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258 Tasting Notes

65
drank Mango Iced Tea by Still Perkin'
258 tasting notes

It was iced tea. Not particularly, sweet, which I usually consider a bonus. A little bland, though. Mango? It might just has well have been peach or apricot or some other stonefruity brew.

Major extra points for the awesome little green anole on the terrace.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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85
drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

So I steeped this for 1.5 minutes.

(Cavocorax, this one’s for you.)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Terri HarpLady

Short & sweet ;)

Crystal O.

What a beautiful tea!

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85
drank Apricot Houji by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

A small backlog.

So I promised I’d give the last of this a fair sendoff. It’s the last bag. The last bag FOREVER, because it doesn’t seem like Lupicia make this anymore. Unfortunately, because this has really grown on me. Or rather, I’ve been the one doing the growing, and I can now appreciate the complexity of this tea. +10 points.

The base is a subtly roasted houjicha, and this is what made this a little hard for me to fully embrace earlier, as I hadn’t quite decided how I felt about roasted teas. I’m completely swayed now, though – and roastiness intermingling with one of Lupicia’s perfect fruit flavours? It’s so, so good, and beautifully balanced. It gives me apricot tonguefeel if I close my eyes.

If this had been available, it would have been an instant restock, but as it is, I’ll just add fruit-flavoured houjicha to the list of teas I absolutely need in my cupboard.

Either way, it’s a fair sendoff – I’m at the airport lounge and the bartender sings his usual showtunes. ‘Is it really the very last of the tea?’ he asks, shaking his head sadly. He seems to understand the gravity of the situation. I will leave the tiny bag corpse with him.

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

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

Haha too funny :)

Terri HarpLady

You know, I’ve never tried Houjicha with apricot…or peach…or with any fruit, now that I think of it. Since I like those stone fruit flavors with roasty Oolongs, I bet they would be nice with Houjicha as well.

Cute review :)

gmathis

(Hearing “As Time Goes By” on a slightly out-of-tune piano)

Anna

Haha, thanks everyone – and definitely tell me if you find a good new stone fruit Houjicha, Terri.

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85
drank Tsugaru Green by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

I’m having a cup of this while eating a (very large) strawberry.

I find myself quite pleased with the whole thing.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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85
drank Montagne de Jade by Mariage Frères
258 tasting notes

I’m drinking this tea out of my new birthday mug, and it’s been poured from my new birthday teapot. I have named the latter Freddie, after the character Freddie Miles in The Talented Mr. Ripley, because it’s fat-yet-elegant, showy and has weird colouring. Birthdays aren’t very gifty to me, unlike Christmas – I’d rather get together with friends and chosen family for activities and Symbolic Things. I prefer getting myself birthday gifts – small things I don’t really need, but that make me happy. So on Monday I was out all day on a magpie spree with my special sweetface Em. When I got this, they offered to deliver it for me. I mean. It’s a tiny teapot. It was hilarious. When it had been settled that it did, in fact, fit quite easily into my bag, they knocked €2 off. It really cracked me up.

My friend T. inspired me to pick this up (Hey T. – good news, I have enough to share!) She’s been ogling it for a while and I figured I’d do us both a service and act as a test subject. I wanted something fit for spring – complex, floral, but yet light and not too overwhelming. Mariage Frères definitely delivered on all accounts. First of all, this is a beautiful tea. Long, thin, needly leaves in various dark shades of green, the occasional light leaf breaking it up nicely, and an absolute abundance of lovely petals.

Scent wise, it excites me a lot, because to me, this is the spring counterpart of Marco Polo Vert – and that, to me, is the ultimate green tea for autumn, with its thick fruity ripeness. This has the same boozy character, but it’s a light, floral booziness. A perfect spring tea party tea – when I close my eyes I see tiers and tiers of dainty sandwiches and cakes.

I’m sometimes frustrated by teas that have no discernible, individual flavours, but in this case the multifaceted florality present in each sip is like a lovely, delicate veil of tea. It’s perfectly achieved, and I’m very pleased with this one. Like most Mariage Frères teas in my collection, it has a very clearly defined personality that grows on me with each sip.

