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Recent Tasting Notes
Ever had Strawberry Pocky? Or those Yan Yan sticks you dip into strawberry-flavoured cream? Or basically anything strawberry-flavoured in an Asian dessert or snack? Add some milk and this tastes exactly like that stuff. The creamy kind of strawberry, not the tangy kind.
Oversteeped this slightly at 6 minutes and the roasted barley taste overtook the strawberry flavour ever so slightly, but still delicious with milk. At 4.5 minutes in boiling water like I usually do, you’d get a sweeter strawberry note.
This takes well to a second steeping but of course, it’s a bit lighter and I sometimes drink the second round plain.
I liked the Caramel & Honey Orzo but this one is even better in my opinion!
We are attempting to smuggle kinder eggs into the states (shhh don’t tell) and so we have a cooler in the car with the eggs inside. Then topped with a bunch of cold brewed teas because I decided if the cooler was there, might as well use it.
This was one of the teas hanging out in the cooler and it is nice and cold and bright. The peach flavor is coming through nicely but yet again, the base is strong and thus overpowering the fruit just a bit. I’ve had this as a green tea before and an oolong (I think) and those bases certainly are better suited for this tea.
So a few months back in my Sommelier training we looked at several of the specific regions within Sri Lanka and got to do a side by side taste test of the different regions to learn to differentiate between the subtle differences/nuances. I saw that this one was specifically from the Dimbula region and that made me interested because Dimbula and Kandy were my two favourite regions during that cupping.
Also; just a thought I’ve had before that I think bares sharing…
It’s far less common for something to be labelled as just “Indian” tea than it is for the specific regions (Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, etc.) to be named but the reverse is true for Sri Lankan/Ceylonese teas. Often those are just labelled as Ceylon tea instead of the specific regions being pointed out and I hate that. I’d very much like to know which kind of Ceylon tea I’m drinking. So why is that? Does anyone know why it’s far less common for Sri Lankan regions to be named?
Anyway, this was good! Like pretty well all Ceylon this cup has a clean profile with clear notes of malt as well as floral qualities. It’s a bit sweeter than I find your average cup of Ceylon to taste – there’s a fruity quality that I think it a little more specific to the Dimbula region than others. It’s also got a warming cinnamon quality, but less than than I remember tasting during my Ceylon cupping in class.
Still; a very enjoyable cup as far as Ceylon tea goes. It’s far from my favourite kind of black tea but not the worst either.
Picked this one ’cause of the name. I had to see/try this tea marketed for the manliest of men. Typically, I hate “gendered” tea or really drinks in general. What makes this “man” tea specifically? Will it literally put hair on my chest? Is my voice going to drop a few octaves?
…Is my vagina going to become an outie?
I was disappointed when I opened the package though, ‘cause I was tasting this blend blindly and the aroma of the dry tea was overwhelmingly ginger. Yuck! Steeped up it’s not the worst thing in the world though. I mean, yeah it tastes quite strongly of ginger but there’s enough cinnamon in the blend that I’m not left with the sole flavour of a thing I really dislike…
However, I must report that upon consuming this cup of liquid masculinity I feel no different. I’ve still got an “innie” and my chest continues to be hairless.
Backlog: Transferring this tea to a tin resulted in matcha everywhere. Tea is another one from the happy bag. I’m a little scared of the temperature recommendation, but I gave it a shot. 212F, 2tsp, 10oz
30s toasted rice, savory; 30s-nutty. Odd taste from the black beans.
Interesting tea. I’ll need to try it again for another impression.
Flavors: Beany, Nutty, Toasted Rice
I think this’d go nicely as a latte. Hmm. Not sure I have enough left for that. Maybe with almond milk?
Not the most flavourful Lupicia blend I’ve ever had but I don’t mind. Its tasty, if not clearly “raspberry”. I think I could pick out the berryness though. There is something delicate in there, adding a certain complexity that I find appealing. But… The base is a bit harsh for the flavouring, sadly.
To be honest, I’m enjoying it far more than I expected based on the reviews. Getting that tea high I so love now! I must have got the proportions and timing just right. Woot!
It totally feels like it has been longer than a year since I last reviewed a tea, but my tealog says otherwise. Several things contributed to my absence: I took a new job that has kept me insanely busy and without much time to drink tea; I moved away from Equusfell so I lost my tea buddy; and I have settled into a certain cupboard of teas, haven’t branched into many new ones, and decided that I didn’t want to do tasting notes the same teas over and over again. I almost exclusively drink few companies these days: Dammann, MF, Fauchon, Lupicia, with my occasional unflavored by Verdant or Teavivre. Finally, I just got out of the habit, and have been spending way more time knitting than drinking tea. But I do have a handful of teas I have never reviewed, so I figured I would jump back in for a bit (short lived though it may be).
