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For Mastress Alita’s December Sipdown Challenge – a genmaicha

At first I thought I would have to skip this prompt, because I forget this tea. I am not a genmaicha fan (yet) but I like this as a sweet latte. I forget how light it looks steeped, but the taste is no shrinking violet. I think it is in line with the few other genmaicha I have tried.

I steeped it twice in a Kamjove and added it to a cup, stirred in sugar, and then added warmed milk….lots of warmed milk. It was quite good and gave me the energy after teaching to cook the first big meal I have cooked since Thanksgiving. But it is too burned roasty for me to like it plain, and that goes for any genmaicha, not just this one.

Nattie

Do you like roasted oolongs? Wondering if it’s all roasted teas or specifically genmaichas you’re adverse to

ashmanra

I do like roasted oolongs! I go through phases of preferring roasted, then green, then roasted…and when we buy Dong Ding we tear through it faster than any other tea we buy.

Nattie

Interesting! I love dark roasted oolongs and I’m not a genmaicha fan either, but in my case I think it’s partly my distaste for popped rice cereal, and partly because I’m not big into green tea in general as most genmaichas are.

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drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
2842 tasting notes

I want to begin this note with a big thank you to Mastress Alita.

Last year I did my first advent in many years, and I had a blast trying teas and seeing everyone’s reviews of their own advents, and many people had matching advents.

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenges gives me the same feeling. It took me a while to figure out where the Sipdown Challenges were because I am like that sometimes. Ha ha! But I really get a kick out of it, and it makes me look at my stash differently and I am having an absolute blast checking things off each month.

Many, many thanks to you, Mastress Alita, for making this bright spot for us!

Now on to the tea…I have had this once before and it was a sample sachet then, too, but I am thinking I may order this sometime. I exercised tremendous restraint and saved some for Ashman, and if he loves it, it will go on the Lupicia rotation to order sometime.

With food, it tastes like a fruity flavored tea and you can probably peg it as cherry. By itself, the cherry comes out as more distinctly cherry. Thankfully, it is fruity and not candy or cough syrup cherry. You can really taste the rosemary as well and I like how different it is! The pink peppercorns are eye-catching, and lend a little warmth without being spicy. This is a real win for me, so if this other cup makes it until evening, we will see how Ashman feels about it and I will update with his opinion.

Mastress Alita

I’m glad it’s been useful for people, though I decided a few months ago I don’t plan to host it another year (I just have no more ideas in me). Someone else can feel free to do so in 2023 if they wish!

Nattie

I will add my thanks, three cheers to Mastress Alita !

tea-sipper

Yes, thank you Mastress Alita for your sipdown challenge again this year! I can understand you are out of ideas if it has been 10 a month. It has been fun!

Nattie

Also I am too flakey to host it, but if somebody wants to take over hosting the thread next year I’m happy to provide some idea inspo

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85
drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
1560 tasting notes

Really liked this sachet sample. I looooove the tart cherry. I was impressed with how natural it was with the rosemary. Kept coming back to it. Soo good.

Cameron B.

I love this one too! And I don’t even like cherry things…

ashmanra

Literally just got a sample sachet in the mail today and I am looking forward to it, but the other sachet was Piccolo and bleeeeeeh.

Daylon R Thomas

Sad to hear that about picolo. I got the loose leaf of the Muscat Queen. People either love it or hate it, and my family loooves it.

ashmanra

Oooo I have decaf Muscat and Jingle Bells but I am not familiar with Muscat Queen. Must look it up!

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80
drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
1560 tasting notes

Free sample from recent order. Really liking it, though it’s a straightforward and pithy grapefruit tea. More white grapefruit than a red one. Bitter, but refreshing.

Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Grapefruit, Green

ashmanra

I liked this one, also a sample sachet for me but a while back. Wish they had sent this one today instead of Piccolo.

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67
drank Puer by Lupicia
2 tasting notes

An easy drinking Puer – woody and mushroomy taste but not very strong. Generally get 4 good steeps at 45 seconds a steep from this with some strong flavour development from first to second steep and then more uniform after that.

