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For Mastress Alita’s December Sipdown Challenge – a genmaicha
At first I thought I would have to skip this prompt, because I forget this tea. I am not a genmaicha fan (yet) but I like this as a sweet latte. I forget how light it looks steeped, but the taste is no shrinking violet. I think it is in line with the few other genmaicha I have tried.
I steeped it twice in a Kamjove and added it to a cup, stirred in sugar, and then added warmed milk….lots of warmed milk. It was quite good and gave me the energy after teaching to cook the first big meal I have cooked since Thanksgiving. But it is too burned roasty for me to like it plain, and that goes for any genmaicha, not just this one.
I want to begin this note with a big thank you to Mastress Alita.
Last year I did my first advent in many years, and I had a blast trying teas and seeing everyone’s reviews of their own advents, and many people had matching advents.
Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenges gives me the same feeling. It took me a while to figure out where the Sipdown Challenges were because I am like that sometimes. Ha ha! But I really get a kick out of it, and it makes me look at my stash differently and I am having an absolute blast checking things off each month.
Many, many thanks to you, Mastress Alita, for making this bright spot for us!
Now on to the tea…I have had this once before and it was a sample sachet then, too, but I am thinking I may order this sometime. I exercised tremendous restraint and saved some for Ashman, and if he loves it, it will go on the Lupicia rotation to order sometime.
With food, it tastes like a fruity flavored tea and you can probably peg it as cherry. By itself, the cherry comes out as more distinctly cherry. Thankfully, it is fruity and not candy or cough syrup cherry. You can really taste the rosemary as well and I like how different it is! The pink peppercorns are eye-catching, and lend a little warmth without being spicy. This is a real win for me, so if this other cup makes it until evening, we will see how Ashman feels about it and I will update with his opinion.
An easy drinking Puer – woody and mushroomy taste but not very strong. Generally get 4 good steeps at 45 seconds a steep from this with some strong flavour development from first to second steep and then more uniform after that.
Flavors: Mushrooms, Woody
Before today I did not know what a Kumquat was, so I didn’t know what to expect. I got a little baggie of this blend from Cameron a while back but now that I’m at the end of my sip down I’m getting back to my swapped blends. Since this is supposed to be a citrus blend I was a little disappointed, I love citrus but I just got a faintly sweet black tea when I steeped it. I would drink it again though, I just don’t think I’m going to add it to my collection.
Flavors: Citrus, Honey, Wood
Proper packaging for tea is incredibly important. Not just for aroma but for every other aspect of the tea. You see tea is hygroscopic. Meaning it has the ability to draw from moisture particles around it which makes it perfect for scenting and flavoring. However, this also means that if the manufacturer or you don’t package the tea properly you could be ruining the tea. Momo Vert is a Japanese green tea that can be ruined not only with incorrect water temp but also with aroma. This tea has a sweet cherry / fruity scent mixed in with slightly grassy undertones. It is a nice uplifting smell. Likewise with the flavor. I oversteeped it a little bit so my cuppa is a bit more astringent than preferable. However, even with that astringency the fruity and wonderful grassy notes still get through.
I got a package from CameronB yesterday, and she went above and beyond, as usual!
This tea was included because of our love for strawberry tea, especially Lupicia’s. The front runner here for me is lychee, which I am not sure if I have had before. It is as floral as it is fruity to me. The lychee was followed by the jasmine, with strawberry and fruit coming behind. Ashman used milk and sugar and said it reminded him of strawberry Quik. I had it plain, but when I tasted his tea I felt his sugar made little change in the sweetness. This has a lot of natural sweetness. He agreed.
It was very good, and he felt like he got strawberry up front but has definitely never had lychee and may have mistaken the taste, or it is just a difference in our tastebuds.
Thank you so much, CameronB! I can hardly wait to try all of these!
For the sipdown prompt, “a pumpkin tea.”
This is an interesting tea. It’s a combination of Japanese autumnal flavors: pumpkin, sweet potato, and chestnut. It has an interesting squashy pumpkin flavor, which is so unique to taste in the absense of spices. It reminds me a lot of the pumpkin-flavored houjicha by Ocharaka in flavor, though obviously much sweeter and less roasty due to the different base teas. I don’t really taste any sweet potato, and wonder if it’s just adding some overall sweet notes to the tea, as it does veer sweeter rather than really savory despite the squashy aspects. The chestnut, however, is quite distinct and tasty; it’s the same flavor from their Marron Chocolat tea, which is one of my Lupicia favorites.
I’ve had this now as a straight hot cuppa and also as a warm latte; both are nice, but I prefer the latte. Plain, more of the umami characteristics pop, as the rooibos tastes a bit more woody, but the creaminess and sweetness of the milk makes the rooibos base have a sort of sweet caramel note which mixes so nicely with the pumpkin and chestnut.
Flavors: Caramel, Chestnut, Nutty, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet, Umami, Wood
This was one of the free samples in my last Lupicia order, and while I am grateful for free samples I sure was disappointed to see this rooibos. I probably should have given it away, but I remembered trying their caramel and rum rooibos and it was pretty good, so I was hoping.
Opened the bag. BLECH. Rooibos. Where’s the berry? Still hoping it wouldn’t TASTE like rooibos, I steeped it to go with supper, red bean soup – kind of like a vegetarian chili. With the food, it was innocuous enough because the spices drowned it out, but once I finished my food…blech. This pretty much just tasted like straight rooibos to me.
Maybe I should drink it once a month or so and see if I can develop a taste for it. If you want to know what this tasted like, take a hit off a bottle of Robitussin.
Unfortunately, the taste lingers. And lingers. And lingers…
When dry, this tea has an incredibly strong floral smell. I like jasmine a lot, this is almost too strong. I think this tastes pretty good though, but i’m not that picky. It is definitely better than the $1.99 2 liter bottle of pre-brewed Jasmine Tea from Donki (i’ll still drink that tho).
Another swapped tea from Cameron, I adored this blend! It was sweet, floral, fruity, and overall well-balanced. Another unexpected future addition to my stash for 2023!
Flavors: Berry, Candy, Cocoa, Floral, Honey, Raspberry, Sakura, Strawberry, Wet Wood
This blend is another from my swap with Cameron. While I have loved everything else I’ve tried from Lupicia it’s not for me. I typically like nutty and roasty flavors but this blend reminded me of burnt cookies and while that may be someone else’s thing it’s not necessarily mine.
Flavors: Astringent, Burnt, Burnt Sugar, Nutty, Vanilla
Another swapped tea from my lovely friend Cameron! I adored this blend, it was the perfect cozy pick-me-up that I needed in my fall stash (especially during a stressful week). It’s nutty, creamy, and sweet with a touch of toastiness that is perfect for the colder months. I’m definitely making this an essential in my collection.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chestnut, Cream, Honey, Nutty, Oats, Toasted Rice, Toasty, Vanilla
2022 sipdown no. 44
A tea from Cameron ❤
The cinnamon scent here is quite alluring. I would say this does embody a cinnamon cookie and is lovely against the puer base. I was busy and didn’t make a lot of notes on this one, but I would order this in a Lupicia order.
2022 sipdown no. 42
The taste here is fruity with hints of candiness that I really only noticed when I made a fresh second cup. The flavour isn’t specifically passionfruit to me, or ginger, though it’s fine to drink nonetheless.
Thanks for sharing Cameron :)
2022 sipdown no. 41
This tastes like candied chestnuts to me because there is a sweet scent and sweetness to the taste. The green base is not my favourite here — it’s almost fishy (this is not the exact correct word, but I can’t come up with something better) in the scent (though not in the taste)? The combination of the candied sweetness and green base is not my favourite. This type of chestnut would probably be delightful against a black base.
Thank you for sharing Cameron!