1347 Tasting Notes
Oh, hey! I can log into Steepster again! I missed you all.
I had quite the adventure in March. I took a short trip down to San Francisco, and then went on a birthday cruise (for my father and young nephew) to various Hawaiian ports. This was my first visit to the US since before the pandemic and it was.. nice, even if SF did a good YVR impression with the weather (rain. so much rain). Also, I definitely caught covid on the tail-end of the cruise, which was awful – the least terrible ramification being that it prevented me from enjoying my Lupicia souvenirs for a couple weeks.
Is this tea subtle? No. Does it taste like a Melona bar? Yes, it totally does – and that’s all I want at the moment. Sugary green melons on a floral bouquet. This is an excellent tea for flavoured tea fans and newbies (my mom thinks it tastes and smells mindbogglingly good). My sole complaint is the green oolong base is kind of boring and veers towards sour once the flavouring dissipates – but it’s such an easy tea to guzzle down, and takes a long while to get to the point of “meh”. This is one of the very few Lupicia offerings I’ve tried before and it’s lovely to get a chance to revisit it.
Steep Count: 5 and going strong
Flavors: Candy, Cantaloupe, Floral, Fruity, Grassy, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Lilac, Melon, Mineral, Nectar, Smooth, Sweet, Violet
Had to look up Melona bars … that’s not a brand you see here in Missouri! This oolong sounds nice—like bananas, I don’t mind melon flavors, just hate the texture of the real thing.
I didn’t get a chance this time – but I hope to visit again! I loved what little we saw of San Francisco.
@gmathis – yeah, there’s something banana-like about Melona bars (I think that’s one of the different flavours). I used to never see them around here either, except for the rare Korean grocery store, but the nearby Costco recently started carrying them!
While not a blend I’d pick out on my own, I do think the concept is pretty neat: sweet stonefruit blended with zesty spices to create something that does kind of taste like a savoury chutney.
The lemon and ginger help bring out the zestiness to the blend; it makes it feel convincing and interesting texture-wise. None of the spices steal the show; they’re well blended. The green blend also aids the concept and leans into the savoury with it’s fresh and bright vegetal profile. The tea ultimately reminds me of a green guava chutney I had ages ago, which brings back happy memories.
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Allspice, Apricot, Cardamom, Cherry, Citrus, Cloves, Drying, Fruity, Ginger, Lemon Zest, Spices, Stonefruit, Sweet, Vegetal
I have frightfully little left of this so I’m now hoarding it and drawing out the steep as long as possible when I do have it. This time I managed to resteep it over three days with +10 infusions (tea necromancy). It was so good in a way that no one else whom I describe it to finds appealing (no super floral/violet fans in my life).
Resteep Count: 12
Flavors: Berries, Butter, Candy, Creamy, Floral, Mineral, Smooth, Sugarcane, Vegetal, Violet
I’m not sure I’d pick this up again because of the nectar-sweet sunflowers + the fear of their inevitable rancidity – maybe if my cupboard wasn’t at this level of unmanageable and I wasn’t so worried it’d get neglected at the back of the stash?
Overall though, I enjoyed drinking this fruity green tea blend. The nippy, almost smoky, cruciferous base is not what I generally look for in greens but I gained a strong appreciation for its bolder profile in the mornings and early afternoons; it has something of a “breakfast blend”, or gunpowder, feel to it (bonus pineapple jam included). It also resteeps amazingly well, although the first steep could be mercurial regarding the nippiness – matcha-like in it’s grassiness today, which is a lovely send off for me.
Resteep Count: 4
Flavors: Bright, Brussels Sprouts, Candied Fruit, Grassy, Juicy, Kale, Nectar, Pineapple, Sunflower Seed, Tannic, Tropical, Vegetal
I honestly wasn’t too excited to see this one when it arrived. Then I tasted and remembered that I actually love gingersnap cookies. This tea tastes like aforementioned cookies in a way that awakens some serious cookie-pining (imagine how perfect it would be to dunk a gingersnap cookie into this gingersnap tea). It’s so good.
I appreciate how the nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla are merely subtle accents and a vehicle to convey the gingersnap ideal. I love that I get gingersnaps whether or not I choose to add milk. Wish I’d picked up more of this.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cookie, Ginger, Malt, Nutmeg, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge 2023 – A flavoured white tea
Ok, this is the only flavoured white tea I currently have so it’s off for it. My initial impression way back when was one of intimidation because the honey aroma of the dry leaf is thick. It’s impressive that honey doesn’t dominate the actual cup once steeped up; it’s a pretty good balance between the tea base, a floral citrus, and the would-be tyrannical honey. I enjoyed it even though White Peony isn’t my favourite.
