A Berry Frui-tea July! I was able to pick up several flavored mugicha from Lupicia during their last mottainai sale, and since the hot summer months is mugicha season in Japan, this seemed a great opportunity to try some of them. I already know I enjoy plain mugicha, but of the fruity flavors I grabbed during the sale (apricot, apple, plum, and lychee), I decided to start with apricot.
The teabags are slightly smaller than the Hida Mugicha style teabags I have, only making a half-quart, so I used two to cold steep a quart of mugicha overnight. I have to say, it does have a rather sweet apricot scent, but still has that roasted coffee aroma, as well.
The flavor is… interesting. I can still taste those deep roasted coffee notes, but there is a lighter fruity note to the tea. It’s interesting because they are flavors I wouldn’t really peg as going together, and I actually think in the case of mugicha, I prefer it plain. I don’t mind the sweetness the apricot notes bring to the cup, and it certainly isn’t bad… it just doesn’t really add anything, I suppose? The roasted barley is just such a strong flavor, and sort of has that coffee-like slightly bitter bite to it, that I guess the apricot feels out of place. I used to enjoy sugary, sweet flavored mocha coffees, and even so, this just seems an odd juxtaposition somehow. The result is something a bit bittersweet. I’ll still have no problems finishing this up this summer, and am still looking forward to trying the other flavors (maybe one of the others will work better?) but am fairly certain in the future I’ll just be sticking with plain mugicha.
Flavors: Apricot, Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Roasted, Stonefruit