Lupicia

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Recent Tasting Notes

83
drank Cassis & Blueberry by Lupicia
2653 tasting notes

Thanks again Cameron B for the Lupicia samples! They have all been delicious so far. I used one teaspoon for this and a blueberry went into the infuser. The brew doesn’t result too light or dark — a nice medium strength black tea. I think there is a nice balance of blueberry and cassis flavors (I guess cassis is black currant?) and I’m surprised the flavors aren’t used more together with other tea shops. I’ve had plenty of gross black currant flavors in the past and this isn’t gross. There is also an earthy flavor. The flavor just bursts out of the mug even more when the cup is cold. So this one should be even better iced. It’s very tasty! I like it. The second steep is lighter on the flavor, but that is to be expected on a second steep. It reminds me of David’s Tea’s Blueberry Jam but I like that this doesn’t have splenda.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a not quite full mug // 16 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep

Cameron B.

Yes, cassis is the French for blackcurrant, and it’s also a blackcurrant liqueur (also French).

Cameron B.

And you’re welcome for the samples! Always happy to spread some Lupicia love. ;)

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88

Thanks again Cameron B! I LOVE Lupicia’s matcha genmaicha blends. This one is no different, except for the black soybeans. I did see a soy bean in the infuser. However, I could not tell a difference in taste. It tasted like matcha genmaicha which is perfectly acceptable on its own. I love the combination: toasty yet fresh and definitely very sweet and so GREEN. Quite tasty. I love all that matcha that wafts from the infuser into the mug of bright green. I’d love to have tasted the black bean though, as this is such a unique idea I haven’t seen anywhere else. I give the matcha kirara rice tea from Lupicia a rating of 93 (which is VERY high for me for a green tea) and this tea is basically the same as that one, but since the soybeans aren’t adding much to the flavor for me here, I’m knocking down the rating a bit.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep

Mastress Alita

Huh, I get a very beany flavor from this one.

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78
drank Muscat by Lupicia
44 tasting notes

Picked this one up in a teabox. Minimal labeling, so I ran under the assumption that it was a pure black tea, but when steeped some of the leaves look suspiciously oolong. The scent is delightful – a rich, sweet grape that smells slightly artificial without being overbearing.

The aroma doesn’t quite carry over into the flavor – I can pick up on hints of grape, but nowhere as sweetly intense as the scent. It mellows out a bit as it cools and overall is a very mild, pleasant tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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76
drank Rum Raisin by Lupicia
2653 tasting notes

Thanks again for the Lupicia samples, Cameron B! This is another one that looks like it is partially CTC and a raisin was able to finagle its way into the infuser. I haven’t drank much rum, so I’m not sure how accurate the flavor is. It isn’t plain black tea though. There is a boozy type of flavor and lingers. However, the flavor quality it most seems like is a Ceylon type of flavor that I’m not a huge fan of. If this was a blind taste test I might just call it a ‘more flavorful Ceylon’. I’m not sure what the base is, as the website doesn’t say. I feel like anything that is flavored with alcohol I can never taste, bourbon especially. So this might just taste mostly like Ceylon to me, but the best cup of Ceylon. The second cup lost a bit of that flavor though.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for not quite full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

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90
drank Sakurambo Vert by Lupicia
160 tasting notes

I loved their grapefruit green so I had a feeling I’d like this one too. The cherry isn’t medicinal tasting and more importantly, it’s tart. The way I prefer cherries. Yum! It’s really good hot or iced.

I should buy another one… Oh man. #HoardCity

Flavors: Cherry, Tart

Preparation
3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Cameron B.

Yassss #hoardcity! I ordered two packets of this because I like the black version so much. ;)

Kawaii433

haha Cameron. Yeah, I think if I don’t, I’ll dread the way I’ll feel on the “last cup”. I’ll probably order it lol.

Cameron B.

To be fair, this is one that you could almost certainly order from Honolulu if it comes to that.

