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258 Tasting Notes

80
drank Paradise Green by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

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.)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
caile

I like two-fruit days! :)

Christina

Quick question for you about Lupicia: Is their tea loose-leaf, or bagged? I have a friend who lives in CA express doubt about their tea because he saw it came in bags – this surprised because the high ratings they receive from you and others made me think they sold loose-leaf.

__Morgana__

Christina, they sell both loose leaf and bagged.

Anna

Yeah, they have lots of options. The bagged stuff isn’t bad, but the loose leaf is definitely where the party is.

Anna

And I have to express how insanely happy I am that more and more people on my dash are trying and getting into Lupicia. You’re awesome.

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95
drank Bravissimo! by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
VariaTEA

You basically described my life – drinking tea and spending my days in bed :P

TeaBrat

I was just thinking I might head to the Lupicia store in SF :)

Sil

Anna… i mean if you REALLY want someone else to review this…my mailbox is open to having it hahaha

TheTeaFairy

I think reading, drinking tea, and eating strawberries in bed is the epitome of happiness :-)

Kat_Maria

What was it that you were reading, Anna?

Jennkay

I’m adding this to the list of teas to try at Lupicia whenever I go back to California!

cteresa

yay for spring and open windows, and tea and strawberries…

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40

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?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Oh, me me! I need to do the same, although I’m lucky in that all my rooibos is no more than a few months old. Does that stuff ever get nasty when you let it sit.

Anna

Yeah, Fjellrev, LET’S DO THIS.

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70
drank Jasmin Chung Hao by Forgeron & Blanc
258 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Ofelia by Sing Tehus
258 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
cteresa

Check yumchaa as well – my stash is not very fresh which really makes a difference with their teas ( natural flavours and all) but I would be glad to send you some. Same address as for the box ?

( my packing tape collection has more stars crying for the stage)

Anna

Haha, oh, I do love tea, but I seriously CANNOT resist the promise of another peek at your packing tape stash! Thank you, that’s terribly sweet of you – and yes, it’s the Rome address. I feel very spoiled.

cteresa

give me a while (and be kind to the teas, it´s old stash), but early next week! I will let you know for sure when I sent it.

packing tape selection now starting..

Anna

Tapetapetapetapetapetapetape.

cteresa

I got to hold an audition for that!

(though sadly, now I think of it, if I use a pre-paid no-weight envelope I would not be able to use tape. Ok, that is it, you are getting a recycled envelope need-to-go-to-post-office envelope instead!)

Anna

Awww. You’re the BEST. After Kitty’s ponies and your fancy tape, I can’t wait to get home, open my many boxes of craft stuff and step up my tea shipping game. Just wait.

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85
drank Tsugaru Green by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

This is all quite sad, but that was the very last of it. I dropped the remains into a pitcher and cold-steeped over night. It’ll last me to the end of the day, but this is definitely a tea I will miss very much until I restock.

This remains my favourite crisp, green apple tea and I will nudge it up five points for being consistently awesome since Christmas 2012.

Lupicia, I love you.

[Purchased at Lupicia in Honolulu, December 2012.]
[Polished off in Rome, March 2014.]

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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80

I will always have a special fondness for the Swedish (=German) champagne blends, even though I know how chemical they come off to other brave Steepsterers I have exposed to them.

This is one of the few rooibos teas I will want to restock when I’m back in Sweden, and as you can tell, I’m still being a very good tea drinker, sticking to no-caf before bed.

After a trip such as the one I just returned from, I crave healthy foods so much it’s not even funny. There isn’t much in the ‘healthy, fun, pre-packaged snacks in aesthetically pleasing containers’ category here in Rome, so I made a trip to Whole Foods in NOLA to stock up before leaving. (There are two stores!) Right now, I’m eating freeze-dried apple chips, and I have serious plans to incorporate the peach chips I bought into my Project Peach proceedings.

Tomorrow I’m going to try my new super-ultra-natural-wholly-organic maple almond butter. Let’s all ponder suitable tea pairings until then.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Ripe Mango Oolong by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

I’ve taken to making whole pots of tea for myself now that I have a good teapot – it saves time now that I’m mostly in work mode. Rome is beautiful right now, but tourist season is here with a vengeance and I’m glad I already got most of my on-site work out of the way.

Anyway, a pot of this lasted me through an hour and a half of yoga and an hour and a half of work, and it’s still warm enough to drink. Plus it’s as perfect as ever – I never want to be without this tea. Never ever.

In other news, I’m still adjusting to being back (unpacking gradually) and this week is a logistic quagmire of epic proportions – I’m sorry for being so behind on messages and comments, but I’m getting there.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
keychange

I’m going to try this tea soon, I hope, and am so excited!

Anna

Go for it! I wish I could have sent you a fresher sample; all in all Lupicia’s teas age very well, and I store them meticulously and obsessively in terms of temps and such, but still, when it was fresh it seriously took over the room in the best of ways.

keychange

Mmm I can’t wait.

Christina

This sounds lovely, and an excellent way to break in your new teapot. How large is it?

__Morgana__

That’s ok. I’m behind and I didn’t even go anywhere!

Anna

I actually broke it in with Montagne de Jade, and it was awesome. It’s 1.2 l, and from Maxwell & Williams – this colour, but a completely different shape: http://www.maxwellandwilliams.com/mw/maxwell-williams-coffee-tea-teapots-infusionst-oslo-teapot-teal-500ml-gift-it13005.asp

caile

Gorgeous colour!

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90
drank Rouge Provence by Mariage Frères
258 tasting notes

I had Em and M (I did not do that on purpose) over for dinner and we had a pot of this because Em was all ‘no caffeine because sleep no caf no caf hyper’.

And M, who stayed in my apartment while I was away was all, ‘okay so I found your tea stash and are you aware you might possibly have a problem?’

Oh, and Veronica Mars! And that kid on the plane and all the other people, including that guy and all those other things, but I’m too tired for coherence, so I’m off to bed.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

Veronica Mars!

Anna

YES. I had TICKETS. I wore the SHIRT.

Amariel

“And M, who stayed in my apartment while I was away was all, ‘okay so I found your tea stash and are you aware you might possibly have a problem?’”

Ha!

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75
drank Shaken Sweet Tea by Starbucks
258 tasting notes

So good.

So sweet.

So good, though.

In other news, I think it might be illegal to eat this much, even in the south.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Lala

This is also one of my favs! I like the half black iced tea/half lemonade too.

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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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