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Recent Tasting Notes
One of the few remaining teabags from the book of tea. This definitely is subtle and takes a bit of paying attention to register cherry but it actually does taste like that. However, as I have said time and time again, the base just kills it for me. It is quite strong next to such a mellow flavor that I find I just want MOAR!!! I shouldn’t have to focus to taste the flavor of a flavored tea. I think it is fair to say I am just not a huge fan of Lupicia black teas and this is no exception. Still, it was fun to try.
I’ve been a longtime fan of Lupicia teas, so of course I had to try this one eventually. The scent of this blend is a very fresh, authentic whiff of cherry, maybe a little on the underripe side and all the more appealing for it! The same flavor is present in the tea, along with just a little bit of heat from the peppercorns and herbal, almost savory coolness from the rosemary. I definitely wasn’t expecting those two ingredients, but they make the blend a bit more interesting than if it was just fruity and sweet. The tea base is unassuming but a good backdrop for these flavors to play on. Overall, a fun blend and one that makes it feel like springtime.
Got this as a sample with my Lupicia order. I really miss living close to a Lupicia store, but getting their teas in the mail is the next best thing! It’s nice to have old favorites like Napa Blanc back in the cupboard again…
I’m surprised I haven’t tried this one yet. I get mostly darjeeling from this tea, but more tempered and smoother. It’s very floral and light, without as much of a drying or astringent quality. It’s just what I’d think of when “afternoon tea” is mentioned.
Thanks for this one, Ost! A lovely tea. Delicious black tea base with plenty of champagne and strawberry flavors, both in equal measure. The strawberry flavor is actually leaning a bit to the strawberry candy type (rather than fresh), but I don’t mind it. Definitely an accurate description of this tea! I tend to really like Lupicia blends that I’ve tried.
Flavors: Champagne, Strawberry
I recently went to Hawaii. With 100 high school band kids. Awesome kids, awesome trip.
While there, we rented equipment and played with a friend’s school program. We had become friends over the years, so this year, we did an exchange concert at the local high school.
As a gift from the host to the guest, I got this tea package. Good work Jason, you know me well!
Anyway, I am finally getting around to giving it a proper taste. Here we go!
To start off, I’m normally not a huge fan of blends. I’m more of a purist, unless it’s done in an interesting and tasty way. And it must be well balanced. Too many tea companies hide bad tea base taste by dumping in whatever might taste good.
This is not that. Right off the bat, opening the package, I get a beautiful, tropical fragrance. The smells of mango, apple, papaya, and pineapple popped out and made me think I was still on the islands. But the black tea base was still present, nice and gentle. Good sign.
I brewed this in my 32 ounce Bodum Assam tea pot with boiling water over 7 grams (the package said 2-2.5 grams per 1-2 cups of tea…), and steeping for 2:30, after rinsing, of course.
The aroma of the liqueur is surprisingly even better than the dried leaves. The dried fruit smell is still present, but not as in your face. The black tea gets to stand out just a bit more, bringing out a wonderful balance, one that I am not used to in a tea with this much fruit presence.
The taste is right there as well. The hints of all those fruits are still there, mixed wonderfully inside the black tea base. And it is a great black tea base, not over the top itself, trying to be something it doesn’t need to be in a tea blend, but still confident and right at the front, with just a touch of that velvety smooth roast, just a touch of earthy malt that defines a really good black tea.
Now, the tea package that this tea came in also had a small bear container of local Hawaiian honey, so my 2nd cup I added about a tablespoon to my 1.5 cup mug. I’m not normally a honey-in-my-tea fan, or anything else, really. milk, sugar, lemon, anything. Just give me my tea straight. But, if a company is going to go through the trouble of making a tea package with local honey in it, they must be pretty proud of it, so I’ll give it a shot.
Damn, that’s some good honey. It really does go well, surprisingly, with this tea. You don’t need much, I probably could have used a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon, but it mixes very well with the fruit overtones and the black tea base, without taking away from those flavors, or worse yet, the flavors battling and fighting because they don’t get along, either in my mouth or in my stomach.
None of that, this honey matches this tea very nicely. I’ll be honest, I prefer it alone, without the honey. But either way, this tea is very, very good.
I think I’ll be buying more from Lupicia in the future. Thanks, Jason!
Flavors: Apple, Earth, Fruity, Malt, Mango, Pineapple, Smooth, Tropical
This tea helped me figure out that I like first flush Darjeeling teas: young, green, astringent, woody, and yummy. Delicious, solid, not outstanding. Good for a rainy day or a quiet moment when I have the time and attention to brew and enjoy this cup of tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Green, Wood
An employee at Lupicia told me that this was a popular Darjeeling because it was a compromise between the first flush and the third flush. It’s marketed as having a lot of muscatel flavor, which is what I might be tasting and not liking. However, my tea vocabulary is small, and it’s quite possible that the flavor I’m not enjoying is something else. It just tastes kind of muddy and generic to me.
