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265 Tasting Notes

84
drank Tikuanyin by Lupicia
265 tasting notes

In an effort to stay away from a) green teas, b) flavoured teas and most especially c) fruit-flavoured green teas, I ended up drinking this one tonight – and hallelujah, I’ve finally ended up with a tea that I really wanted to keep drinking.

The last Ti Kuan Yin I had was looked greener and tasted grassier than this, but that’s really not a criticism, just an observation. These leaves produce a golden liquor with that distinctive strong smoky taste, which leaves the barest hint of astringency on the tongue. As Ti Kuan Yins go, this is a good one.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Suzi

Sounds lovely!

Angrboda

This is my favourite type of oolong, ever. I always get happy when I see someone else having liked it. :)

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34
drank Apple & Berry by Lupicia
265 tasting notes

I should probably stop buying fruit-flavoured green teas. They almost always disappoint me. The descriptions always make me think they should taste so good, and then I do taste them and… sigh

The leaves were very encouraging. They have pretty red bits all through them, and there was a strong aroma of apples as soon as I opened the packet. The aroma dissipated a lot in the brewed tea, so by the time I came to drink it there was only a faint aroma left. Then I tasted it and discovered the main problem with this tea: I can’t taste the fruit in it at all. The flavour is not quite that of unadulterated green tea, but that something else is so indistinct that the only reason I know it’s meant to be apples is because that’s what it says on the packet.

If they’d managed to translate a little of that fabulous apple aroma from the dry leaves into the taste of the brew, this might just have been a fabulous tea. As it is, meh.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Jillian

Boo (again). :(

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65

Last week someone mentioned wanting to start a blueberry blitz, and since I’ve never had a blueberry tea before I thought that now might be a good time to try one. The manufacturers claim that this tea is exceptionally high in antioxidants since it is 37% actual blueberries, so that’s another good reason to try it today, since RL has been knocking me around a bit over the past few days and I’m still feeling a bit fragile.

The spearmint dominates the aroma of the dry leaves, which is fine, except that I was hoping for more immediate evidence of the presence of all those blueberries. The tea brews up into a medium brown liquor, and after ten minutes’ steeping – the required time to properly rehydrate the blueberries – the smell of the spearmint was a lot less obvious. The spearmint dominates the flavour initially, too, which is mostly okay since I like the taste of spearmint. Actually, it reminded me a little of Adagio’s Foxtrot at this point. As I continued to drink and the tea cooled a bit more I started to get a hint of blueberry in the taste, and by the time I got to the bottom of the cup there was a definite berry aftertaste going on.

Since this tea is marketed primarily for its health benefits, I was prepared for it to be average at best, but it’s actually a little better than that. I think it’s going to be a pretty good evening tea at least until I get through the rest of the jar.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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63

The summer weather is starting to hit, and with the 32C (ETA: 90F) day came the stormy afternoon so typical of this part of the country in the summer, and so I’ve been on the edge of a migraine since, which is typical of me when trying to endure this sort of weather pattern. Because of being headachy, I wanted a reliable, unflavoured tea heavy on the anti-oxidants to give my system a boost and (hopefully) knock the headache on the head. I really should have gone for pai mu tan, but instead I decided on this one.

This is one of my oolong staples that I always have on hand in the tea cupboard. It’s a Chinese oolong, so it’s not heavy on the floral notes and silkiness in the way that my favourite Taiwan oolongs are, but I like this one for different reasons. It’s usually smooth and subtly complex – one of those teas that you spend time just savouring and trying to work out what’s going on just underneath the surface of the flavour.

It wasn’t as good as usual this time. It was still smooth, but those complexities in the flavour that I enjoy so much weren’t really there. This could have been my fault – with the second steeping, which is usually my favourite, I wasn’t paying close attention to what I was doing because of the headache-fog, and I let the water cool for a lot longer than I intended to before adding it to the leaves. It could also just be that I’ve had these leaves in the cupboard for a few months now and they’re past their best.