Anyway, one of the Symbolic Things I did yesterday was to dye my hair for the first time in… well, forever. I have never altered my hair colour, ever, in any manner whatsoever, during my 34 years. We went with chocolate, tobacco and a dash of gold. In other words, just like my own hair, only without the greys that emerged overnight some time in late November. http://tinyurl.com/qe7jd58

I love my pervy old uncle Rick.

[Purchased at Dagnino in Rome, March 2014.]

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

YAY birthday mugs and teapot!

Sil

also..HOLY CRAP your hair is gorgeous…

__Morgana__

Happy birthday and I agree with Sil. Your hair looks amazing! Great color, but even greater curl!

__Morgana__

(Not but. And. And even greater curl.)

Anna

Thanks, guys. <3 I think we went through a whole bottle of wine just doing those curls, haha.

Sil

i could stare at that pic alllll day long…

Anna

You can touch it if you wanna.

keychange

For a second I thought everyone was commenting on your pervy uncle’s picture. I’m sure you look fabulous! and tell me mooore about your birthday mug!

caile

Oh my goodness, your hair is beautiful!! And, happy birthday!

Anna

Oh, uncle Rick is way prettier than me, I’m definitely not posting a picture with both of us in it.

I got my birthday mug at a somewhat unexpected place – Benetton! They’re currently doing a line of mugs with graphic prints that I really like.

The shape is simple, straight-up cylindrical with a simple handle. The base/background is white, and the pattern consists of circular shapes in a light turquoise. They resemble stylized daisies, with the white background showing through in the centre, and between the ‘petals’. They’re distributed symmetrically across the mug, and the ‘daisies’ in the vertical rows are kept together by very thin lines. I like how the pattern doesn’t go all the way up/down to the top/bottom of the mug, but that there’s white space along the edges.

…and here’s a picture for the sighted: http://tinyurl.com/mkxfpes

keychange

That’s a great description. The mug sounds lovely…and glad there’s a pic for the visually advantaged!

Sil

haha i love that keychange… visually advantaged. :)

Kat_Maria

Happy birthday, liberated Rapunzel! I love your hair way too much than is decent :D

Anna

You can also touch it if you wanna.

Ysaurella

I’m happy you love Montagne de Jade because it didn’t work at all for me but I recognize it as a very high quality tea.
and of course you look like a princess with such hair !

Anna

It can sometimes be particularly frustrating when you find one of those teas you know are really exquisite and of the highest quality, and then you still don’t like them.

And nooo, not a princess – I look like a ninja assassin!

Ysaurella

you’re a Ninja Princess ;)

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95
drank Pleine Lune by Mariage Frères
258 tasting notes

A birthday week tea rerun (trearun?). I figured this would pair well both with the chocolate cake and the almond cake in case someone else wanted tea. It was so nice to get to see everyone in the same room for once – we all work very different hours and the building is pretty big. I’m often out and about, too, so there are some people on the staff I adore but don’t get to see more often than once a month or so.

(To make this post a little bit more about tea – the cleaning staff teased me about my tea cupboard. And, uh, rightfully so.)

Anyway, I got everyone caffeinated and sugared up, so let’s hope we all get a lot of work done before we collapse around lunchtime.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Birthday week? woo!

keychange

Don’t worry about non-tea things in your notes! I love reading snippets about peoples’ lives.

Tea Pet

Happy Birthday week!

Sil

Birthday weeks! much better than birth-DAYS…shorter than UN-birthdays :) hope its an awesome week my dear! :)

Dexter3657

Happy Birthday – have a great week!!!

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80
drank Melon White Tea by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

This white should be lo-caf enough for the evening. Lupicia are just too good – whenever I open this bag, I have an instant, irrational, want-to-turn-around-and-check, ‘But where is the melon hiding?’ type reaction. It’s just that melony. I honestly can’t think of anything that could make this better or more melon-esque.

And to continue my general praise of Lupicia, I think I could probably pour 300C water on their most delicate teas and let them steep for five minutes and they would still taste good. I mean – every single tea I love of theirs have boiling/1.5-minute steeping instructions. And they taste fresh, natural and amazing.

I swear they’re not paying me to say this. It’s more like I’m paying them, and I still say this.