Kawaii433

Good to know! Ty :)

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73
drank Jingle Bells by Lupicia
160 tasting notes

If this tasted like the aroma, I think I would’ve liked it much better. It wasn’t bad. I liked the grapefruit notes but the grape notes were a little candy-ish to me. Maybe it was the perfumey notes. Not sure. I’m still getting used to flavored teas but I favor those that taste more naturally I guess. I’ll try again soon. ^^

Flavors: Candy, Grapefruit, Grapes, Perfume

Preparation
3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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92
Thanks so much for your wonderful Lupicia sample package, Cameron B! Another one I’m very happy to try, as it looks like this one is already gone from the site. The oolong doesn’t look like the bundled type, it’s the big leafed type, possibly a Pouchong which I’m a fan of! I knew Lupicia’s grape flavor wouldn’t be the really gross kind of grape flavor that I’ve had the unfun of experiencing on some teas before. This grape is delicious – it’s a candy grape but not the overly weird kind. The flavor is so full and smooth, even with only steeping the first cup for a minute and a half (with only a teaspoon and a half because the leaves are not evenly dispersed in the teaspoon.) The second steep is also plenty grape. With the third steep, the grape is more faded so I get to enjoy more of the great oolong base. The oolong flavors and grape flavors coexist so nicely here.

Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2-3 min

Cameron B.

You’re welcome! Hopefully you’ll be able to order this one from the Honolulu store.

tea-sipper

Even if I can’t order it, I’m very thankful I was able to try this. I’ve been meaning to order from Lupicia for years, but there are just so many tea shops. haha

Cameron B.

If there’s one thing Lupicia does really well, it’s their fruity oolongs. ;)

Kawaii433

@tea-sipper Oh my, this review just made me add that to a current Lupicia order o.O lol. That’s one thing about Lupicia too… If you contact them before they ship they are really accommodating.

tea-sipper

I hope you love it, when you try it!

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73

Apparently, I’m the first to write a note about this. And I do so with a bit of trepidation.

With the exception of the The O Dor, I haven’t had the best luck with oolongs that have some variant of the word “milk” in their name. But I’m hoping I’ll get along with this one.

If the smell of the dry leaf is any indication, I may. There isn’t any of that overpowering smell that someone mentioned is essentially sprayed on buttermilk flavoring.

I steeped as usual for an initial tasting: gaiwan, rinse, 195F for 15 seconds +five for each subsequent steep.

The tea is a light yellow color with a green tint. It has a pleasanty milky aroma.

The initial steep has a mild milky flavor. It is not at all offensive, but doesn’t seem to me to be loaded with character either.

The tea is darker on the second and third steeps, and has more flavor as well. It’s still milky with some faint floral and green notes. There is also a slight bitterness.

It’s not that we don’t get along. That would be too harsh. It’s just not a favorite.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green, Milk

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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88

I guess I’m one of the outliers concerning this tea. I like it. I don’t like red apples, I like granny smith apples and that’s the taste I’m getting. Bits of Tsugaru apples in here. It’s very fragrant with the smell of green apples. There is a tiny bit of the Jolly Rancher apple candy taste but the cherry Jolly Ranchers, watermelon and green apple ones were always my favorite so I guess that’s why I don’t mind. There is a little tartness but not much.

Flavors: Candy, Fruity, Green Apple, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 4 OZ / 110 ML
tea-sipper

I had the opposite favorite Jolly Rancher flavors. I hated the day they got rid of: lemon, peach, strawberry, orange. :/

Kawaii433

aww tea-sipper >.<. I don’t think I’ve ever tried the peach, strawberry and orange. I do like the lemon. I forgot about that one.

Mastress Alita

Granny Smith is pretty much the only kind of apples I get. Love that slight tart bite, and they go so nicely with PB, too.

Cameron B.

I love this one, too! Clearly we are tea soulmates or something… XD

Kawaii433

:D Cameron B.

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94
drank Earl Grey Chocolat by Lupicia
2653 tasting notes

Thanks so much again, Cameron B! This was a good one to try, as I have never tried Lupicia’s bergamot flavor or their chocolate flavor (well… I guess in the Strawberry Chocolate puer…but I don’t really remember it). I’m pleased to say BOTH flavors are delicious here. I would never think to combine bergamot and chocolate and haven’t seen that done much. I think the bergamot and chocolate are perfectly balanced in this cup. I LIKE that they use some CTC leaves in this, to give it that deep brew that I think any Earl Grey or chocolate tea needs. I think one teaspoon works great. The bergamot is lovely, it’s very sweet. It’s not my favorite bergamot but I’ve had some disgustingly bad bergamot in the past that I’m surprised didn’t scare me away permanently. The second cup had just as much delicious flavor as the first cup. But it’s bittersweet to find that Lupicia’s bergamot is delicious after knowing they are closing.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for not quite full mug// 18 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

Shae

Which is your favorite bergamot?

