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Recent Tasting Notes
Let me start by saying, I haven’t met a green tea I didn’t like.
I’ve been sticking with the black teas from my Lupicia Book of Teas, but I needed a break. The green tea I tried today is the Sencha “Tanegashima.”
My palate for tea isn’t strong (many of them taste the same to me) but I immediately noticed that the tea smelled milky (Lupicia notes that there is a sweet vanilla-like aroma) that transferred over mildly in texture. I can’t quite articulate the subtleties of this tea, but it left an impression.
I enjoyed this tea, and would consider buying after I go through all of my samples
I’m having a bit of a lull in my crazy work day, so I thought I’d try this tea today. It came in the Lupicia holiday gift set/grab bag extravaganza earlier this year.
This looks like a pretty standard CTC assam, from what I can see in the teabag. It got steeped in my tea tumbler and then I added some vanilla almond milk afterwards. It’s a decent assam, malty, a bit fruity and with a bit of a sweet aftertaste. I have definitely had worse assams! I didn’t really feel that this needed sugar. Perhaps the almond milk was sweet enough?
Anyway I liked this as a morning tea but will probably not need to buy any soon. Still working on sipping down some of my other black teas at the moment. ;)
This is the first shincha to not leave a texture in my mouth which is interesting. The taste is smooth and the leaf look like boiled pine needles :p
The taste is great but it doesn’t have the level of fresh taste that I look for in a shincha. The 2015 Okinawa shinch might have just put all other shinchas at a disadvantage from now on.
I was excited when Ost send me this, as I had completely loved another of the Lupicia Hawaii teas, Loke Lani. So I was more than happy to try this, even if it did have pineapple in it. (Pineapple? In tea? Hmmm)
The first surprise is that it smells quite creamy. There is absolutely a vanilla smell to this. Awesome! I love vanilla!
The vanilla does sort of fade to the background of this flavor, I must say. Its there, but it has faded down.
There is pineapple in this, I can see the little chunks! But I cannot really taste it, or really much of any fruit flavors. It seems to be a black tea with a vanilla aftertaste, and a slight tang to it. So maybe that’s it? The pineapple lurking?
Completely inoffensive, but, for me, not particularly memorable. I’m glad I tried it!
From the Matcha/Green TTB!
I kind of went by the packaging instructions, only I went for a cold version, rather than nuking the mix in some milk. This already has sugar in it, which happens to be the fist ingriedient. I like to mess around with the amount of sweetness in my own lattés, so I just shrugged that one off. There is also milk in this as well, which is off-putting, but I think it works. As if the carton of milk wasn’t milky enough? The strawberry is quite subdued. Like non-existent subdued. I think I smelled it before I took a sip? It wasn’t there in the ‘brew.’
Bummer. This could have been so much better.
I’ve been wanting to try Lupicia’s Yume tea for quite some time. I was not disappointed!
For a black tea base was toned down with the strawberry and vanilla notes. The notes were stronger scent wise than taste. For me the rose was barely there, but I am used to strong rose flavors in the teas that I usually drink. I am admittedly a big rose fan. This tea is ideal for spring. I would definitely consider buying this.
I did try this tea hot and cold. Cold brewing did nothing for it.
This was the second tea tasted at Liquid Proust’s lovely afternoon tasting, and boy did it blow me away! I have only ever had one sencha, but now I see why they charge so much for shincha! There is the lightest seaweed note on the sip and then your mouth is absolutely overtaken with sweet silk, with an incredible Spring-y freshness! It reminds me of a really nice tieguanyin without the floral flavors. By far my favorite tea of the afternoon!
Tea #2, 2015 Asian Tea tasting event hosted by me:
I am happy to announce the first straight tea to receive a 100 from me. The only negative to this tea is that I am unable to purchase it. This is the best 2015 shincha I have had before, so pure …
Sadly the wind picked up my mat and blew away the only 4g left of this tea I had. I am only okay with it because of how wonderful it was to sip this under the sun and really just embrace spring as it went through my entire body via Okinawa 2015 shincha.
Lupicia’s description of La Belle Epoque: " A unique blend of Darjeeling and full-bodied black tea. It has a trace of nostalgic aroma."
Not quite sure what “nostalgic aroma” is supposed to mean, but I’ll take it. I wasn’t horribly into the First Flush and Second Flush Darjeeling samples I tried, but I really like La Belle Epoque. I steeped for the max recommendation of 3 minutes. It’s definitely full-bodied but it also has a nice crisp taste. Upon the first whiff, I didn’t have high hopes (I thought it smelled kind of like Tetley’s) and was expecting a bold, heavy and highly astringent tea, but was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t leave me my mouth feeling dry.
So today has been a black tea day for me it seems… anyways, the smell of this was rather strong so I was curious as to what I was about to drink.
My first drink my thoughts went like this, “What the hell did I just drink?”
This is completely different than YUNOMI’s black teas and the David’s Tea black gyokuro I had.
My best friend will love the coffee likeness to this, though it may be milder, even I enjoy it :)
What an absolutely unique tea. I will be repurchasing this in the future for sure :)
I enjoyed this tea! The scent of apple is very strong when dry, but the flavor is very light and doesn’t overpower the black tea base. The general feel is a crisp, fresh black tea with just a hint of natural sweetness. Astringency is light, but I think I over-steeped.
This tea just makes me want to curl up with a good book and enjoy. Not something I’d mechanically drink whilst number crunching at the office.
Acquired Darjeeling The First Flush as part of Lupicia’s 2015 Book of Tea.
Lupicia suggests steeping the tea for 2 to 2.5 minutes. Because I enjoy a stronger flavor, I did a full 2.5 minutes.
To me the tea was the epitome of “aiight.” Not great but not bad, and certainly not memorable. It was on the lighter side for a darjeeling, slightly fruity, and ever-so-slightly astringent.
Thank you Marzipan for this one. You were right. I loved this one! Sweet honeydew with a bit of honey on the side. I wasn’t such a fan of this hot but I LOVED this one iced. So good.
Flavors: Honey, Honeydew, Melon
Yikes, looks like I’m one of the odd ones out regarding this… beverage. I didn’t know that a beverage could possibly smell and taste carcinogenic until I got my hands on this. To be fair, the dry ground up substance in the pouch initially smelled tantalizing: like roasted coffee with sweet caramel. But then it all goes south from there.
Steeped, it goes incredibly burnt. Not like, “Whoops, let the toast get a little too dark for my liking” or “Drat, that rice at the bottom got a little browned.” It’s more like I left a pot of grains cooking on the stove with not enough water, buggered off to check some emails, got distracted by YouTube and forgot about the sustenance cooking away in the distance, and then start to smell something charred. But it’s too late. The grains are burned beyond recognition. Only soaking the pot for two days followed by using the most brutally strong cleaner with steel wool and a ton of elbow grease will end this nightmare. It’s that kind of burnt.
As a matter of fact, my mom happened to walk in just now, looked around confusingly, and asked if I made and consequently burnt toast because to her, the entire kitchen and living room area smells like something is burning. What’s hilarious is we don’t even have bread in the house at the moment. So I think by now you get that this smells like annihilated carbohydrates.
The liquor is black and grainy. Like coffee with the grounds floating all up in my cup’s business. I simply cannot drink this plain. It’s too burnt in taste, as well. Adding some almond milk marginally helps. The caramel pops out a touch but the overall taste and texture is off. Yes, it’s thick. Yes, it’s bold. But it’s burnt, not roasted.
When we go grocery shopping tomorrow, I’ll make sure to pick up some light cream or half-and-half which may help to counterbalance the charred notes and make this a little more tolerable to finish.
Coming back home from the grand city means having time to actually drink tea again! This is one of my favourites from Lupicia so far, as most have been a miss for me up until now. I’m a fan of houjicha so it’s no surprise that I’m thoroughly enjoying the sweet, roasty base with the creamy caramel-like notes floating in the background.
Lupicia suggests steeping this with boiling water. I personally think that’s nuts, so I let the water cool for a few minutes then let it steep for two minutes and those parameters seem to work very well.
Woo, finally got to try some of this tea (which has been on my wish list for at least a couple years) courtesy of Sil :D
Although I certainly enjoyed drinking it, I was kind of disappointed in the flavour – nice lightly toasty houjicha, but not nearly as much creamy caramel as I was hoping for. The flavour was definitely there, just not overly strong. I’m pretty sure I’ve read other reviews with similar experiences, so I’m guessing it’s not an age or storage issue, but I’d try it again if I had the chance, if only because I think houjicha is a great base tea that’s underused (and I want to encourage its use).
Cold brew sip down! Thanks to that method, I was able to burn through this a lot more quickly. Otherwise, it would have been sitting in my cupboard for a year. I found that I prefer these black blends of theirs cold brew since their bases get so freaking bitter when steeped in hot water. This one also made sense as a cold brew since their champagne note tastes more like artificial grape to me, which I don’t mind. You’re left with a cold, refreshing, healthier version of grape pop. Win! But I still wouldn’t buy more. But! I’m glad I tried it.