The thing this tea most reminds me of is an odd one though: White Rabbit Candy. Something about White Peony has always been papery to me (in the most flattering way.) It’s likely linked to the cucumber and hay notes that white teas have but Silver Needle doesn’t do this to my brain. When it’s paired with the thick sweetness and tactile memories of honeycomb and the subtle nuances of blood orange, it crosses wires into milk-sweet rice paper territory. White Rabbit candies reminds me of my childhood so we are good.
Steep Count: 3
Flavors: Beeswax, Blood Orange, Candy, Citrus, Cucumber, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Orange Blossom, Paper, Rice, Smooth, Sweet
@gmathis: I really don’t think so. They have more of a milky flavor – like a sweetened milk – rather than the vanilla flavor of the tootsie (which I also love, btw) – and the texture is a bit different too. I find white rabbits to be a little more “toothsome” than tootsies. You kind of have to warm a white rabbit in your mouth (suck on it) a while before it softens up and you can chew it, whereas tootsies are soft and chewy.
Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge 2023 – Your oldest oolong tea
With a 2018 harvest date, this is definitely my oldest oolong by quite a bit. This last cup is a lot of tea dust but it’s still a decent sticky rice flavour – grainy, creamy, sweet and slightly sour. I’m sad to see this one go but there’s been more air than tea in the pouch for a couple years now – and it’s totally getting buried under newer oolong acquisitions.
Steep Count: 4
Flavors: Butter, Milky, Nutty, Popcorn, Savory, Smooth, Sticky Rice, Tangy, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vegetal
Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge 2023 – February 2 – Groundhog Day: drink the same tea (or type) twice!
Did I have two separate sessions of this with one resteep each today? Yes, I did. Now, I’m off to reconvene hibernation – which was the general consensus of Vancouver Island Marmots who weighed in today (literally, they were weighed to make sure they’re not loosing too much weight during hibernation; otherwise, the consensus in my province is not to wake up the sleepy marmots).
To catch up on other groundhog news 2023 check here (RIP Fred): https://www.ctvnews.ca/climate-and-environment/six-more-weeks-of-winter-here-are-the-predictions-of-groundhogs-across-north-america-1.6256937
This was always a fun tea to have because, due to not shaking my pouch ever, I kept getting a different distribution of ingredients in my filter. This means the tea never tasted the same. Sometimes, it reminded me of Butiki’s Pumpkin Milkshake blend, which was nice. I will miss it.
Flavors: Allspice, Caramelized Sugar, Cinnamon, Creamy, Ginger, Malt, Nutmeg, Pumpkin Spice, Smooth, Vanilla
Oh no, poor Fred! I learned just yesterday that here is Alabama we have Sand Mountain Sam the opossum forecasting our weather. He predicted an early spring so I guess we’ll see over the next few weeks who got it right.
This tasting note made me chuckle. It illustrates exactly why I always put “shake pouch” on the brewing parameters because I seldom remember to shake before I measure. It makes for an adventure with every cup!
@Shae, Thank you for bringing Sand Mountain Sam to my attention; I love the regional takes on groundhog day but also have a soft spot for opossums :)
@52Teas, usually I’m pretty good at absentmindedly shaking my teas up in the morning… but not this time. The result was a sedimentary strata-like distribution of the spices. Whoops!
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 24
This is never going to be my favourite but I can’t deny it’s festive. I don’t recall drinking it over a month ago but I must have. I do recall my mom liking this one both in 2021 and 2022 though. Different teas (and tisanes) for different folks.
2022 Advent Summary: I continue to love how solid and affordable DF is even if I don’t love their actual orange-cherry-spice Noël blends (everything else is tasty or at least interesting). Also, we go into 2023 knowing they are unlikely to leave Rooibos de Noël to the last advent day two years in a row, so hurrah! The future is bright.
Flavors: Bubblegum, Cherry, Citrus, Orange, Spices, Woody
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 25
Another catch-up note. The penultimate day was the blue version of this tea; I noted it would be lovely to try that spicy flavour profile on a black tea base and MF delivered. Memory is foggy now but I recall enjoying it a lot despite having difficulty describing it. It’s spicy, bready, and fruity but not remotely sweet; it’s like a christmas cookie-scented incense, which is apparently something I like. My mom shared a cup with me and thought it was magical, so vague tea.
2022 Advent Summary: MF really surprised me this year. I thought this was a far superior selection to 2021’s hyper focus on “Rhapsody” and “In Love” collections (both are meh imho) – even though it still leaned heavily into green and oolong teas. However, if I wanted to stock up on most of them I’d have to opt for expensive but pretty tins. I’m admittedly more than tempted when it comes to a few; there were some pretty neat teas but also pricey!
Flavors: Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Cookie, Ginger, Malt, Spices, Vanilla, Woody