drank Apple Barley Tea by Lupicia
1022 tasting notes

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

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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