Dustin

I haven’t tried this one, but I love their Breakfast EG, which is CTC as well unlike their regular EG.

tea-sipper

I don’t have a CURRENT favorite bergamot. Sadly they were from companies that have come and gone years ago: Zen, Specialteas, Element. Maybe the other companies are just using a more natural flavor now, that I possibly don’t like as much. This one is probably about as good as I can currently buy right now.

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85
drank Yuzu by Lupicia
160 tasting notes

Last of the Lupicia samples that were gifted to me from Cameron B. :D I wanted to try all the Lupicia ones since it will be difficult to buy them soon. :( I am so thankful that I got to try them. This is another one that is hard to get.

Lots of reviews on this so here is my 2cents. ^^ The yellow-greenish liquor has the flavors of a good sencha base, umami, seaweed, oceanic, with a touch of pomelo with little or no astringency. Clean mouthfeel. The great sencha base with the pomelo notes makes this a winner.

Flavors: Citrusy, Grapefruit, Seaweed, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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81
drank Christmas Wreath by Lupicia
2653 tasting notes

Thanks again to Cameron B for allowing me to try these Lupicia teas! This one sounded intriguing… the black tea leaves look quite small but doesn’t result in a pitch black cup. It’s quite light actually. So I don’t believe any or many CTC black tea leaves are used here. The flavors that I’m supposed to be tasting don’t seem to be here though: black currant, cranberry and apple? Not really. Somehow what this tea reminds me of most of all, is 52Teas Coconut French Toast with Cardamom. There is mostly a cardamom flavor with otherwise a general feeling of baked goods. It’s tasty but a surprise when there should be other flavors here. The second steep somehow became more of the flavors it was supposed to be… more hints of fruit and cinnamon, less baked goods and cardamom.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 16 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep

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85

Another sample from Cameron B. :D Thank you <3 I am so glad that I got to try this one.

Ahhh, the amanatsu fruit from the Yamaguchi prefecture. I did a lot of world traveling with my parents growing up and we went to Japan a few times. I remember, a little me, saying to someone there “I liked the tangerines back home (America) better because these aren’t sour.” Of course, my parents scolded me for being rude to whoever gave it to me. I still ate lots of them during one summer there. ^^

The aroma of the golden liquor was like a delicate sweet tangerine and vegetal. It was pleasantly surprising to me to smell the latter note so strongly. Unfortunately, they don’t have this on their site anymore (if they do, I can’t find it.) but I think it’s a Taiwan Dong Ding oolong. It was sweet and mellow, with some floral-osmanthus aroma (the floral flavor really came out in the 2nd steep), and a velvety, creamy mouthfeel. It’s different than all the Lupicia samples I’ve tried in that the flavors are so delicate. There was no bitterness, it was slightly astringent on the second infusion. It had a good finish with a citrus-tropical fruit aftertaste.

190-200F, 6g, 6 oz, 2 steeps: 2 min, 3min

Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Creamy, Floral, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
Cameron B.

This one was only available in the summer.

Kawaii433

Thanks :)

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78
drank Banane Chocolat by Lupicia
161 tasting notes

It’s good but there was a lot more banana than chocolate. I think that’s usual for chocolate flavored teas? Not sure. I taste far more chocolate in some good non-flavored teas hehe. The banana was good, not too candy like and it was also a creamy tea. If you love banana, I think you’d like this one. There are some floral notes as well.

Flavors: banana, Chocolate, Floral, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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99
drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
2653 tasting notes

A big thank you to Cameron B for sending along some Lupicia samples. Now that they are disappearing from America (minus Hawaii), I’m very appreciative to try some of these blends. I’ve never bought any teas from Lupicia, only sampled here and there from tea boxes and other Steepsterers, but I did love the teas I was able to try. I think Lupicia never fails with excellent, accurate flavoring. This one is amazing. Could it be more melony? No way.. not even if I shoved some actual melon pieces in the cup. It’s fantastic, even with one teaspoon. One teaspoon is definitely enough. And I’m very pleased it isn’t watermelon.. it’s cantaloupe. My favorite melon. It’s hard to taste the oolong, but with accurate melon flavor, I’m fine with that. On the second steep, I was tasting hints of floral which I thought must be the oolong, with still a ton of melon flavor. Third steep: tons of melon again. I could probably keep going. I couldn’t think of a finer base tea for this flavor, but their melon white tea and melon green rooibos is also amazing.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for not quite full mug// 16 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min

Cameron B.

