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Recent Tasting Notes
Well, it’s lemon. And it’s rooibos. The lemon is more sweet than sharp – I think Inkling had it right when she compared the flavor to a lemon drop. This is a perfectly decent cup, but there’s no wow factor. Of all the teas in my happy bag that I’ve tried so far, this is my least favorite. Also, sipdown!
This came in the Lupicia grab bag I got over New Year’s. I’ve been avoiding trying this one because frankly I am not the biggest fan of muscat or grape flavored things in general.
Upon opening the bag I see what looks like a perfectly good Bao zhong oolong drenched in an overwhelmingly fake sweet grape aroma. The flavor is much the same. The muscat really overpowers the oolong and is sickeningly sweet, artificial and cloying.
Normally I’m a Lupicia fan but nope, this one is not for me. I will struggle to finish the cup I think. It is up for grabs/trade if any muscat fans are interested in it.
Flavors: Artificial, Muscatel
Disclaimer: my favorite flavor of Lifesavers is Butter Rum, and I don’t dislike Rooibos. These truths make this nearly the perfect Tisane for me. The dry aroma is pure butter rum, which translates nicely into the cup, especially after cooling a bit. Add a little cream and between sight and smell you could believe that you are holding a cup of caramel, luckily it is not overly sweet, just very comforting. Good resteep as well.
Does anyone use this website anymore? I feel like it’s just me shouting about tea into the ether.
Silonibari is surprisingly tasty. I have to admit that I’m not awesome at telling Indian black teas apart unless they’re flavored, and I sort of expected this to taste slightly sharp and slightly like raisins like every other unflavored Indian black tea, but it’s actually really good. It’s very smooth, lightly astringent, and a little bit sweet, and it’s got a sweet and fruity smell that I like a lot.
This is probably one of my favorite estate teas from Book of Tea. It caught me completely off guard because I wasn’t expecting to enjoy an Indian estate tea this much. Yum, to sum up.
Flavors: Astringent, Fruity, Smooth, Sweet
I have two little samples of this – one from a swap from Sil last summer and one from a swap from VariaTEA late last year/early this year. So I finally dug in – I had this both yesterday and today, using up the little packet from Sil.
This really does smell like a chocolaty, oatmeal-y, raisin-y, sugary cookie. Yesterday I steeped it for too long and didn’t add any sugar, and it was weirdly burnt tasting and overly sweet. Tonight though, I steeped it only for about 4 minutes and remembered to add some agave nectar. The extra sugar really brings some body to the tea and rounds out the sweet taste.
I really wonder what’s in this stuff! There’s an incredible caramelized sweetness to this that honest to god does taste like baked goods. This is definitely a tea to save for special occasions.
A few final thoughts here, as this is a sipdown. Oversteeping risks the roasted flavor turning into more of a burnt flavor. Some rice milk adds creaminess and sweetness that complements the flavor of the brew but doesn’t really change it – that is, rice milk is nice but not needed. The bag can be steeped a second time, but the results are thinner than the first steep.
Bedtime for me. I haven’t reached my sipdown goal for the weekend. Still, eight sipdowns in a weekend isn’t bad!
My Lupicia happy bag included a tin of this blend. Inside are about 6 pyramid sachets. I have been drinking this at work, so I never got an exact count. However, I decided to take the last sachet home so I could focus on it enough to write up a proper note.
The dry leaf smells strongly of vanilla and candy-like strawberry. There are some white specks in the blend that look like coconut. I’m really frustrated that I can’t find an ingredient list online. Minus 2 points for still having this tea on their website but not clearly listing ingredients!
I normally make this in my travel mug using hot water from the office filter. So figure about 14 oz of water per teabag in approx. 180F water (that’s a total ballpark guess, I just know that it’s too hot to drink right away but not actually boiling). Tonight I am preparing this tea properly. One teabag in a 12 oz mug of boiling water. I ended up oversteeping because my timer crapped out on me. The leaf ended up soaking for about 4 minutes.
This brews up a nice dark orange, almost brown. There’s a little bit of oily film on top that I never noticed before. It smells absolutely gorgeous. Like strawberries and cream. Very soothing and desserty. The flavor is definitely more savory now than it is when I make it at work. There’s more body and an almost mushroomy aspect. The sweet strawberry and vanilla flavors come in later in the sip. The strawberry is candy-like and lingers long after the sip ends.
Lupicia suggests having this with milk. I added some rice milk when I was about halfway through the mug. So. Good. Just liquid strawberry candy with a lovely vanilla back. I pretty much gulped it down after adding the rice milk. I got a good second steep out of the leaf and added rice milk right away. Totally the way to go.
This falls into the category of teas that I’m quite glad to have tried, enjoyed while they lasted, but just wasn’t wowed enough by to actively seek them out again. The candiness is just a bit much.