I recently restocked some Lupicia flavored oolongs for cold steeping (since I do still do a cold steep every night to drink with lunch) and I threw this one in because I love guava, and I miss Lupicia’s guava-flavored oolong (also a Hawaiian edition). It smells powerfully tropical and tasty, and I can definitely pick out guava. I think I have gotten very used to the same black tea base (Dammann/Fauchon, with some select MF thrown in), and I’m really not digging this base tea. It’s pretty bitter, and has some notes that don’t sit well with me. I think there must be some Assam (or something Indian that isn’t Ceylon) in the blend, which is not my friend. Otherwise the flavors are pretty nice: guava, some mango. I was a little worried about the papaya in the blend (because papaya tastes like feet), but it’s not really present, thankfully, or at least isn’t offensive.
Looks like I will be cold brewing this one to tame the base. These days I prefer to cold brew greens and oolongs, but black tea is ok, and I think I will enjoy this one a lot better that way.
Flavors: Guava, Mango
I’ve brewed this a few times since it came in the mail, but haven’t written a proper review yet. Maybe my expectations were too high due to the description (and how long it’s been on my wishlist), and there just isn’t much to say. It’s a nice flavored black tea, though a little too sweet—I can see pink sugar crystals in the mix before steeping. The base is decent and smooth, as is always the case with Lupicia. Not really extraordinary, but not bad either.
At this point, I’ve tried enough of their repertoire to know which teas are my favorites, so I won’t need to do as much hit-or-miss exploration. And summer means more barley teas!
One of the few remaining teabags from the book of tea. This definitely is subtle and takes a bit of paying attention to register cherry but it actually does taste like that. However, as I have said time and time again, the base just kills it for me. It is quite strong next to such a mellow flavor that I find I just want MOAR!!! I shouldn’t have to focus to taste the flavor of a flavored tea. I think it is fair to say I am just not a huge fan of Lupicia black teas and this is no exception. Still, it was fun to try.
I’ve been a longtime fan of Lupicia teas, so of course I had to try this one eventually. The scent of this blend is a very fresh, authentic whiff of cherry, maybe a little on the underripe side and all the more appealing for it! The same flavor is present in the tea, along with just a little bit of heat from the peppercorns and herbal, almost savory coolness from the rosemary. I definitely wasn’t expecting those two ingredients, but they make the blend a bit more interesting than if it was just fruity and sweet. The tea base is unassuming but a good backdrop for these flavors to play on. Overall, a fun blend and one that makes it feel like springtime.
Got this as a sample with my Lupicia order. I really miss living close to a Lupicia store, but getting their teas in the mail is the next best thing! It’s nice to have old favorites like Napa Blanc back in the cupboard again…
I’m surprised I haven’t tried this one yet. I get mostly darjeeling from this tea, but more tempered and smoother. It’s very floral and light, without as much of a drying or astringent quality. It’s just what I’d think of when “afternoon tea” is mentioned.
Thanks for this one, Ost! A lovely tea. Delicious black tea base with plenty of champagne and strawberry flavors, both in equal measure. The strawberry flavor is actually leaning a bit to the strawberry candy type (rather than fresh), but I don’t mind it. Definitely an accurate description of this tea! I tend to really like Lupicia blends that I’ve tried.
Flavors: Champagne, Strawberry
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!
Flavors: Apple, Earth, Fruity, Malt, Mango, Pineapple, Smooth, Tropical
This tea helped me figure out that I like first flush Darjeeling teas: young, green, astringent, woody, and yummy. Delicious, solid, not outstanding. Good for a rainy day or a quiet moment when I have the time and attention to brew and enjoy this cup of tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Green, Wood
An employee at Lupicia told me that this was a popular Darjeeling because it was a compromise between the first flush and the third flush. It’s marketed as having a lot of muscatel flavor, which is what I might be tasting and not liking. However, my tea vocabulary is small, and it’s quite possible that the flavor I’m not enjoying is something else. It just tastes kind of muddy and generic to me.
My first cup of this was yummy, but I had steeped it very lightly and noticed a really strong bergamot odor/flavor. So I made a mental note to steep it even more lightly next time. Then I made the horrible mistake of trying to brew a POT of this, and the bergamot flavor was so strong I almost wanted to throw up. It became known as The Pot That Almost Put Me Off of Earl Grey Forever, and my friends are still trying to put me through Earl Grey rehab because of it. I have renamed this tea “Bergamot Bomb” and hold out hope that, someday, I’ll be able to enjoy normal Earl Grey again…