This is my absolute favorite from Lupicia!

tea-sipper

Thanks for sharing it then. :D I’m glad it was the first I tried. It would be a tough one to beat, favorite wise, for me too.

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89
drank Takibi by Lupicia
160 tasting notes

You guessed it, another great gift from Cameron B. hehe I’m really enjoying all these different flavored teas. I can’t wait to try the B&B ones, S&V, A&D, Dammann Frères and more. All these stores I’ve always wanted to try after reading all the reviews. Thank you again <3.

I really loved their mango oolong, and this is very similar. It has the addition of passion fruit and the citrusy notes, grapefruit. I like this better than the mango one because of the added citrus notes. Also, I like the oolong base a bit more, baked/oxidized more. Their site says this one uses Chinese oolong and the Mango oolong uses Taiwanese oolong (pouchong specifically). Both are great though.

Still heartbroken about the thought of them closing their Hayward store since I just started adding flavored teas to my rotation. On Twitter, I wrote on one of Lupicia’s tweets “California mise o tojinaide kudasai. ^^” which means “Please don’t close your California store.” lol To my surprise, they “liked” it. Wishful thinking that they won’t? I guess haha.

Flavors: Astringent, Grapefruit, Mango, Passion Fruits

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

I really like this one, it’s the first flavored oxidized oolong I’ve seen from Lupicia.

P.S. – The two A&D teas are unflavored!

Kawaii433

Ok :D So looking forward to them. I dreamt about your package while having a nap!! haha

Mastress Alita

しょうがない…

Kawaii433

Mastress Alita… Nooo. I still have hope! hehe

Todd

I found your tweet and retweeted.

Kawaii433

Todd, hehe thank you! Let’s hope they listen (I know wishful thinking hehe)

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80
drank Momijigari by Lupicia
160 tasting notes

Another sample from Cameron B. :D

The dry leaves smelled like apple cider. I don’t drink wine but it reminds me of the smell of certain wines from Olive Garden hehe. I love the smell of some wines, I just can’t drink it without nausea. Long story, I’ll share it sometime.

I can drink this though. :D I found it to be refreshing. I bet this would be good iced. When it comes to fruit, I love the ones that are tart so momijigari goes in the win column for me since it has some tart notes. Sweet and tart apple, some apricot notes with the comforting malt notes. I like the black tea base in this. Is it darjeeling? I’m such a noob.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Floral, Malt, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

I so wish I could order more of this before they close the website. Unfortunately, it’s an autumn tea… QQ

Kawaii433

Cameron, I saw that. /cry. There are a few that you sent me that I can’t get but am so glad that I will be able to try them. <3

Mastress Alita

I really wanted this one last year too, but they didn’t release it loose leaf, my preference. I was willing to get the teabags just to finally get to try it, but it was sold out online and by the time of my autumn trip in November, it was sold out at the San Jose store when I got to visit it for the first (and now, only) time.

Cameron B.

I know, I was so annoyed too! My loose leaf is from the year before.

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75
drank White Christmas by Lupicia
160 tasting notes

Another sample from Cameron B. :D

Took a nap, woke up and didn’t know the day, time of day/night. Haven’t done that in a long time hehe. The first sign I know when I’m hooked about something, I dream of it. For years, I played WoW (mage & priest), and I dreamt WoW all the time. I do that with all my hobbies. Well, I dreamt of opening a tea box and trying to decide which tea to try. I guess that means I’m officially hooked. ^^

Holy apricot batman! This reminded me of the Lupicia Cookie too but lots of apricot. I only wish I read the reviews beforehand.

“Next time, I think I’ll try this one with a slightly shorter steep. It becomes a little too bitter after 3 minutes because of the CTC leaves.” —Cameron B.

