198 Tasting Notes

drank Afternoon Tea by Lupicia
198 tasting notes

This is a decent, basic black tea. It’s light and smooth; there’s no bitterness and not too much astringency. I can taste both the Assam and the Darjeeling, although the Darjeeling seems more prominent. There’s a fairly strong honey note, too. I wouldn’t buy this – I got my current supply in a 2013 Lupicia Happy Bag – since there are less expensive options that serve the same purpose (some Twinings blends come to mind). But it’s quite pleasant.

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drank Pineapple Oolong by Lupicia
198 tasting notes

I should preface this by saying that pineapple’s not among my favorite fruit flavors. The dry leaf of this tea smells strongly of coconut, but once brewed the coconut is mostly absent (from both the scent and the flavor) – it’s not totally gone, but it’s very, very faint, and the pineapple definitely dominates. Which is too bad, because I’m fonder of coconut than I am of pineapple.

I will say that the flavoring here isn’t terribly strong, and the oolong base comes through nicely. I like this one okay, and I can definitely see pineapple fans really loving it.

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drank Piccolo by Lupicia
198 tasting notes

This is pretty good for what it is. I’m not the biggest fan of red rooibos – I don’t like it plain at all, although I do sometimes enjoy it in blends. The rooibos here is present, but not to the point of being off-putting (to me, at least). The fruit flavoring is rather sweet and quite strong, if a bit on the artificial side – I say fruit, rather than berry and/or apricot, because, as with several other Lupicia blends I’ve tried, it’s more of a generic fruit candy flavor than anything else. I’m especially reminded of Neptune here, which struck me as, essentially, Piccolo with a black base rather than a rooibos one. It’s a bit sweeter than I’d like.

I’m enjoying this one in the evenings. It’s not outstanding, but then there aren’t a ton of caffeine-free blends that I really love drinking. I’m giving this a slightly higher score than I’d give a comparable caffeinated tea (see Neptune) just for adding some variety to my nighttime repertoire.

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drank Framboise by Lupicia
198 tasting notes

This one was a disappointment. I’m on the lookout for a great raspberry tea – I’m more inclined toward a green or an oolong, but am open to black as well – and this is decidedly not it.

When I first opened the bag, the dry leaf had an aroma that was, if not quite raspberry, at least fruity. I’ve noticed that Lupicia’s fruit flavored black teas – not that I’ve tried very many – tend to smell more like fruit candy than like actual fruit, and this one was no exception.

Once brewed, though, the fruit candy was mostly gone, to be replaced by a scent and flavor not all that dissimilar to Lupicia’s Afternoon Blend (which is decent but unremarkable). I could not taste even the slightest hint of raspberry. I admit that I’m far from a super taster, but nonetheless I expected a bit more from this tea. As a plain black it’s passable, but for a tea that bills itself as raspberry-flavored it’s decidedly subpar.

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Genmaichas are some of my favorite teas, and I was excited to try one with matcha mixed in – this is my first. I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that the matcha has no discernible impact on the flavor (although it does provide an awesome near-neon color!). Expectations aside, though, this is a solid genmaicha. The toasty rice notes definitely dominate; the sencha’s a bit less present here than it is in most blends I’ve tried. In general, I’d say it’s on the subtler side for a genmaicha. I am enjoying this, but it’s probably not a tea I’ll buy again since there are plenty of more flavorful options out there.

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I enjoyed this blend, although it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I thought I’d get mostly orange and oolong flavors, but in reality the dominant notes were definitely ginger followed by hibiscus, with citrus as a fairly distant third. The oolong base hardly came through – but it’s quite possible I underleafed my cup, and that could have a lot to do with it. I didn’t notice any berry flavors, but then those are often overwhelmed by hibiscus. This tasted more like a tisane than a tea, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ginger + hibiscus isn’t a combination I’ve tasted before, but I thought it worked quite nicely. Thanks to Steep City Teas for the sample!

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I’m enjoying this tea. The coconut flavor is quite strong and surprisingly authentic, and the mouthfeel is rich and creamy. I almost feel like I’m drinking coconut milk – or light coconut milk, at least. I can’t really taste the tea base, and I’m not getting any pineapple notes – I didn’t notice any chunks of fruit in my sample either. Thanks to Steep City Teas for this sample!

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I had high hopes for this one, but the flavoring is too sweet and artificial for me. The aroma and flavor are both heavy on the strawberry candy notes. I’m not noticing any papaya, but then I often find papaya too heavy on sweetness and too light on any other flavor. This tea is very sweet, so it could well be that the papaya’s contributing to that. The green base doesn’t really come through.

This is my least favorite of the Steep City samples I’ve tried so far. I tend to prefer my fruity teas lighter/less sweet/more natural, and this blend’s just not to my taste.

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I got a sample of this tea from Shelley_Lorraine. I was excited to try this one – it’s my first from Della Terra, and the blend itself sounded so whimsical.

Dry, the tea smells a lot like Republic of Tea’s Ginger Peach – it’s reminiscent of those gummy candy peaches more than it is of the actual fruit. I’ve always found Ginger Peach’s aroma to be pleasant, but, as with so many RoT blends, the flavor is disappointingly weak.

That said, I’m pleasantly surprised by the strength of flavor here. The dominant note is definitely gummy peach, although the green base (sencha?) provides some distinct – and pleasant – vegetal undertones. And it’s a good thing it does, because I’m not picking up much from the veggie additions themselves. Same for the lemongrass.

This was a fun tea to try but – aesthetics aside – not a distinctive one. It’s not a blend I’ll be purchasing, although I did enjoy my cup.

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A friend bought this tea and found it too floral for her liking, so she kindly passed the leftovers on to me. And I’m very glad she did – as an admitted fan of floral teas, I think this is delicious.

It doesn’t taste all that much like mango – the tea is much crisper and, as mentioned above, significantly more floral. I associate fresh mango and mango juice with a sort of heavy sweetness that’s absent here, and I don’t find mango particularly floral. If I’d tasted this tea without knowing what flavor it was meant to be, I probably would’ve guessed lychee (which is another flavor I really like, so no problem there).

The oolong base is quite delicate. It doesn’t really hold its own against the fruity/floral flavoring, but said flavoring is done so well I don’t mind. I drank this hot (and plain) today, but I bet it would be amazing iced.

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Likes: greens, dark oolongs, genmaicha, fruity greens and oolongs, chai, matcha, jasmine, Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling

Dislikes: spearmint, chamomile, stevia, marshmallows, unflavored white teas, green oolongs

I’m always open to swaps; let me know if you’re interested!


New York, NY

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