I recently went to Hawaii. With 100 high school band kids. Awesome kids, awesome trip.
While there, we rented equipment and played with a friend’s school program. We had become friends over the years, so this year, we did an exchange concert at the local high school.
As a gift from the host to the guest, I got this tea package. Good work Jason, you know me well!
Anyway, I am finally getting around to giving it a proper taste. Here we go!
To start off, I’m normally not a huge fan of blends. I’m more of a purist, unless it’s done in an interesting and tasty way. And it must be well balanced. Too many tea companies hide bad tea base taste by dumping in whatever might taste good.
This is not that. Right off the bat, opening the package, I get a beautiful, tropical fragrance. The smells of mango, apple, papaya, and pineapple popped out and made me think I was still on the islands. But the black tea base was still present, nice and gentle. Good sign.
I brewed this in my 32 ounce Bodum Assam tea pot with boiling water over 7 grams (the package said 2-2.5 grams per 1-2 cups of tea…), and steeping for 2:30, after rinsing, of course.
The aroma of the liqueur is surprisingly even better than the dried leaves. The dried fruit smell is still present, but not as in your face. The black tea gets to stand out just a bit more, bringing out a wonderful balance, one that I am not used to in a tea with this much fruit presence.
The taste is right there as well. The hints of all those fruits are still there, mixed wonderfully inside the black tea base. And it is a great black tea base, not over the top itself, trying to be something it doesn’t need to be in a tea blend, but still confident and right at the front, with just a touch of that velvety smooth roast, just a touch of earthy malt that defines a really good black tea.
Now, the tea package that this tea came in also had a small bear container of local Hawaiian honey, so my 2nd cup I added about a tablespoon to my 1.5 cup mug. I’m not normally a honey-in-my-tea fan, or anything else, really. milk, sugar, lemon, anything. Just give me my tea straight. But, if a company is going to go through the trouble of making a tea package with local honey in it, they must be pretty proud of it, so I’ll give it a shot.
Damn, that’s some good honey. It really does go well, surprisingly, with this tea. You don’t need much, I probably could have used a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon, but it mixes very well with the fruit overtones and the black tea base, without taking away from those flavors, or worse yet, the flavors battling and fighting because they don’t get along, either in my mouth or in my stomach.
None of that, this honey matches this tea very nicely. I’ll be honest, I prefer it alone, without the honey. But either way, this tea is very, very good.
I think I’ll be buying more from Lupicia in the future. Thanks, Jason!