Little experience with CTC black tea, I steeped it at 3 minutes and it was pretty bitter. Overall, it was a pleasant experience. Apricot, butter, sweetness, nuts. It was astringent and bitter though. I learned something new in tea world about CTC black tea so I’ll know better next time. :)

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

One of Lupicia’s common black base tea blends contains CTC leaves. I tend to knock off about 30 seconds to avoid bitterness.

Kawaii433

Good to know. :) I think this would’ve been so much better if it wasn’t as bitter or maybe a splash of almond milk (which I finally bought some yesterday).

Cameron B.

Definitely, I know Cookie is meant to be taken with tea and this one is very similar.

Kawaii433

I didn’t think too much about Cookie, until I tried it with a splash of milk and it catapulted it to a new level for me. For one, I’ve never had tea with milk except for matcha smoothies. When I get my order with this (yes, I ordered it /cry), I’m going to try that with this one. :D

Lexie Aleah

I don’t think I’ve ever had a tea with CTC leaves before either. I’ll have to remember this!

Cameron B.

@Kawaii, I don’t usually add anything to my tea either.

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89
drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
160 tasting notes

Another tasty gift from Cameron B. :D

Lots of reviews on this and I see there are mixed reviews. I like it because it’s slightly tart, has a good base and doesn’t taste like cherry cough syrup or cough drops. Speaking of cold medicine, I’m almost 100%. Colds suck… As usual, my medicine was in pill/tablet form because I can’t stand the artificial cherry flavor in the liquid meds.

The cherry in this is very good. If it wasn’t slightly tart, I wouldn’t have liked it so much. The sweet peppery taste of the pink peppercorns really adds to it. I wouldn’t have guessed the pine though. Good call. ^^

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 OZ / 0 ML
derk

Glad to hear you’re almost clear.

Mastress Alita

I couldn’t even take liquid medicines when I was a small child. The tastes always made me immediately gag. I was told, “You have to take them, you can’t swallow the pills, they are too big for your little throat!” and as a stubborn four-year-old I was like, “Try me!” And I swallowed those horse pills. I have to have a very severe sore throat/cough to take a liquid medicine, and even then sometimes I’ll have to squirt it right to the back of my throat with a syringe and quickly chance it with popsicle because my gag reflex is so severe.

Kawaii433

Derk, thank you :). Weren’t you a little under the weather lately too? If so, are you better? I hope so. It’s seriously going around. I was hoping to miss it this year.

Mastress Alita, lol good for your 4 yr old self. They still make me gag lol. Ah, good suggestion (popsicle) if I ever absolutely have to take some in the future.

Cameron B.

I love this one! ❤

Kawaii433

Cameron B. I so agree with you :D

derk

I’m getting better but I did sound like Selma and Patty while making administrative phone calls today. I almost lose my voice every winter. A few more days and I’ll be back to full throttle derk.

Kawaii433

derk, lol :). Here’s you being back to full throttle derk!

derk

Thank you.

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90
drank Jingle Bells by Lupicia
1794 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 2 of 2019 (no. 490 total). A sample teabag.

Lupicia sent me this in one of their love letters, and since I’m rather desperate to keep up with the sipdown challenge I looked around for something I could claim to have sipped down. This is definitely the only Jingle Bells in the house, so I say it counts!

The smell out of the packet is strong — and amazing! Very, very fruity. I smell grapefruits and berries, regardless of what Lupicia says. But there’s also definitely champagne.

After steeping, a malty, earthy tea joins the party. The tea is medium-dark amber and clear. I expected it to be darker as a black tea. Hmm.

Maybe I’m just black tea deprived, but this is yum. As I sip, I get more of the grape — which is rather a candy type of grape than a fruity type of grape. But that’s ok, right? I mean, shouldn’t there be a place in the world for a candy grape tea?

I see that Roswell and I are somewhat in the minority here, but I loved this one. I’d definitely drink it again. I’m a little sad I chose it to sip down now.

But when I think of one less tea, I am happy again!

Flavors: Berries, Champagne, Earth, Grapefruit, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

R.I.P. Lupicia. It was a good run. * is currently going through the five stages of grief over their closure *

__Morgana__

Wow, I missed that. They’re closed? I knew that they had closed some stores a few years back — but I can’t find anything about a complete closure on the internet? I don’t see anything on their web site or Facebook page that indicates they’re closing and I just got a mailing from them in the last week, though admittedly I tossed it and just kept the teabag. So I’m a little freaked.

