New Tasting Notes
Each year Lupicia Tea, a Japanese tea company, comes out with a Sakura collection to celebrate cherry blossom season. The collection changes each year and for 2021 the theme is traditional Japanese culture that has been handed down through the generations, such as crafts and traditional Japanese patterns. The collection is well balanced and features a green tea, a decaf tea, black tea, rooibos, even a sakura matcha! The tins this year are beautiful and feature a lovely floral motive. I have wanted to try teas from Lupicia’s Sakura collection for some time so I decided this year that I would order a few.
The first one I am reviewing is Sakura & Berry. This has a black tea base with salted cherry leaf, rose petal and flavoring. The description says that this has a “sweet strawberry flavor.” The dry leaf smells amazing and actually made me think of when my mom would make me strawberries and cream oatmeal as a kid. I steeped the tea up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes.
I really love this one. The first taste is a nice fruity strawberry flavor, nothing too strong. It actually has the same strawberry flavor as strawberries and cream oatmeal but without the cream aspect. On the second taste I get a hit of the black tea base, it is smooth and mellow. I had hoped that I would get taste of the salted cherry leaf however that didn’t come through in the flavor.
Overall this is a tasty strawberry tea in a beautiful tin and certainly worth trying if you love strawberry-flavored teas. I really enjoy Lupicia tea, in fact their rooibos-based honeydew melon tea is in my top 5 favorite teas of all time! If you are interested in the Sakura collection I would not wait as fulfillment for the US comes from the online Hawaii Lupicia store and they get very limited amounts of inventory on these special edition collections.
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Another swap sample!
To me, this tea tastes very similar to a tippy Yunnan black tea. It’s smooth, malty, a touch earthy, and has a lovely fuzzy apricot note at the end of the sip. Perhaps there’s some extra nuttiness? There’s also a touch of floral, which is maybe less common in my experience.
Anyway, it’s good! I’m just not sure I would know it’s a yellow tea. It’s interesting because I’ve had some yellow teas from Teavivre that were much closer to green tea (in my opinion), and this one is quite different. It’s tasty, but not terribly special.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Earth, Floral, Malt, Nectar, Savory, Smoke, Smooth, Thick
I have received two small pouches of this tea from White Antlers, so again thank you!
It looks very differently to its What-cha counterpart. It is like only the golden tips used. And those are much smaller leaves too.
It’s very much different, smell is more malty and more floral. Same with taste — it’s more floral and less complex. It’s not a bad tea though! Just not that perfect. Four minutes steep, as recommended was maybe too much and produced very malty tea. While I do like malty teas, I couldn’t notice much else. Of course, florals were in taste too, but probably way too hidden under the malts.
It isn’t bad, that’s right. But not that great as What-cha one. Less complex and maltier flavour profile.
Flavors: Floral, Malt
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Since I enjoyed this one so much last time, my friend on Insta sent another sample of this in our recent swap. :3
So fresh and yummy! This is very different from any other peppermint tisane I’ve ever had – it has such a clean peppermint flavor, almost like a mint or candy cane, while others are usually more herbaceous. It’s like a milder peppermint Altoid, ha ha.
I’m planning to order some herbal tisanes from Harts of America to see how they are, but first I’m making myself finish a couple of the ones I already have…
Flavors: Honey, Menthol, Mint, Sweet
The weather is getting warmer, so I stocked up, and then promptly drank all of, some fruity black teas. Now I’ll need to restock!
I’m not 100% sure that I’ll restock this in the next tea order, but I do like it. The trouble is I have fruity blends from Harney that I like better (Tower of London, Paris, Capri…)
But it still has a nice balance of flavors, and I enjoyed this tin.
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This one is just a bit blah for me. Which is a shame, because the name sounds so yummy.
But I don’t really get any apple, and only a hint of orange. Mostly this is just a clove rooibos. And I guess the spicing does, in a way, remind me of apple butter, which I guess means apple butter has cloves in it.
But it’s not apple butter, it’s just the “spiced” part ha ha. Bye-bye, tea!
Flavors: Clove, Rooibos, Spices, Wood
I picked this up on a whim at Whole Foods, because I love pear and a pear green tea sounded just lovely!
Honestly, it’s pretty good for a teabag. The pear is a bit candylike, but it does taste crisp and pear-like to me, maybe teetering on the edge of apple. For some reason I’m getting banana though? And not actual banana, but Laffy Taffy banana. So that’s a bit distracting, ha ha! The base is actually quite nice, mellow and nutty without any bitterness.
Quite good! And I can imagine it being delicious as an iced tea… Ironically, I just received another pear green tea today, in the form of B&B’s Jasmine Poached Pears. So that’ll be interesting to compare!
Flavors: Apple, Banana, Candy, Grass, Hay, Nuts, Pear, Smooth, Sweet
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Wednesday, April 13th: National Peach Cobbler Day #3
The no caff option for Peach Cobbler day! Opening a fresh pouch of this guy. Has a very large fragrance and taste of almond / marzipan now which is VERY out of place for this blend. Very weird and can’t say I’m happy about it.