(Lupicia, I love you.)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec
Cavocorax

Excellent! I just placed my first order and now I’m even more excited!

Anna

Oh, was that the one where a bunch of you ordered together and they were out of Cookie?

keychange

How do you feel this compares to the melon oolong?

__Morgana__

Here here. This one is excellent.

__Morgana__

Or hear hear, even. Geesh.

Anna

Oh, just be honest, Morgana – you were trying to lure my melon tea over there.

__Morgana__

Well, you definitely caught me on that one…

Anna

Pfff!

Cavocorax

Yeah it was! But we ended up with a bunch of other exciting ones so I’m not too upset about it. :P

Sil

also…. Katiek was awesome…and she sent me a WHOLE BAG of cookie teabags… so cavo will get to try cookie after all with me :)

Anna

No, don’t be – I think it’s always best to have a good excuse to order again and again and again.

Was this one in the order, or was it the melon oolong?

Sil

kitenna and cavocorax split melon oolong.

Anna

Aww, that’s awesome! I am so, so curious about what else you got now. Totally living vicariously through other people’s Lupicia orders here, haha.

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90

There isn’t that much left of this. I will absolutely try to remember to try it iced before the rest of it disappears.

I was so sure I’d feel like putting together a huge Lupicia order for my birthday, since I’ll be in US next week anyway, but I haven’t felt the urge. It’s true I’ve been finishing up some of my favourites lately (Momoko just this morning! I still have some in the fridge, though.) but I still have so many good teas to choose from I don’t feel an overwhelming sense of urgency.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have shopping lists from Lupicia, Adagio, Le Palais des Thés, Comptoir des Thés et des Epices and Mariage Frères all put together, though.

No, that would be going a little far.

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

Melon oolong, yo!

Anna

Haha. You’re like the tea-not-drugs equivalent of Breaking Bad’s Jesse right now. But who’s our mastermind – who’s Heisenberg? Hm. Probably Sil.

keychange

I don’t watch breaking bad, although if there’s any mastermind relating to tea around here it’s sil indeed.

Anna

HEISENSIL.

MissLena

LOL – Heisensil possibly made my entire day. :D

Sil

LOL this made me chuckle. I am no mastermind..just an innocent heffalump hanging around drinking tea cough

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95
drank Wedding Impérial by Mariage Frères
258 tasting notes

The all-faves birthday week tea consumption concept clearly calls for some more Mariage Frères. If you’re still on the fence about getting this, and like Cookie, or if you’re on the fence about getting Cookie, and like this – Cookie is like Wedding Impérial with popcorn.

Now I’m off to pick up cakes number 1, 2 and 3 so I can spoil the staff tomorrow. They really are the very best and take care of me so well.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Rosehips

Aww, baking cake for the staff! Thats so nice. Happy birthweek!

Sil

mmmmm i have this in my mug today as well…stupid work, so busy

cteresa

Oh, happy birthday week then. Favorite teas sounds like a great way to celebrate!

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80
drank Momoko by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

It’s not as cold anymore (Okay, Canadians, I know 10 C doesn’t seem very cold to you considering your current weather situation, but it’s really been unusually chilly and wet here.) so I can drink copious amounts of iced tea again.

I saved the last of this much beloved and somewhat aged Lupicia tea in order to try it iced again. It’s absolute perfection – delicate, with that perfect natural peach perfume and some lush vanilla to round it off.

Nothing beats a just-opened package of Lupicia tea, but I must say I feel they age exceptionally well.

Necessary repurchase.

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

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
keychange

Ok ok, shopping list

Lala

Ha ha, well the temperature is all relative compared to what you are used to. I can’t wait until it is 10C. Ha ha.

keychange

Ok ok, shopping list!

keychange

whoops—that posted twice. And yeah, I can’t wait until it’s 10C here, either! either that or we can all move into anna’s house in Italy. I bet it’s either massive and sprawling and majestic, or tiny and dainty and quaint.

Anna

It’s a big, hulking research institute with stray archaeologists wandering around muttering to themselves, and the occasional fresh-faced, bright-eyed flock of classicists materializing in the yard.

keychange

I’m all over it.

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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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