Flavors: Mushrooms, Woody

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 11 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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66
drank Sencha "Chiran" by Lupicia
6 tasting notes

I saw that it said “reminiscent of sweet potatoes” on the Lupicia site and ordered it despite disliking sweet potatoes…. I don’t know what I expected! It’s fine I guess.

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70
drank Kumquat by Lupicia
102 tasting notes

Before today I did not know what a Kumquat was, so I didn’t know what to expect. I got a little baggie of this blend from Cameron a while back but now that I’m at the end of my sip down I’m getting back to my swapped blends. Since this is supposed to be a citrus blend I was a little disappointed, I love citrus but I just got a faintly sweet black tea when I steeped it. I would drink it again though, I just don’t think I’m going to add it to my collection.

Flavors: Citrus, Honey, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

I really liked this one – thank you Carmen for the sample!

Pleasant tea with a small note on Ginger. Left steep up to 5 minutes to get more flavor although it was pleasant at 3 and 4.

Flavors: Green

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
Cameron B.

I like this one too! Plus I bought it in Japan so good memories as well ha ha. :)

Lupiressmoon

Sorry, just seeing your comment now. I can imagine on the good memories! :)

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20
drank Orange Chocolat by Lupicia
1 tasting notes

If this is oversteeped even a tiny bit, it turns very bitter. Or maybe the oranges are just bitter themselves. Either way, I would pass on this one and go for some of the other Lupicia fruit flavored teas.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Orange

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I agree, this one was not my favorite. I love Framboise Chocolat though!

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86
drank Momo Vert by Lupicia
968 tasting notes

Proper packaging for tea is incredibly important. Not just for aroma but for every other aspect of the tea. You see tea is hygroscopic. Meaning it has the ability to draw from moisture particles around it which makes it perfect for scenting and flavoring. However, this also means that if the manufacturer or you don’t package the tea properly you could be ruining the tea. Momo Vert is a Japanese green tea that can be ruined not only with incorrect water temp but also with aroma. This tea has a sweet cherry / fruity scent mixed in with slightly grassy undertones. It is a nice uplifting smell. Likewise with the flavor. I oversteeped it a little bit so my cuppa is a bit more astringent than preferable. However, even with that astringency the fruity and wonderful grassy notes still get through.

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drank Anela by Lupicia
2842 tasting notes

I got a package from CameronB yesterday, and she went above and beyond, as usual!

This tea was included because of our love for strawberry tea, especially Lupicia’s. The front runner here for me is lychee, which I am not sure if I have had before. It is as floral as it is fruity to me. The lychee was followed by the jasmine, with strawberry and fruit coming behind. Ashman used milk and sugar and said it reminded him of strawberry Quik. I had it plain, but when I tasted his tea I felt his sugar made little change in the sweetness. This has a lot of natural sweetness. He agreed.

It was very good, and he felt like he got strawberry up front but has definitely never had lychee and may have mistaken the taste, or it is just a difference in our tastebuds.

Thank you so much, CameronB! I can hardly wait to try all of these!

Cameron B.

Aww I’m glad you enjoyed it! I agree, this one is mostly lychee/jasmine to me.

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80
drank Sweet Autumn by Lupicia
1130 tasting notes

For the sipdown prompt, “a pumpkin tea.”

This is an interesting tea. It’s a combination of Japanese autumnal flavors: pumpkin, sweet potato, and chestnut. It has an interesting squashy pumpkin flavor, which is so unique to taste in the absense of spices. It reminds me a lot of the pumpkin-flavored houjicha by Ocharaka in flavor, though obviously much sweeter and less roasty due to the different base teas. I don’t really taste any sweet potato, and wonder if it’s just adding some overall sweet notes to the tea, as it does veer sweeter rather than really savory despite the squashy aspects. The chestnut, however, is quite distinct and tasty; it’s the same flavor from their Marron Chocolat tea, which is one of my Lupicia favorites.

I’ve had this now as a straight hot cuppa and also as a warm latte; both are nice, but I prefer the latte. Plain, more of the umami characteristics pop, as the rooibos tastes a bit more woody, but the creaminess and sweetness of the milk makes the rooibos base have a sort of sweet caramel note which mixes so nicely with the pumpkin and chestnut.

