well-known little-known fact around these parts that I love tea.
Lupicia, which I believe started in Japan and how has branches in multiple countries (only a handful in the U.S.), is my favorite tea source; I am subscribed to their monthly mini tea magazine which also includes a sample from their latest collections. Three of these tea samples that I’ve tried are the Caramel and Rum, Jasmine Mandarin, and Calcutta.
Caramel and Rum – now, you’d assume from the title of this that it would be divine. And it smells delicious, very like caramel. And perhaps it would please someone with a different palette than mine – but I like my tea bold and flavorful, and this is very, very sweet. It’s a roobios and I haven’t had any luck with roobios in the past, I find them far too rich. This tastes very much like weak eggnog, only of course not as satisfying because well, it’s not eggnog. I can’t say I recommend it. If you’re the sort of tea-drinker who loves to load up your tea with lots of sugar and cream, however, this may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Jasmine Mandarin – dear God. This is so jasmine-y. This is a Chinese green tea, and I love how it smells. The strong yet delicate jasmine aroma that it has is delicious and if I could have a candle that smelled like this I would buy one. However, after a few sips I found that it just tasted too strongly of jasmine – I’ve had quite a few drinks with some level of jasmine flavor in them but this was by far the strongest. I’ve never loved jasmine milk tea, either, so I think it’s just not my favorite flavor. However, if you like jasmine-flavored things, this is a gorgeous tea.
Calcutta – this Assam tea I do like, thought not love, mostly because this is a tea that isn’t kidding around – it is very strong black tea. Take yon average Earl Grey bought at a coffeeshop and ramp it up 20% and that is approximately what this tastes like. Good, particularly as a breakfast tea, but would certainly be too strong/bitter for many.
I didn’t love any of the samples I’ve tried lately, but that’s not to say I don’t love Lupicia – their guava tea is a liquid straight from heaven and I will do a full post reviewing that soon.
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