Mastress Alita

Check the forums, there is news on the group order thread. All stores but the Japanese and Hawaii branch are closing down. The US online store will be closed by the end of February this year. There may be different close dates for the different stores, but I know the San Jose location will be closed by January 28th (my friend is local there).

Maddy Barone

Whaaaat? But Golden Honeydew!!! wails

__Morgana__

Wonder why they are keeping Hawaii open but not the web site? I can understand retail space costs in the Bay Area (but Hawaii is expensive too), but there’s so much less overhead to do business online.

Mastress Alita

The website was run from the Hayward, CA location. They are closing all US locations, Australia, France… I’m assuming they don’t want to ship from Hawaii to the main states, since that is their only US location staying open.

__Morgana__

Oh for heaven’s sake. I just went and spent a ton of money ordering all my favorites. On the one hand, I am grateful to you for letting me know. I wish I’d known before American Tea Room went under. On the other, well, there goes my cupboard organizational effort and sipdown effort. Ugh.

Lexie Aleah

The Lupicia group order topic in the Discussion forms goes into more detail about Lupicia closing.

Rosehips

I really like this one too, but they’re closing?! Aww man!

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78
drank Daruma by Lupicia
468 tasting notes

Happy New Year! This is one of Lupicia’s New Year seasonal flavors, though I picked mine up as a box of tea sachets last April in a mottainai sale… yup. So, from the (rough) stats I kept in 2018, I spent waaaaaaaay too much on tea last year, tried 288 new teas, and sipped down 251 teas. And by “sipdown”, I mean teas I actually finished. Things that left my collection via gifting, teaboxes, or being trashed (for any reason, though bad coconut was the typical culprit) didn’t count toward that stat. So this will be new tea tried #1 for 2019!

I actually started my New Year’s Resolution back in December: to significantly cut down my tea spending this year, and make a huge push towards sipdowns to get the amount of tea in my tiny one room apartment back under control. It is out of hand, and really bothering me. Honestly, I’ve considered quitting Steepster for a year, because it almost feels like an alcholic trying to “get under control” but still going to the bar every night, because I’m constantly having sales, free shipping promos, group buys, tea boxes, etc. shoved in my face and feel guilty when I have to say over and over, “No, I’m serious, I’m not ordering/collecting tea right now. I mean it.” It’s like the peer pressure is everywhere. But I truly, sincerely, love sampling tea, and collecting my thoughts about it, and trying to expand my palate, and reading everyone’s tasting notes (I legitimately read every tasting note that comes through my feed if I’m Following you, even if it can sometimes take me a few days to catch up!) So I really don’t want to do that. I really hope you will join me on my journey of the Year of the Sipdown, as I try to clear space in my apartment, get my collection to a more managable size, better decide which teas I want taking up permanent cupboard real estate so the other space can be allocated to a “rotating” sampling collection, and only then I may feel up to getting some new things to try. (Plus, this will really help me recoup funds for some massive car repairs that hit at the end of the year! In the grand scheme of priorities, my transportation is a bit more important to me…)

So, onto this tea! It is apparently a mango flavored black, but the dry leaf smells like a really juicy apricot to me? I steeped the sachet for three minutes, then noticed it had a rip in it… bah! Had I noticed before I would’ve cut it open and let the leaf steep in my gravity well. I’m not against grandpa style for those of you that like it, but I’ll admit… I’m one of those weird folks that just can’t stand getting leaf in my tea, and I spent a while fishing loose peppercorns out of my cup, hahaha. The tea was a lovely dark brown color, and still smelled more of sweet apricot to me than mango (considering I have a bad run-in with many mango flavorings, this is not a bad thing to me!) The black tea had a medium astringency, but the fruit was so soft, sweet, and ripe tasting, that it actually didn’t have a very tannic quality to it, and the sweet fruitiness left on my tongue actually seemed to counter a lot of the dryness I would’ve experienced from the astrigency. It was a really nice flavor! There is a very, very subtle spice note, but mostly it’s a very smooth maltiness with a honeyed juicy apricot/peach flavor. I’m liking this one, it’s a lot less potent than some other Lupicia blacks I’ve had and the fruit flavoring in this one is really nice.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Honey, Malt, Peach, Smooth, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
tea-sipper

Hey, I get it. My collection of tea is insane. If it weren’t for Steepster, I really don’t think my love of tea would be THIS severe. (But I do love Steepster for my love of tea anyway.) So I’ll try not ‘pushing’ any tea on you…for a year. And if I am, just tell me to stop. :D I’m TRYING not to acquire any more tea myself, after what I’m already expecting shows up (and I’m also eventually buying some teas from Cameron). I have to be more strict about it. There are just so many lovely teas and so many kind Steepsterers. haha.