Flavors: Caramel, Chestnut, Nutty, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet, Umami, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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drank Piccolo by Lupicia
2842 tasting notes

This was one of the free samples in my last Lupicia order, and while I am grateful for free samples I sure was disappointed to see this rooibos. I probably should have given it away, but I remembered trying their caramel and rum rooibos and it was pretty good, so I was hoping.

Opened the bag. BLECH. Rooibos. Where’s the berry? Still hoping it wouldn’t TASTE like rooibos, I steeped it to go with supper, red bean soup – kind of like a vegetarian chili. With the food, it was innocuous enough because the spices drowned it out, but once I finished my food…blech. This pretty much just tasted like straight rooibos to me.

Maybe I should drink it once a month or so and see if I can develop a taste for it. If you want to know what this tasted like, take a hit off a bottle of Robitussin.

Unfortunately, the taste lingers. And lingers. And lingers…
.

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78

When dry, this tea has an incredibly strong floral smell. I like jasmine a lot, this is almost too strong. I think this tastes pretty good though, but i’m not that picky. It is definitely better than the $1.99 2 liter bottle of pre-brewed Jasmine Tea from Donki (i’ll still drink that tho).

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100

Another swapped tea from Cameron, I adored this blend! It was sweet, floral, fruity, and overall well-balanced. Another unexpected future addition to my stash for 2023!

Flavors: Berry, Candy, Cocoa, Floral, Honey, Raspberry, Sakura, Strawberry, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Yum, this one is so good! I think their sakura collection is released in early April.

thereadersteacup

It was so nice and refreshing, can’t wait for April

vallhallow

Oo, good to know!

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95

Another winner from my swap with Cameron! It was sweet, cookie-like, had a touch of apricot fruitiness, and I could see it being a staple!

Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Caramel, Cookie, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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50
drank Joyeux Noël by Lupicia
102 tasting notes

This blend is another from my swap with Cameron. While I have loved everything else I’ve tried from Lupicia it’s not for me. I typically like nutty and roasty flavors but this blend reminded me of burnt cookies and while that may be someone else’s thing it’s not necessarily mine.

Flavors: Astringent, Burnt, Burnt Sugar, Nutty, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Ha ha, well you can’t love them all! XD

thereadersteacup

Mom really liked it though!

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95
drank Chestnut by Lupicia
102 tasting notes

Another swapped tea from my lovely friend Cameron! I adored this blend, it was the perfect cozy pick-me-up that I needed in my fall stash (especially during a stressful week). It’s nutty, creamy, and sweet with a touch of toastiness that is perfect for the colder months. I’m definitely making this an essential in my collection.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chestnut, Cream, Honey, Nutty, Oats, Toasted Rice, Toasty, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Yaaaay, so glad you loved it! ❤️

thereadersteacup

It’s a new edition! I am hoping to get some when it’s released

Cameron B.

For sure! Just keep an eye out and I’ll be sure to let you know when they email me as well, they always send a email for new releases!

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drank Cinnamon Cookie Puer by Lupicia
1251 tasting notes

2022 sipdown no. 44

A tea from Cameron

The cinnamon scent here is quite alluring. I would say this does embody a cinnamon cookie and is lovely against the puer base. I was busy and didn’t make a lot of notes on this one, but I would order this in a Lupicia order.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Momijigari by Lupicia
102 tasting notes

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drank Momijigari by Lupicia
102 tasting notes

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drank Momijigari by Lupicia
102 tasting notes

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drank Palekaiko by Lupicia
1251 tasting notes

2022 sipdown no. 42

The taste here is fruity with hints of candiness that I really only noticed when I made a fresh second cup. The flavour isn’t specifically passionfruit to me, or ginger, though it’s fine to drink nonetheless.

Thanks for sharing Cameron :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Chestnut by Lupicia
1251 tasting notes

2022 sipdown no. 41

This tastes like candied chestnuts to me because there is a sweet scent and sweetness to the taste. The green base is not my favourite here — it’s almost fishy (this is not the exact correct word, but I can’t come up with something better) in the scent (though not in the taste)? The combination of the candied sweetness and green base is not my favourite. This type of chestnut would probably be delightful against a black base.

Thank you for sharing Cameron!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 13 OZ / 384 ML
Cameron B.

Their Joyeux Noël is a lovely chestnut black tea!

Courtney

Thanks for the tip! :)

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