274 Tasting Notes

82
drank Jasmin Mandarin by Lupicia
274 tasting notes

I’m still around! Though I haven’t had as much time for tea as I would have liked…

This came with the Lupicia newsletter. I was surprised to see I had given it a rating of 65 before…probably didn’t enjoy it so much when brewed hot? This time I made it iced, and it’s a nicely refreshing jasmine green tea. Smooth, just a little sweet, and with very fresh floral qualities. Definitely glad to give it another try.

On another note, I will be visiting China this summer…definitely a lot of tea to try (among other things), though all of it will probably be logged under the “random/unknown” category here!

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84
drank Peach Melba by Lupicia
274 tasting notes

Sample from the Lupicia newsletter, which was a complete surprise since I couldn’t remember placing any orders recently…maybe last year? The dry sachet has a peaches-and-cream scent, along with a slightly woodsy, boozey contribution from the rooibos. This one brews up intimidatingly dark, as rooibos often does. The peach flavor is very fresh and natural. There’s a crispness to the body of the tea that almost makes me believe it’s a peach black tea. Highly delectable with a splash of milk as well. A few years ago I would never have imagined I’d enjoy rooibos, but it has been growing on me a lot. This is one of the great ones.

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92

Just finished my sample of this one today. It’s been remarkable and consistently enjoyable from start to finish. The smooth blend of jasmine and pine notes inspires a feeling of tranquility, and a warm cup of this isn’t too much on a hot day—it even seems cooling and refreshing. Thanks again to beelicious for the sample!

beelicious

Another of my absolute favorites… whispering Pines needs to blend more… And soon!!

Teatotaler

I totally agree. They need to get crackin’ with the Rivendell too! :)

Mikumofu

I hope so too! And I still haven’t tried Rivendell…

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78
drank Chai Guarana by DAVIDsTEA
274 tasting notes

Sipdown of this…still good with milk, still only mildly energizing (if at all). I’ve been busy lately but steadily making progress on reducing my stash!

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86

Getting to the bottom of this one, so a lot more rice ends up being scooped out. It makes for a much creamier, starchy-sweet cup. The rice-to-tea ratio being higher means the brew is not as strong caffeine-wise, but very comforting. Still highly enjoyable, and I’ll miss this one when it’s gone.

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84
drank Sencha "Chiran" by Lupicia
274 tasting notes

Last one of the Lupicia samples I got from my last visit back home. This one is a vivid green sencha that brews out to be a nice golden-green color, and is quite cloudy in the cup. As for the aroma and flavor, it’s definitely sweet potato. There’s something a little crisper, almost snow-pea-like on the finish. I didn’t read the description before drinking, and was amused to see that sweet potato was indeed in the official description, but elusive for many reviewers. Each tea is a different experience for everyone who tries it! This is one of the least grassy sencha I’ve tried, and not very intense—some of the others are like a kick in the head, but this is truly mellow and mild. An enjoyable and nourishing-feeling cup that I would be happy to try again.

Mike

I love senchas so much…this one sounds very different!

Mikumofu

I’m still learning but so far I’ve been amazed at the variation!

Mike

I’ve only had a few of them, but I like the grassiness. As far as green teas go, Japanese teas are definitely on the top of my list! :)

TeaBrat

this is one of my favorite senchas. I love the sweetness it has.

Mikumofu

TeaBrat- have you tried their Sencha Ariake? I have heard it’s similar to this one and am curious.

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82

This is it! The last unlogged tea in my cupboard, and the last sample to try from beelicious. Thanks again for the huge bag of goodies!

Compared to the unblended Wuyi Big Red Robe, this one isn’t as strong or roasty. The oolong here reminds me even more of a honey-citrus-heavy Dancong, which is also enjoyable. There’s a hint of cocoa, a savory quality, and something like woodsmoke. Not sure how whiskey-like it is, but it is interesting and a completely different, and lighter, experience than the base tea.

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80
drank Houjicha "Shigaraki" by Lupicia
274 tasting notes

A very roasty houjicha with an intense aroma right out of the bag. The recommended steeping time was 45 seconds to 1 minute, and while I didn’t time it exactly, I think I did even less than that. Even so, the brew came out very dark and richly flavored. Toasted grains, something a little coffee-like, bittersweet or caramelized. There’s a faint nori-like note in both the aroma and flavor if you look for it, possibly a quality of the green tea prior to treatment. Probably the most intense houjicha I’ve tried so far, but the aftertaste is crisp and a little sweet, almost like a Ceylon.

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78
drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
274 tasting notes

The cool weather has returned, and it looks like it might rain for the next few days. Perfect time to break out this sample. It’s definitely got a substantial cinnamon spice kick to it, nicely warming and a little bit sweet. The cayenne makes it rather different from the typical cinnamon flavor. The green tea base is initially vegetal, and develops some of that preserved-plum quality I’d found in my curious unknown green tea (which is probably also Longjing). The overall effect is like a hua mei rolled in spicy-sweet cinnamon powder. While it’s not something I’d reach for every day, it’s nice for colder weather and fills a niche usually occupied by black teas and chais. Thanks to beelicious for the sample!

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Bio

Biologist, aspiring writer, and a cat that learned to type.

I grew up in a tea-loving family, and tea has always been a part of daily life. I’m still astounded by the amount of tea and teaware back home every time I visit! While I’m most familiar with straight Chinese teas, I’m growing to explore and appreciate other types of tea, including blended and flavored ones. A good blend can reflect the thought and creativity that was put into making it, instead of being too sweet or busy in a way that gives the “genre” a bad rap.

Likes:
-most black teas (even lapsang)
-most oolongs, especially Fujian teas, baozhong and dancong
-houjicha
-straight white teas
-citrus
-stonefruit
-almond/amaretto
-coconut
-vanilla

Variable (some are great, some not so):
-most green teas
-tie guan yin
-flavored white teas
-assam
-rooibos
-melon
-mint
-grape

Ratings:
90-100: definite repurchase if possible, recommended
80-90: enjoyed, possible repurchase
70-80: fair to good, unlikely to repurchase
60-70: fair with some shortcomings
50-60: there’s still a chance I’d take this if it were free
under 50: absolutely not

Location

Southern California

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