My first cup of this was yummy, but I had steeped it very lightly and noticed a really strong bergamot odor/flavor. So I made a mental note to steep it even more lightly next time. Then I made the horrible mistake of trying to brew a POT of this, and the bergamot flavor was so strong I almost wanted to throw up. It became known as The Pot That Almost Put Me Off of Earl Grey Forever, and my friends are still trying to put me through Earl Grey rehab because of it. I have renamed this tea “Bergamot Bomb” and hold out hope that, someday, I’ll be able to enjoy normal Earl Grey again…
Sipdown no. 59 of the year 2016 (no. 270 total).
I found more of the Maeda-En 2010 Sincha, which I thought I had sipped down. Apparently I had three containers of it originally, and am now down to part of one, so that has been my go-to green tea for work lately. But I’ve mixed it up some by having this as my Timolino accompaniment on some days to break up the Sincha stream.
Yesterday I was reminded how much I love this. After drinking a sweeter green for several days, the difference is much more pronounced. I’m bumping it some points.
I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea lately and really loving the experience.
This one is up there with the sincha I just polished off. I like it slightly better because it’s less sweet and more savory, with a flavor that evokes a lot of different notes. There’s a rice-like aftertaste, a nutty finish, and a vegetal flavor that I can’t really pin down. My default for vegetal greens is spinach, or perhaps bok choi, but this has aspects that make me think of asparagus, too.
It’s not super delicate, but it’s easy to drink. The liquor is yellow and clear and the aroma is mostly vegetal. The dry leaves are quite delicate and look like cut golf course grass.
I really am quite undecided about what to do when I’ve made my way through all the Japanese greens in my stash. No one talks about the reactor these days. Maybe because no one knows what’s happening? I think we would have heard if everything had been contained….
Flavors: Asparagus, Bok Choy, Nutty, Rice, Spinach, Umami
This was from one of my lovely friends, Whiteantlers in a sachet no less.
Straight, it was sweet like a creamy life-savor with strawberry, rose, and vanilla being the noticeable flavors. There was also not astringency to be found in its smooth body. This is the kinda tea you give to your grandmother, or your mother for mother’s day. Rose, strawberry, and vanilla are the giveaways and the thing you want to look for in this tea. I might consider on trying Lupica again because of this tea.
This is super melon tasting and sweet! This green rooibos tea tastes just like those green melon asian candies. It also makes a great iced tea.
However, the melon is strong and overpowers the green rooibos base. The good thing is this rooibos isn’t watery, but this tea is pretty much like drinking melon juice. I like it, but I can see if not appealing for some people.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/golden-honeydew-rooibos-lupicia-tea-review/
Herbal and Decaf TTB
I’ve never had Elderflower before, so I was curious about this tea. Apparently I don’t like it. I only took a couple sips of this extremely medicinal concoction before dumping the rest. One more tea to cross off the wishlist. I did notice that there seemed to be several distinct flavors going on in the sips i took, but as my immediate reaction to most of them was “Yuck!” I didn’t take the time to really analyze what those flavors were.
Another great sample from Ost. :) This is a really refreshing flavoured oolong – the base tea is very green, with fresh crisp floral notes. I’m not at all suprised to see that it’s a baozhong. The peach flavouring is juicy and not too strong or artificial tasting. This is lovely, might try it cold-steeped next.
Another one from TheLastDodo’s sale. Thanks! The leaves of this oolong are of the darker roasted variety, so when I opened the packaged I was a little worried they wouldn’t be my thing. It’s a decent roasted oolong but when I drink a roasted oolong I only notice the charcoal flavor and no other layers, even if the charcoal note itself is faint, as it is here. It becomes the only flavor though. I know fans of this type get much more out of roasted oolongs than I do. At times with the first steep, there were also hints of peach but not enough to make me love this one to get through the roastiness. Just not my thing!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // few min after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // few min a.b. // 2 min steep
Home from Hawaii, with a couple of tea souvenirs. First up is this Yume tea from Lupicia. Yume means “dream” in Japanese, and I see why it carries this name.
I’m normally not a big fan of blends, but as I discover more, I am finding more and more that have a great balance. Basically, they are more than just some fruit dumped in a tea bag.
This tea has a wonderful tropical feel, a bit fruity with hints of vanilla and strawberry, but it keeps a nice and tasty black tea base. A balance like this means the maker is proud of the fruit and flavor blend, but also proud of the base. No need to hide it when it is this good!
Flavors: Rose, Strawberry, Vanilla