Mastress Alita

Hopefully I can get this mess I’ve created under control within a year, hahaha! Then watch me go on another collecting binge because I let the floodgates open and be like, “Oh no, what have I done…” and have to have another year of purging…

tea-sipper

Yeah, but just as long as you’re enjoying the tea as you’re drinking it. :D

Mastress Alita

Hahaha, depends on the tea. Sometimes the enjoyment comes from the sipdown itself, like it’s a great accomplishment because I didn’t really like the tea much, and just wanted it gone, and worked my way through several cups of a meh tea so it would be gone, but that last cup just feels like I won the damn Olympics because of it. Others the last cup feels like sadness because every cup before that is so freaking good and I don’t want to let it go, hahaha!

tea-sipper

Yeah, exactly that.. you don’t have to tell me… the accomplishment or pain of the sipdown. haha.

Mastress Alita

It’s a vicious cycle we put ourselves through.

__Morgana__

I’m in for the sipdown challenge!

AJRimmer

Yes, I’m also trying to not buy anything else for a while! (other than maybe a Steepster cupboard sale or two) I’m constantly forcing my very patient family members to drink my…less favorite teas because having tea around that I don’t want but can’t get rid of really stresses me out. I guess I just can’t feel like I’m wasting it! Good luck to all of us!

tea-sipper

Yep, I will be joining the sipdown goal too… after I try any new teas. :D

derk

Please forgive my offerings, Mastress Alita, but it’s just a joy to share tea. You seem like the type of person to stick to your word. You can do it! Sip it all down, baby, and find some new loves in the process!

Mastress Alita

It isn’t that I don’t appreciate the offerings, I find a great joy in sharing tea too! (If only my coworkers weren’t all adamant that it is coffee or the highway and won’t try my tea! Sigh…) But I honestly don’t have the space in my tiny apartment until I make it. I simply can’t enjoy offerings until I can make space in which to store offerings. At least tea is a consumable collectable! That gives me the option to just not collect for a while and drink, drink, drink. I suppose most people that collect tangible things would have to keep moving to bigger and bigger homes to house their ever-growing collections of stuff, ugh. (I hate moving…) So there is that!

Lexie Aleah

I have the opposite problem Lol I have like 900 teas on my Steepster wishlist but cannot convince myself to buy them and pay for shipping. When you have some more space and have sipped some of your stash down. Let us sSteepster’s know! (I’m going to then send you some tea as a Congratulations!) :)

lizwykys

Me: currently keeping tea in a box sitting on the bottom of my bed. Not the floor, the actual bed. And I’m just a newby, so I can only imagine your challenge and frustration. Courage! You will overcome!

derk

Lol, lizwykys, you sparked my imagination with some Steepster motivational posters now running through my head. Is there a graphic designer in the house?

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61
drank Happiness by Lupicia
408 tasting notes

Sipdown 155/397

The first tea made with my new temperature-variable kettle! I don’t know how I made it this long without one. I raised the temperature, not to boiling but higher than typical for the way I brew green teas, and left it steeping much longer this time and got a lot more flavour out of it this way. Still indistinctly ‘fruity’ but far less underwhelming. Upping my rating a little from 59 to reflect this.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Dustin

Getting a variable temp kettle was a game changer for me. I’ll never go back!

Mastress Alita

Same, Dustin! I’ve upgraded a few times since then too, and given my old models as gifts, which were always greatly appreciated.

Nattie

Right?! I can’t believe it’s taken me 5 years!

Mastress Alita

Treat yo’self.

frjeanxeau

Vtemp kettle is a great idea!

Nattie

I got it in the sales too, so I’m feeling extra justified, haha.

Mastress Alita

I got a variable temp kettle that was worth $100 for $60 because it had a big discount and was super pleased with myself at the time. But the model I had before that was really great and only $40 and I tend to recommend it to lots of folks. Really is convenient and ups the tea game!