Flavors: Candy, Strawberry, Vanilla
From the Overboard TTB
This was quite a bit stronger than I’m used to in terms of barley tea. It had a deep roasted flavor, very deep, but I can see how it can be described as pan fried as the sweetness that comes from roasted barley didn’t come through as much. It was kind of like eating a very toasted slice of multi grain bread. I appreciated the nuttiness.
Thanks so much for the sale, Ost! I have LOVED some melon white teas in the past, and this is exactly as I expected. A juicy fresh melon flavor – I don’t know how it’s so authentic, but it really couldn’t be more authentic. It’s a lot like Butiki’s Cantaloupe & Cream and 52Teas – Cantaloupe watermelon (I didn’t really notice much watermelon in the blend anyway.) All three blends seem to be very similar. The white tea does seem to hide behind the flavor, but there couldn’t be enough melon flavor for me anyway. The second steep has just as much flavor. I love this stuff! A melon white tea is certainly a cupboard essential for me.
This is one of the tea samples that came in the Lupicia holiday gift sampler I got last year…
it has an apple-y scent but I just don’t find this one to be real tasty for some reason. the black tea base has a bit of bitterness to it that was somewhat improved by sugar. It’s a bit of an artificial apple flavor combined with bitterness, Though I am normally a Lupicia Fan it’s just not the thing for me somehow.
Dexter, thank you so much for sending me some of this to try! Oh, do I love this… And, I was a little worried that I was falling out of love with flavoured blacks… but then I have this, and it’s a big, “nope! you still love these types of teas, you silly girl!”
What is not to love when you’ve got caramel and almond?
The best part, too, is that this base is so easy going… never weird or bitter or strange (I’ve learned that I can be picky with the base of flavoured blacks).
Yeah… I need to get some of this at some point. :)
Finally sampling the last tea from my Lupicia Happy Bag! Lemon is not my favorite tea flavor and I’m also not a big fan of red rooibos, so I really wasn’t expecting to like this one. But it was better than I expected! The base isn’t overly woody or medicinal and the lemon flavor has a nice sweetness to it that reminds me of a lemon drop candy. I still don’t think this is something I would re-purchase, but I’ll happily drink the rest of my sample tin!
Flavors: Candy, Lemon, Sweet
Apples and berries should make for a tasty combination, shouldn’t it? Sweet apple mixed with delicious berries that give just a hint of tartness. However, apples, berries, and grass? Not such an awesome blend and unfortunately it’s the grassy notes that stand out. Plus, the apple sweetness is very strong and has no berry tartness to keep it in check. It’s just not what I hoped for when I brewed this up this morning.
Last one of the Lupicia samples I got from my last visit back home. This one is a vivid green sencha that brews out to be a nice golden-green color, and is quite cloudy in the cup. As for the aroma and flavor, it’s definitely sweet potato. There’s something a little crisper, almost snow-pea-like on the finish. I didn’t read the description before drinking, and was amused to see that sweet potato was indeed in the official description, but elusive for many reviewers. Each tea is a different experience for everyone who tries it! This is one of the least grassy sencha I’ve tried, and not very intense—some of the others are like a kick in the head, but this is truly mellow and mild. An enjoyable and nourishing-feeling cup that I would be happy to try again.
I’ve got a lot of teas in my cupboard right now. Tons! And so I’m on a buying hiatus until I’ve cut my stash in half. And, as I’ll be taking a few exciting trips later this year, where tea might be an option, I should get sipping.
I’ll be done with this sooner than later. Jingle Bells, like many of the Lupicia holiday blends, does not seem very “wintery”. This is light and full of grapy goodness. A lovely spring flavor, in a holidaytin. Ha.
The sister project to my sipdown mission is to drink the teas that I haven’t yet tried, and are sitting around in my cupboard, looking sad.
Lupicia, in my opinion, are the masters of fruit flavors. They make the crispest, lightest fruit teas of any I’ve tried.
I opened the little mini tin of this, and holy grapes, batman! I can only describe it as Champagne Rose, but with grapes instead of roses. Light, sparkily crisp.
Brewed, I’m getting a touch of bitter, which, to be frank, is probably my fault. I did not watch my steep time too close.
I’ll reserve my ranking for now, and fiddle around with it a bit more.
A very roasty houjicha with an intense aroma right out of the bag. The recommended steeping time was 45 seconds to 1 minute, and while I didn’t time it exactly, I think I did even less than that. Even so, the brew came out very dark and richly flavored. Toasted grains, something a little coffee-like, bittersweet or caramelized. There’s a faint nori-like note in both the aroma and flavor if you look for it, possibly a quality of the green tea prior to treatment. Probably the most intense houjicha I’ve tried so far, but the aftertaste is crisp and a little sweet, almost like a Ceylon.
I got a GIANT package of this in my Lupicia Happy Bag! It’s not something I would have picked out my own, but it’s actually quite good. It reminds me of a roasted oolong…smooth and slightly sweet with an intense roasted grain flavor and aroma.
Flavors: Grain, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted