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Recent Tasting Notes
The lovely NayLynn sent me a swap package full of awesome-sounding flavored teas, most of which were on my wishlist. Woohoo! This one is the first to try just because it sounds tasty and the whole package smelling like banana made me want some. I’ve had good experiences with Lupicia’s teas so far, and I’m always on the lookout for them in swaps. The leaves of this tea are small and somewhat broken, and there are a few yellow flower petals mixed in with them. Dry scent is sugary banana taffy mixed with a bit of creamy milk chocolate. I brewed a heaping teaspoon of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
The brewed aroma is still sweet banana taffy, but now it’s joined by malt. There is still a tad of milk chocolate scent present as well. I tried it plain first and there is a decent amount of banana flavor. Then I added some soy milk and agave and it’s amazing… So much creamy banana, similar to banana pudding. There’s a little bit of chocolate I suppose, but it’s very easy to overlook. Overall, decent plain, super yummy with milk! :D
Flavors: banana, Chocolate, Creamy, Custard, Malt, Sweet
Today, I feel that autumn is finally here after the hottest summer in my life! I’ve been drinking mostly green tea and oolong tea the whole summer; with the slightly cooler weather today, I decided to have a cup of black and green tea blend… with a little bit of peach (my favourite fruit in summer). :)
This was a nice tea. It had the depth of black tea, the sweetness of green tea, the fragrance of jasmine, and an undercurrent of peach flavour. It made me happy. Though I must say I am a bit disappointed that only peach flavouring rather than real peach was used in making this tea :P
This is a very unique tea. I have never tasted black tea like this before! It has an intense coffee-like, roasty aroma. The liquor also has that characteristic roasty flavour that reminds me of houjicha, but of course it is not as strong. It is malty with a bittersweet finish. It’s certainly not my cup of tea – perhaps it’s an acquired taste – but you’ve go to try it if you wan to expand your palate or call yourself a tea connoisseur :P
Oh, I’m the very first review for this tea. I wanted to try it because it reminded me of a light masala chai. And it is. The scent mildly spiced, and mostly cinnamon. In the flavour, I get more cloves, but the cinnamon is still very present. If I got this, I’d maybe use it in bread.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Spices
After having a chocolate covered banana in Orange County, CA, I now have to try banana chocolate tea whenever i see it. This is a very smooth tea. Its lightly flavored, but you can still taste the essence of both flavors. The other versions of this tea have used rooibos and they are good but I’m liking the use of the black tea more. This is a sample in the Pass the stash ttb so I can’t quite get a good smell from this sample but i imagine it would smell good.
This tea should definitely be had as an iced tea. I kept on getting sample tea bags as part of my Lupicia newsletter subscription, and kept on lamenting the fact because as a hot tea it’s nothing special—even a little overpowering in the fruitiness. But! It’s perfect as a lightly sweetened iced tea. I find that adding milk ( have it iced with half a cup of almond milk and a few drops of liquid stevia) and sweetening it a bit really mellows out the flavor. It makes an addictive iced latte. I use the almond milk that’s only 30 calories per 8 oz serving, and stevia is zero calories, so I can have many of these a day (and do!)
Another Lupicia sample from mj! I love how vague the description is for this tea – “honey-preserved fruits”. Well, sounds lovely to me, so let’s do it! Dry, it’s a mixture of small to medium-sized black tea leaves and yellow flower petals that I assume are there for visual interest only. The dry scent is extremely sweet and honeyed, and I’m unsure whether I could pick out a specific type of fruit – it has more of a general candied fruit smell. Okay, so I made a bit of a boo-boo with the steeping… I set my electric kettle to 200 degrees, and I didn’t notice until I was pouring the water that there wasn’t quite enough for an 8 ounce cup… So I had to add a little bit of room temperature water, bringing the temperature down a bit. I had planned to steep for 3 minutes, but I let it go an extra 30 seconds because of this.
I think this came out a tad weaker than it would have had I not messed up the water temperature, but still tasty! It doesn’t have much of an aroma, perhaps a vague sweetness. The dried fruit flavor is also vague, but delicious, and it goes perfectly with the honey. If I had to take a guess, I’d say perhaps dried figs? And maybe a touch of dried stonefruit? There’s also definitely a touch of vanilla to me, although it’s not listed as a flavor here.
So, long story short, this came out quite tasty despite my shortcomings (doh). I’m sure it’ll be even better next time, when I steep it correctly! :P
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Stonefruits, Vanilla
Boychik was kind enough to send me a sample so that I could give this one a second try (I wasn’t too impressed with it the first time). I must say, I am finding it much more cookie-ish this time around. I added about half of a teaspoon of light brown sugar, and it has some nice dark burnt sugar and caramel notes, as well as a light butter cookie flavor. Not bad, but still not a repurchase for me.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cookie, Sweet
This sample came from mj. This is one of the Lupicia teas that I was most interested in, so I’m very happy that I was able to get it in a swap! It’s in sachet form, and it looks to be about a teaspoon of leaf in there. The leaves themselves are small and dark, and there are little chunks of something mixed in (apparently almonds). Dry scent is very sweet and caramel-y with vanilla. I steeped mine for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Brewed, it smells like oatmeal cookies (no raisins) with caramel in them. Honestly… I’m not too impressed with this one, and that makes me really sad. I’m not getting a lot of flavoring here, just a mediocre black base with a bit of astringency. I tried adding a bit of sugar and milk, and it helped it taste like a cookie a little more, but I’m not big into teas that I have to add things to in order to enjoy them. This one is a letdown for me. :(
Flavors: Astringent, Caramel
Tried in the store because it smelled so good. The scent was sweet, and tropical. It smelled nicely the pineapple, with hints of coconut, and some floral from the oolong. There was a light and fruity flavour. I have liked their flavoured oolongs a lot, but it seems I always try them in the wrong season. This one would be better earlier in the year.
Flavors: Coconut, Floral, Fruity, Pineapple, Sweet, Tropical
From the Pass the Stash TTB
I’m a lil obsessed with Lupicia right now after visiting their store in San Francisco. Which was awesome. Such a lovely store. So one I spotted this one I knew it was the first one I wanted to try. And it doesn’t disappoint. Green tea can be very hard to get right but I must have steeped this for the perfect amount of time because the grassy notes are gorgeous on my tongue. That sounds weird… It was good hot but I’m also enjoying it slughtly chilled at the moment.
I really wanted to like this one, but I just can’t. It has a weird and off-putting chemical aroma, and while that note’s much subdued in the flavor it’s not entirely absent. Otherwise, I’m mostly getting what seems to be a slightly smoky base (or maybe that’s the whiskey flavoring?). I don’t get sweet potato, or much in the way of sweetness. In fact, I’ve had unflavored teas that tasted way more like sweet potato than this one does. It could be that I’ve let this sample sit too long, but whatever the reason this one isn’t doing it for me at all. Thanks to Dustin for letting me sample it, since I would’ve been pretty disappointed if I’d ordered a whole bag!
I was so careless that I used boiling water to brew this tea! Perhaps it’s not really wrong (boiling water is actually recommended by Lupicia), but I always find the taste of oolong is at its best when it is hot instead of scalding hot. I could barely taste the flavour and sweetness of this tea when it’s freshly brewed. I waited for my tea to cool a bit and that’s when the flavour came out. Very subtle sweetness and a tiny bit of milkiness. Overall a very gentle tea, and I think it’s the kind of tea made for cold brew. It’s ok but nothing too memorable. I have tasted better oolong from Alishan.
Well now that I’ve tried Kiwi’s Big Adventure, I have to try this one to compare! Thanks to mj for providing my with samples of these lovely Lupicia teas. This one has a black base as opposed to the green base in Kiwi’s Big Adventure. I think a green base makes more sense for a kiwi tea, but we shall see! The tea leaves themselves are quite small, and there are little pieces of what looks like crushed dried green leaves? Also a small piece of candied kiwi! The dry scent is fantabulous amazing sweet fruity candy deliciousness! I steeped mine for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
The brewed aroma smells exactly like a fresh kiwi! I’m amazed by how accurate it is. And the taste is the same way! There’s authentic kiwi flavor throughout the entire sip and it’s lovely. It’s a nice balance of sweet and tart just like the actual fruit. The black base is unobtrusive and fairly ho-hum to me, there’s a bit of malt but not much else. I would really like to see this kiwi flavoring used with a lighter base, such as green or white tea. I just feel like it would mesh well with a nice fresh base. But it’s still delicious as-is! :)
Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Sweet, Tart
Ah, I love this tea! It smells wonderfully sweet in the bag, very fruity. There are little cubes of dried fruit in this blend, along with dark pink peppercorns. When you steep it, you start to smell the pepper a bit more, but the aroma remains mostly fruity. I just wish Lupicia’s site specified which fruits are included in this tea… I know there’s dried mango in here, and I also detect hints of peach and maybe even pineapple. Anyway, it’s delicious! Sweet and tropical with golden fruits and just a hint of husky pepper. Also, the tea base is surprisingly smooth, for a black tea. Not as strong or astringent as the bases in a lot of flavored black teas I’ve tried. Still has the bitter aftertaste of a black tea, though, and the pepper note accentuates this. (It’s perfect for someone like me, who craves those sweet/spicy flavors!) For anyone who wants a sweeter version, I highly recommend adding honey or some other sweetener. It eliminates the bitterness, and really brings out the fruit.
Overall, this is one of my favorite teas from Lupicia! I have to say, I’ve enjoyed all the flavored teas I’ve tried from them. Especially the sweet fruity ones. I even bought a few of the tropical blends for my friends, and they’re all hooked.
By the way, I’m not sure where the description about the monk’s eyelids came from… On the Lupicia USA site, the description for this tea is, “Black tea with refreshing sweet fruit cuts and pink peppers which look like Daruma are added.” Which I thought was really cute!
For anyone who’s curious, daruma are a type of Japanese doll. They’re round and squat, and usually red. They often start out with blank eyes. When you buy one, you’re supposed to draw the pupil in one of their eyes, and make a wish. Then you fill in the other eye when your wish comes true. (They were named after a famous monk called Bodhidharma; it looks like the eyelid reference has to do with some of the folklore surrounding him?) I just wanted to mention that here, because I thought the idea of the peppercorns being tiny daruma dolls was adorable. I’ll have to try brewing a cup around New Year’s… There’s supposed to be a tradition of buying new dolls around that time. (Sort of like New Year’s resolutions, maybe?)
Anyway, I would heartily recommend this tea! Especially to anyone who enjoys fruit-flavored blacks. (Sometimes I open up the bag just to smell the dry leaves… Yum.)
This was one I wanted to try because of the scent. It smells like a dark chocolate bar, and also a rich hot cocoa. That is what comes out the flavour- rich, smooth, and creamy chocolate. Will be nice to have chocolate in tea form for the Autumn season.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate