Seventh tea for March Mad(Hatter)ness! This is for the herbal tea round, going against Tea Chai Te’s Lavender Sunset.
Back in 2018 I purchased several different flavored mugicha teabags from Lupicia. I know I tried the lychee, and recently sipped down the apricot, but I still have the apple and plum sealed. Thus far, my general feelings on these mugicha is that I like them, because I like mugicha, but there hasn’t been anything about the novelty of flavoring the mugicha that has really set it apart for me. The roasted barley itself is just such a strong flavor that the fruit doesn’t really hold up against it, and often tastes a little strange compared to those flavors. So I’ve been fine with the ones I’ve tried so far, but haven’t really felt a need for more of them over just straight, plain, good ol’ Hida Mugicha.
Opening the bag, the dry leaf has a very strong apple aroma! I used one teabag in 500ml water (as the instructions suggest), but like most herbals I just leave the bag a’soakin’. I will say, having brewed this one up, that I am getting the apple in the aroma; it’s a sweet green apple note, but the roasted barley is a much stronger aroma, as was the case with the other fruity mugicha by Lupicia I’ve tried. It’s a deeply pleasant coffee roast sort of aroma.
I do taste the apple, as a sweet fruitiness that hits the tongue at the beginning of the sip, and in the aftertaste. Definitely a green apple sort of flavor, with maybe just a touch of a honeyed note. The roasted barley fills out the mouth quickly and then overpowers that flavor, with a deep bittersweet roasted coffee note. As that flavor dissipates on the tongue, the sweet apple reappears as a ghosting aftertaste.
This is a deeply satisfying cup, but is still inline with the other fruity flavored mugicha from Lupicia I’ve tried; it’s a fun novelty, but nothing about it particularly stands out as me needing it over plain mugicha since that is such a strong flavor. I do think I like the apple flavor a little more conceptually than the apricot or lychee; both of those were great flavorings and still were overpowered by the barley, but the apple with the barley creates more of an “autumnal” feel to the cup.
Flavors: Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Fruity, Green Apple, Honey, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Sweet