I had the craaaaaaziest day yesterday! I got not one, but two makeovers yesterday. First was one with Dior at the department store since I signed up for some event. I still feel bad complaining, but it ended up being awful. The makeup I did for myself in the morning was by far nicer. I still had things to do for the rest of the day and was feeling so self-conscious that I ran crying to Sephora and asked if I could get a VIB Rouge makeover, something you can do pretty much anytime as a Rouge but I haven’t done it before. They luckily fit me in in an hour and I ended up with the most awesome freaking dramatic eyes ever.
But now that life is calm again this morning, I am able to sit down with a cup of tea. This one smells like grape and strawberry, straight up. Sweet and sparkly but not necessarily wine per se. Like the other black teas of theirs that I’ve tried thus far, it can easily go crazily bitter but this second cup turned out relatively smooth and not too bold. The grape note is by far the most prominent, whilst the strawberry gets buried underneath. To note, the grape note tastes like grape pop, not fresh grape. But I kind of like that. Fake but nice fake.
A longtime perennial in my tea cabinet, and one of my favorite Lupicia teas, despite my general dislike for puer. There seem to be real dried strawberries and cocoa nibs blended in there, which is amazing! It’s worth brewing for a full three minutes to really bring out the smoky-bitter chocolate and puer flavors.
Taken straight, this tea is as dark as coffee, and the bitter cocoa flavor comes through strongly. It combines with the smokiness of the puer for an almost coffeelike experience, although milder and (to this non-coffee-drinker) much more palatable. The strawberry just floats around subtly as a warm, pleasant aftertaste in the mouth.
Add a dash of sugar and cream, however, and the whole character of the drink is transformed. The sweet strawberry flavor leaps to the fore, and the cocoa notes combine with milk to create a texture and flavor almost like fruity hot chocolate. The puer recedes to a background hint, just enough to give it a little personality.
I enjoy it either way, but drunk as a latte, it’s my go-to dessert tea for relaxing and playing video games on a chilly evening.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Strawberry
A sample, from a pre packaged set of 3 teabags, which I shamelessly requested at Lupicia in Paris. And wow, I really doubt the translation in the package. BOILING water for this, as well as for an oolong and a darjeeling earl grey for 5 minutes? Seriously, you guys?
I also got their tea catalogue which has much more sensible temperatures and steeping times. I ignored the sample packaging instructions and while I could not measure the water temperature it should have been around 80-85 at most.
I have a problem with this tea, which is I do not much like grapefruit, nor the fruit not grapefruit flavours. Maybe it is a geographic thing, but coming from a place where citrus grows very easily almost wildly, there is so much better citrus than grapefruit. No, grapefruit is not a first, or even second, choice citrus for me. It´s so overpowering, so sharp. Not a favorite flavouring.
The teabag cames in a hermetical sealed envelope (I like Lupicia packaging very much) and it smells very intense, very grapefruit when opened. Thankfully for me the taste is much milder, very balanced in the liquor and there is a very nice, very smooth, Japanese (? seaweedy?) green tea underneath. Drunk with pleasure and a tea I would not mind repeating though not enough to include it in my shopping list.
I bought this in France, labelled as “Bambino”, number 9202. I do think it is the same tea.
I drink a lot of rooibos, after a certain hour, caffeine gives me insomnia, and rooibos is the tisane I feel closer to drinking real tea. I find it really digestive as well. Rooibos is something I keep needing to renew my stock of, and which I was looking for in my first Lupicia visit. The rooibos on offer did not seem too inspiring but this was the most appealing.
And at first brew it does not disappoint. It smells dry, very much of strawberry, vanilla and apricot. The apricot taste disappears in the liquour which is mostly berry -vanilla like (I sweetened this with honey, because I had a cold so don´t know how honey like it is without real honey added), but as it cools down it reemerges in the background again. The flavour is very intense. The rooibos base is pretty quiet underneath it all, nothing much to say about it in this first time.
A note, I really really like this hermetic packaging of theirs. It´s very tough and squashable (I bought a LOT of stuff in this visit), no smell cross contamination, and the tea is incredibly fresh when you open the package. 50 grams will probably be drunk fast enough to not get stale. I think we pay more for this packaging (I paid 5 euros for 50 grams, which would aka 10 euros for 100 grams, a bit more than Mariage Freres or The o Dor rooibos), but if we discount this type of packaging is expensive it might be worth it, for the extra freshness. More packaging to recycle, and maybe harder to recycle though, but to keep tea fresh, I can not resist.
Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Strawberry, Vanilla