Nattie

Ooh what was the $40 model?

Mastress Alita

I’ve seen a few different brands that are more or less the same pop up on the Amazons; the first one I got was the Epica 6 temperature variable kettle, the one I found just like it that I got for work was by Aicok. After I upgraded to the Bonavita, I descaled them really well and passed them onto friends as housewarming gifts.

Nattie

Thanks! I’m looking at getting a Bonavita eventually,

Kittenna

I upgraded from a cheapo $10 plastic kettle to a stainless variable temp, and it was amazing. I admittedly don’t use the variable temp part too much; what I LOVE is the fact that it tells me the temp of the water digitally, even as it is cooling, so no guesswork for greens. Mine’s a Black and Decker one that I’m quite happy with; it was reasonably expensive ($60? $80?) but my workplace got a stainless variable temp one at Costco that seems to be pretty decent and is more budget-friendly (I believe it’s close to $40?). Mine looks nicer though.

Nattie

Mine is a goose-neck kettle design, which I love, but apart from that I think the digital temperature reading is my favourite part of it, too! Mostly I’m just curious (did you know my tap water comes out at 22 degrees?) but I’ve been planning my drinking order around the temperature readings so I don’t have to boil the kettle a bunch of times (moving from black to green to white for example). Definitely a worthwhile investment already!

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61
drank Happiness by Lupicia
408 tasting notes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope 2019 is good to you all.

I started the year of with a cup of Happiness, because well, it’s a cup of happiness. I picked it based on name alone and didn’t even look at the flavours or the recommended steeping parameters (boiling water??) so it’s not the most successful cup of tea I’ve ever had, but at least I’ve got enough leaf to do another cup properly next time. Guessing the flavour before I looked, I only knew it tasted generally fruity, and my mam said she could taste cinnamon (but she has a cold and her tastebuds are off). After finding out it’s peach and grapefruit, I can pick out a grapefruit note at the end of the sip but no peach. This is probably due to the fact that I steeped it at waaaaay too low a temperature – I din’t even know there was rooibos in it – and for too short a time, so I won’t hold it against this tea.

Here’s to a wonderful year!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Mastress Alita

Lupicia always puts boiling on their instructions, and I never do it. When it’s a green tea, I always use 175F/80C water.

Nattie

Gotcha. Longer steep next time, still not boiling water. I have a temperature-variable kettle on the way so I’ll be able to properly brew it for once rather than guessing like I normally do!

Mastress Alita

Ooo, variable-temperature kettle! I love mine! Exciting times!

Nattie

I am ridiculously excited, lol.

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77
drank Orzo Caramel & Honey by Lupicia
44 tasting notes

So lately coffee has been on my no list – too harsh to drink without my stomach complaining – but since this is heralded as an almost-perfect replacement I had to give it a try (and receiving a pouch of it as a gift didn’t hurt matters, either).

Dry it smells almost cloyingly sweet, you can see some petals intermixed and it makes for a lovely little view, if you’re into tiny dark balls instead of luxuriant leaves. My one complaint is that the dry mix is terribly dusty and I actually spent some time shaking it over the sink once it was in the strainer to try to de-powder it.

It brews up beautifully dark, pitch-black and with a scent that’s in the same suburb as coffee…but definitely not close neighbors. The taste is familiar in a way I can’t place – dark like coffee, but with the emphasis landing on a roasted flavor instead of acidity.

It reminds me of the waffles at Waffle House when they’re just slightly overcooked; an almost-malted sweetness overtop a flavor that’s within walking distance of burnt.

If I didn’t know that this wasn’t coffee I’d be inclined to believe that someone had just made a thin pot of it and let it sit for a minute – and I say that in the most flattering way. I doubt this will be a daily drinker for me, but it was a good experience and it’ll do well to fill that gap when the coffee cravings hit.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Mastress Alita

Mugicha works well for me, as far as flavor, and I actually prefer the unflavored ones. Just plain ol’ roasted barley. I prefer to drink it iced and usually cold steep it overnight and then drink it the next day; really tasted like a cold-brewed coffee, but lacking that acidic bite. Love that stuff. Orzo is also from barley so I’m sure that’s why it has that similar flavor. But Mugicha isn’t dusty/powdery.

Bunnieh

Oh, nice – I’ll have to look into Mugicha as well. :)

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