The issue with the tea getting old before I can finish it is related to the only real gripe I have with Ten Ren: their standard package sizes are on the large side. This tea comes in a 100g (4oz) bottle only, which is really a bit more than what I can get through quickly. I still haven’t tried their Alishan Oolong, though I’ve been eyeing it for ages, because it only comes in a 300g tin! $80.00 is a lot to pay for 300g of tea that I don’t have a hope in hell of getting through while it’s still fresh. If they sold it in 50g packets I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

50g is my standard size too, unless it’s the tea that I bring to work. It’s big enough that I’ve got it for a while, but small enough that I can defend having a large collection. It really is the ideal size but almost all vendors insist on the 100g because it’s easier, apparently, for them.

Luthien

Yeah, one of the reasons why I buy the majority of my teas from The Tea Centre and Lupicia is because they offer all their teas in 50g packets. I really loved the little sample tins from Adagio when I was in America, too!

Angrboda

I wish Lupicia would ship to Denmark. I’m really interested in trying that one out. :/ I comfort myself by the fact that the rest of you lot can’t visit my little local shop. :)

Luthien

Lupicia is a Japanese company. They have stores in several countries, so maybe they’ll open up somewhere nearer to you sometime soon.

Jillian

@ Luthien, have you thought about buying the 300g bag and selling/trading whatever you don’t think you’ll use?

@Angrboda, heck I wish that they’d ship to Canada too, hearing everyone talk about their yummy teas is making me jealous! ;)

Angrboda

If an ancient shop in Copenhagen (175 years old, AC Perch’s) could end up with an outlet in Tokyo, then why shouldn’t Lupicia be able to end up with an outlet here? :) Or just anywhere in the EU, I could live with.

Jillian

AC Perch’s is from Copenhagen?! The name just sounds so terribly English. <

Angrboda

LOL no, it’s a danish shop. :) I was in Copenhagen earlier this year and sadly didn’t get to go there. I had only three days and tons of things I wanted to see, so it didn’t even cross my mind that I could go there too. But I’ve shopped from their website a few times. I bought their tea book and it has lots and lots of pictures in it as well as a more detailed history of the shop (which made me sorry that I couldn’t have come in there and seen some of the previous owners ‘live’) http://www.perchs.dk/engelsk/index.asp

Luthien

@Jillian Pretty much all the people I know who drink anything other than ‘normal’ tea are overseas, and it’s such an issue getting tea through Australian Customs that I don’t usually consider participating in tea swaps. Perhaps I can palm off some on some friends…

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75
drank Lychee Shaped Jasmin by Lupicia
265 tasting notes

I like the name of this tea. It’s accurate, as well as being a different way of describing a flowering type tea. It’s always fun to watch those unfurl as they steep. This one is just the tea, without any added pretty ‘flower’ colours. It’s a bit like a giant jasmine dragon pearl.

As far as taste goes, it’s not bad. Not the best jasmine tea I’ve had, but certainly not the worst, either. I can see I’ll be coming back to play with more of these balls in the future.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 6 min, 30 sec
Suzi

Does the jasmine in this one tend to be on the heavier side, or is it light?

Luthien

Steeping for six and half minutes, the jasmine is reasonably strong but not overpowering. The dry balls barely smell of jasmine at all, so I think that a shorter steeping time would produce quite a delicate jasmine tea.

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37
drank Tsugaru Green by Lupicia
265 tasting notes

Somehow I didn’t drink any tea at all yesterday, so I was really looking forward to this cup of tea. I really wanted to like it, and so it was a shame that this tea didn’t quite get there.

As a fairly standard green tea – the base is bancha – it’s okay. As a flavoured tea, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. There’s a very slight apple aroma to the tea that you really have be looking for to notice, and very little apple in the taste. I like my fruit teas to be more… fruity.

So, yeah, this tea is drinkable, but if I’m in the mood for a green tea or a fruit tea or a green fruit tea there are plenty of others out there that I vastly prefer.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Jillian

That’s a shame because it sounds quite good. I like apple-flavoured things and I’m always glad when tea companies use the real thing when they flavour their teas. Ah well.

Luthien

Yeah, I really liked the sound of it in the description. Shame it didn’t live up to it!

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87
drank Kotobuki by Lupicia
265 tasting notes

I spent the morning editing a loooooong document and just as I stopped for a break my latest order from Lupicia turned up at the door, so I decided to take that as a hint and went to make some tea.

