a pot of it, and in the bag there remains enough for, well… so many more pots.
I absolutely don’t get the incense note anymore, but I honestly think that’s just because this is getting old.
So, anyone for some aging, fairly unappetizing rooibos? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
M left today, many sads. She seemed to be in good spirits, though, but maybe it was just pre-panic, seeing as she is terrified of flying.
I’m really not.
But she’s cute when she freaks out.
Anyway, we split a pot of this and it was nice. Then she tricked me into carrying her suitcase. Classic M.
I need some caffeination before heading out – I often forget about this tea, but thanks to KittyLovesTea who recently reviewed a swap box sample of it, I was reminded.
It’s light and floral and delicate, but without the weakness of flavour I loathe so much in Dammann Frères’ teas. Ofelia, along with many of Lupicia’s blacks really prove that ‘delicate’ doesn’t necessarily have to imply ‘weak’.
In other news, I see some gelato and a lecture at the British School in my near future.