535 Tasting Notes

86
drank Lanikai by Lupicia
535 tasting notes

Yum, this was a fun, tropical fruit tea. There are these little green rock candy stars sprinkled throughout that add a wonderful sweetness to the tea. Lush, juicy aromas of mango and passion fruit. The tea is malty with a beautiful red color and bright tropical notes of pina colada and mango. Re-steeping produces a cup that’s less fruity but honeyed with soft floral notes of jasmine flowers.

Flavors: Coconut, Jasmine, Mango, Passion Fruits, Pineapple, Tropical

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 470 ML
Cameron B.

I love when they put those konpeito in the tea, they’re so cute!

LuckyMe

Ah, so that’s what it’s called.

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90

My first tea of 2021 and the second Obubu tea from Cameron’s sample stash.

The smell of this tea is amazing. An intense aroma of fresh seaweed and tender steamed veggies greeted me upon opening the pouch. Like the other Obubu tea I tried, the leaves are pristine. Long, handsome dark green needles reminiscent of a Chinese green. Wet leaf smells like steamed spinach.

The first infusion tasted sweet and grassy, like a summer meadow. Gentle umami and supple mouthfeel. Second steep is brothy with a nice umami finish. Third steep produced vegetal and umami notes rounded out by an ever so slight but enjoyable astringency. An all around great quality, satisfying asamushi Sencha and a good start to the new year.

Instagram Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJg0u92AKSr/

Flavors: Seaweed, Spinach, Umami, Vegetables

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 240 ML
Cameron B.

So glad you enjoyed it! And yes, their leaves are always so beautiful. :3

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90

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87

This is the first of a huge assortment of Obubu Tea Farms samplers I received from Cameron B. Many Japanese tea shops are either 100g or nothing so it’s nice to be able to find samples for a change and try a bunch of teas.

Despite being a Japanese tea, this tea has more in common with Chinese green tea both in appearance and flavor. The first thing that I noticed was the whole, unbroken leaves – a departure from the mix of dust and particles that most sencha resembles – and similar to pine needle shaped Chinese tea. Ironically, this is the first Japanese tea aside from Kamairicha that I managed to brew successfully in my shiboridashi without clogging.

The dark green leaves have a mellow seaweed aroma that changes to toasted nori when heated. The first steep produced a pale yellowish-green liquor that smelled like lightly cooked Asian vegetables. The taste of the tea is like a gentle ocean breeze. Soft vegetal tones, smooth body, and silken texture. Obubu mentions chamomile notes which I picked up as well. The second infusion was similar with a whisper of sheng like earthiness. This tea lacks the grassiness and umami that you typically find in sencha. I feel like this one really allows you to taste the terroir the tea was grown on.

Flavors: Bok Choy, Earth, Seaweed, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 128 ML
Cameron B.

Ooh, this sounds interesting!

LuckyMe

@Cameron, I think this was one of the aged senchas. Didn’t even know green tea could be aged like that. A unique tea for sure.

Mastress Alita

coughs All my green tea is aged at this point…

Lexie Aleah

Aged green tea? I’ve never heard of that either.

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90

Spring 2020 harvest.

This tea reminds me of why I need to drink black tea more often. Lots of luscious chocolatey goodness here. Rich dark chocolate aroma and flavor with a light malty sweetness. Most of the chocolate fades upon resteep yet still retains a nice honeyed flavor. Quite similar to Verdant’s standard Laoshan Black but with a little more depth.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt

Martin Bednář

What, a black dragonwell? But it sounds so tasty!

LuckyMe

Definitely, the name alone enticed me. It’s good but doesn’t quite match measure up to it’s greener sibling.

Martin Bednář

I never had fresh dragonwell, so I can’t tell; but this is certainly sometrhing I would give a try for sure.

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88

These days buying Taiwanese Oolongs, especially the green variety, feels like a crapshoot. The flavor and quality vary tremendously from season to season and between vendors. Some are highly perishable and turn up stale on arrival. However the one tea that manages to maintain consistency and seldom disappoints is Dong Ding. And this particular Dong Ding was no exception despite the number of duds from my Green Terrace Teas order.

This one tastes like a yummy apple pie in your teacup. It’s characterized by warm notes of baked apple pie and roasted stone fruit, brown butter nuttiness, and an underlying brown sugar sweetness. Very sweet and smooth throughout. The roast on this is gentle and serves to highlight the fruitiness without any heavy char or dark flavors. It tastes even better cold brewed. Super refreshing and the fruitiness really intensifies.

Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Butter, Fruity, Molasses, Roast Nuts, Stonefruit

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 g 7 OZ / 214 ML
Cameron B.

Yum, apple pie!

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86
drank Queen's Muscat Oolong by Lupicia
535 tasting notes

This one reminded me of a purple grape bubblegum I used to chew as a kid. I was expecting a more natural grape flavor but the artificial grape smell and taste was pretty strong here. I brewed this one grandpa style using water off the boil and topping off with cooler water later. The grape bubble gum flavoring was up front and center. Sweet with a floral hint from the Baozhong base. As it cools, the flavoring softens a bit turning into a kyoho grape sweetness that contrasts nicely against the light vegetal backdrop. A hint of perfume mingled with grape juice as the tea further settles.

Once my cup was 1/3 full, I topped off with the barely hot water left in the kettle (too lazy to re-heat the water). This lightened the tea considerably and I finally tasted a bit of the promised muscat grape flavor.

Cold brew was enjoyable and tasted similar to the hot brewed tea, but more one-dimensional.

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Grapes

Preparation
Boiling 1 g 7 OZ / 208 ML

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88
drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
535 tasting notes

I absolutely love all things grapefruit and of course green tea, but had doubts about how the two would go together. That and too many bad citrus flavored teas in the past gave me some trepidation. However, Lupicia has once again done a marvelous job with this blend and I enjoyed it more than any other citrus tea I’ve had before.

The tea has a delicious citrusy smell out of the bag. A powerful yet very pure and natural grapefruit aroma accented by orange and Meyer lemon. I chose to cold brew it at first as the idea of hot grapefruit wasn’t terribly appealing. It starts off herbaceous with lemon verbena and basil notes before settling into a mellow grapefruit flavor followed by a bright burst of meyer lemon peel in the aftertaste. The grapefruit flavor isn’t puckery or juicy like the flesh of the fruit but more like grapefruit rind. This one is like a way better version of the Tazo Mint Green tea I used to drink back in the dark ages.

I’ve brewed this a couple of times now and noticed towards the end of my cup, the flavoring starts tasting like lavender which I’m not crazy about. I finally hot steeped it recently and was quite pleased with the taste. Light but pleasant grapefruit flavor and there’s less of the lavender I was getting with the cold brew.

Flavors: Citrus, Grapefruit, Herbaceous, Lavender, Lemon

Preparation
Iced 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Yum! I need to start trying some of my group order teas!

Mastress Alita

I don’t even like actual grapefruits, but I enjoyed this tea when I got a free teabag sampler in an order once.

Kawaii433

I really like this one. It’s my favorite Lupicia tea.

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78

Four Seasons spring oolongs usually don’t offer the same experience as their pricer high mountain siblings. That said, they can still enjoyable and occassionally even surprise you as long as you don’t set your expectations too high. This one was fairly decent when prepared gongfu but was overall unremarkable.

Out of the bag, it had a sweet, sumptuous aroma of lychee and flowers. Butter and pastry like aromas wafted out after dropping the leaves into a warmed teapot. Wet leaf brought out enticing aromas of apricot jam, peonies, and orange blossom. The amazing smell however didn’t manifest itself in the tea. The tea is light bodied with a bright fruity flavor, syrupy sweetness, and floral undertones – mostly orange blossom. Doesn’t have the fullness or depth of better gaoshans but that is to be expected. I got several solid steeps out of it before it faded out.

It was less impressive when steeped using other methods. There’s hardly any flavor after cold brewing for nearly 24 hours. Doesn’t hold up well to grandpa style either.

Flavors: Floral, Orange Blossom, Pancake Syrup

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
So Keta

Mmm the aroma sounds amazing, I wonder if it would make a better iced tea?

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88

This was the tea I was most looking forward to from the group order. I sampled it eons ago and loved the delicate peach flavor mingled with the flowery Baozhong. Never found another peach tea quite like it.

This time though the flavoring seems a lot more intense and perfumey than I remember. It doesn’t smell very peachy though. The smell reminds me more of lychee than peach. Lychee, rose water, and stonefruit are the dominant flavor notes. I can’t taste the Baozhong base at all. The sample I tried once had a more delicate but distinct white peach flavor.

Perhaps the flavor will eventually settle with time as it sometimes does with flavored teas. It’s still delicious, just a little different than how I remember it tasting.

Flavors: Lychee, Rose, Stonefruits

Preparation
Iced 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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