The flavour of this oolong is elusive. Generally, I prefer the fruit flavour of a fruit tea to be more definite, but for some reason the delicacy of this one is really working for me. The plum is mostly in the aroma, but it lurks around the edges of the taste, too, and it somehow puts me in mind of the texture of a plum – and yeah, I have no clue how it’s doing that. The tea itself is smooth and feels a little viscous in the mouth, and now it’s cooling the taste of the Taiwan oolong is really coming through.

Time for another cup, before I start on the next fifty pages of this document.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Suzi

Thanks for reviewing this one! I’ve been wondering about it.

Luthien

The description had me wondering, too. Fruit teas can be such a mixed bag that I am always a little wary before trying a new one – but I’m glad I took the plunge with this one!

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98

All of you people posting about peach teas reminded me that I haven’t had any of this since I got back from my trip. I’ve now fixed that state of affairs.

This is still really good, still one of my favourite flavoured teas. There’s something about the combination of peach and oolong that works really well together, more so than many other fruit flavoured teas I’ve tried, and something about this peach oolong in particular that especially works for me. This really does taste like peach rather than peach flavouring, and the balance of the flavour and the tea is just right.

I got a bit overenthusiastic and used a little too much leaf this time, and used boiling water instead of water at just slightly below boiling point, so I ended up with a slightly stronger flavour and just a little more astringency than I prefer. Will make sure to go back to my usual method with this tea next time.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Angrboda

LOL! So it’s a peach pandemic now? I’ve noticed that too actually. Peaches peaches peaches. Not too fond of peaches myself, so I’ll wait for the next trend. :)

Jillian

LOL, well I think my Stash peach oolong is the only peach-flavoured thing I own so in my case you won’t have to wait too long for me to move to something else. XD

Luthien

Oh, feel free to keep posting about peach teas. I like them! wonders what the next big thing will be g

Suzi

I hope the next big wave is blueberries; I just love blueberry tea! Peach is good too tho’ :-p

Hyrulehippie

I already logged the peach sample I had…I’ll have to sit this one out. Then again, I do take credit for starting an Almond Avalanche, so I can wait out the Peach Pandemic.

Feel free to ignore my ridiculousness. >__<

Luthien

@suzi I’ve never had a blueberry tea. I will have to hunt one down!

@hyrulehippie You definitely get points for the Almond Avalanche. ;-)

Suzi

Luthien – Adagio has had my favorite blueberry tea so far, very natural like fresh berries, but Lupicia had a really nice blueberries & cream blend that tasted like a blueberry muffin. Yum!

Luthien

@suzi Thanks for the suggestions! I can’t order from Adagio sniffle because they won’t ship to Australia, but I will see what the Australian Lupicia store has on offer.

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87

I’ve seen Stockholm Blend as a black tea before but not this white version, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

This tea produces a golden yellow brew, much lighter than the usual medium brown of pai mu tan. You can smell the different elements of the tea in the aroma of the dry leaves and also in the aroma of the brewed tea, with the floral notes gently predominating. The flavour is something different again, though. It’s not overly sweet – the Mellow Cream Oolong I had the other day is sweeter – and yet the flavour reminds me of honey more than anything else. It’s smooth in a way that reminds me of honey, too, and incredibly easy to just keep drinking.

This is a warm and cosy sort of tea, the perfect tea to be drinking on this cold, wet spring weekend. It’s also one of the best flavoured white teas I’ve had.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

Oh, it looks pretty!

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87

I needed something from the sweeter end of the tea spectrum to replace the aftertaste of the awful Sakura Vert I just had, and this was the first tea that came to mind. It’s doing the job excellently, but it’s a lot more than just a mouth wash.

I love the aroma of this tea, sort of creamy toffee. The flavour is less pronounced, but it makes a really effective blend with the oolong. Every time I drink it, it feels like a tiny indulgence, a little like the feeling you get when you indulge in a really rich, sweet dessert. And yeah, it goes really well with those sorts of desserts, too. After drinking this tea, I’m sort of wanting one of those desserts right now, even though it’s the middle of the afternoon. Oops.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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