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Wednesday, April 13th: National Peach Cobbler Day #2
I bought this during the Boxing Day sale and it seemed like a good day to write about it! Honestly, never had a peach julip before so you can’t trust me on the accuracy with this one. Here we have a green tea base with peaches, sage and osmanthus. An interesting combination anyway! The peach flavor itself seems very different from the peach flavor in their Peach Cobbler blend. I love the flavor in Peach Cobbler. It seems more like a fresh ripe peach, while the flavor here is more like a peach ring candy. Personally, the couple times I have had osmanthus reminded me of peach anyway, so I’m not sure how much that is contributing here. The sage would be very interesting! However, I’m not sure I would even notice that it’s here without actually knowing it’s in the ingredients already. Second steep a bit bland – maybe the parameters weren’t great. Not the most fantastic blend from B&B but I bought it at a deep discount anyway.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon // 32 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 2 min
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Wednesday, April 13th: National Peach Cobbler Day #1
I thought I would be going for actual Bird & Blend’s Peach Cobbler tea for peach day! But other teas were calling me, including this one, which is now a sipdown. I really grew to love it. It’s one of those teas that won me over the few times I drank the sample. It’s a bit faded now, but really the flavors were fairly subtle when I had it the first time (from a grab bag sale.) I will miss its uniqueness though! I AM glad I didn’t miss that smooth third steep though.
Steep #1 // 1 3/4 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 15 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min
2021 Sipdowns: 45
National Peach Cobbler Day! Sipdown Challenge
I’ve reviewed this one before so not much else to say about it other than I think this teabag has started to lose some of its flavor. This is the first cup I’ve had that wasn’t super peachy from this tea. This was an office grab teabag but I really need to find out where I can get a box of this.
National Peach Cobbler Day! Sipdown Challenge
I opened this before I even realized it was Peach Cobbler Day to have during my class this morning. I woke up late and didn’t have time to brew anything other than a matcha teabag. The peach was pretty mellow here compared to the stevia. I think this is my least favorite I’ve tried of their bottled iced teas so far. I really liked the raspberry one and the blood orange earl grey was good too. They are very stevia heavy in flavor so definitely not the best option if you don’t like stevia. I actually had quite a few peach teas I’d been meaning to drink today but want to limit my caffeine. So I’m gonna just stick to a few likely.
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“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – M
I actually have samples of this tea from two different swaps, so I’m counting them as separate sipdowns. And there’s nothing you can do to stop me, nyah! :P
Anyway, this is okay. I will say I’m pleased that the maple flavoring is more on the subtle side, after that New England Breakfast I tried the other day, I was a bit nervous. The base is quite brisk at a 3-minute steep, next time I would go shorter. But overall, it’s flavorful enough with some nice malt and almost vegetal tones, I assume from the green tea.
It’s fine, but not quite good.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Malt, Maple, Metallic, Sweet, Tannic, Vegetal
M is for…Milk Oolong
I got through a lot of this in the March sipdown tournament so it seems fitting to finish it off today in another Mastress Alita-inspired sipdown adventure.
Because of the tournament, I wrote a lot about this one and since its a fairly consistent tea, I don’t have much new to say. Just want to mark the sipdown and take a second to thank Roswell Strange again for sending this my way. Thank you!!
I didn’t have many options for U in my cupboard for Ode to Tea, but I did have this, and it is a very old tea that needs sipped down anyway! This tea is from Chasandai Tea Factory and was purchased through Yunomi… back in 2018, and is well past its best by date. It was still sealed, but I really should do better, especially with green teas…
While I get a mood now and again for a warm cuppa green tea, I actually prefer it cold brewed, and find that typically works best for me with these neglected, old leaf greens anyway; the instructions said one teabag was for 500ml and my mason jars are 1000ml, so I just dropped two teabags in a jar, left it overnight, and removed them in the morning.
This tea… confuses me. It has this somewhat roasted sort of taste to me, but it is bancha, not a roasted green tea, so I don’t know where it is coming from! Sort of an earthy/minerally, roasted nuts flavor that I often get from oolongs, reminding me a bit of walnuts. I have never had shiso (perilla leaf) so I have no idea if that is what I’m tasting here. Everything I read about perilla says it should taste minty or citrusy, and I’m not tasting either of those flavors… though at least one site says “basil” and “petrichor” and I do see those associations to what I’m tasting. It is kind of reminding me of a softer/mellower tulsi, with a stronger minerality that I can definitely get a petrichor/wet rocks vibe from. There is also a light grassiness underneath, but it does sort of have that “stale” taste to it, more of a dry grass flavor, which is the fault of my neglect, not the tea. I’m not tasting the ume (plum) at all though?! Maybe, if I squint, it kinda peeks out in the aftertaste, but it isn’t as strong as I’d prefer.
For a tea well past its prime, it has that refreshing/thirst-quenching quality I enjoy from cold brewed greens, and I don’t dislike the earthy/mineral/nutty flavor. I wouldn’t say its a favorite either, and am uncertain if that would be different if this were fresher.
Flavors: Basil, Dry Grass, Earth, Mineral, Nutty, Petrichor, Plums, Roasted Nuts, Walnut, Wet Rocks
AAAH! just as i finish up the last of my straight black teas, Nicole to the rescue with a surprise box of teas for me! This one was in it so of course i pulled it out to have some. Thank you so much for the treats!!! So happy to have a little more straight tea to tie me over until i can get some more in!