Rum Raisin from Lupicia

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Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Product Description:

Black tea with rum-soaked raisins. Sweet rum flavor perfectly goes well with milk.

Taster’s Review:

OK, so you’re probably wondering about the featured photo, right?  Well, Lupicia only had a tiny thumbnail of this photo available on their website, so I chose to improvise a little bit … and since the name of this tea made me think of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow (“Why is the rum gone?”) I decided that I should post a photo of him in character.  I suppose I could have taken a photo of the tea itself, but, personally, I’d rather look at Captain Jack Sparrow (I mean, really, is there a better pirate?)

This is a remarkably smooth and well-balanced black tea.  The base is robust and bright flavored without being overly assertive.  The flavors of rum and raisin lend a pleasing sweet flavor to the cup without being overwhelming.

I like how this tea plays upon the palate.  It is full-bodied and has a delightful flavor.   It reminds me a lot of bread pudding – sans the custard and cake-y bread flavor.  To heighten the flavors, I suggest adding a small amount of sweetener.  It brings out some of the sweeter qualities of both the rum and the raisin, as well as highlight some of the caramel-y undertones of the black tea.

A splash of milk or cream will give this tea a creaminess that is similar to the custard-creamy taste of bread pudding.  Pair the tea latte with a shortbread cookie, and you’ll have a yummy, deconstructed bread pudding!

Peach Melba from Lupicia

IT'S NATIONAL PEACH MELBA DAY!

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Roobios

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Product Description:

The delicious aroma of peaches and cream brings out the sweetness of the rooibos tea.

Taster’s Review:

I have never tasted the dessert before, but if it tastes anything like this tisane, I will definitely have to seek it out!

This is really quite good.  The overall flavor is sweet and fruity, but it isn’t cloying or too fruity.  The fact that the rooibos flavor is rather indistinct in this blend is a plus.  I am getting mere whispers of nutty notes from the rooibos, but what I am mostly tasting is a juicy peach and creamy vanilla!

The peach tastes sweet, but it isn’t a sugary sweet flavor that I imagined it would be given that a Peach Melba is vanilla ice cream topped with peaches and raspberries that have been reduced into a sauce.  (Or at least, that is what I think a Peach Melba is supposed to be… if it’s something different, please feel free to comment and set me straight!)  The vanilla is smooth and creamy.  The only thing that seems to be missing is the raspberry.

Yum!  This tisane makes for a delightful treat any time of the day and is especially nice in the evening since it’s caffeine free.

Champagne Rose from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Product Description:

Black tea flavored with sweet strawberries and champagne. Perfect as a festive gift.

Taster’s Review:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I am very pleasantly surprised by this tea.  Until now, most of the champagne flavored teas I’ve tasted has been with a white tea base and because white tea is so light and delicate in flavor, I thought it was a perfect match with the sparklingly light taste of champagne.  I was skeptical about how well the champagne flavor would translate in a black tea.

But, I am very impressed!  Not only does the champagne flavor sparkle through but it is so nicely infused with the strawberry flavor.  This is so delicious – like a New Year’s celebration in a teacup!

The black tea base is robust and bright.  There is a slight (very slight) bitterness at the tail end of the sip, but I find that it is a very intriguing contrast to the sweetness of the strawberry and champagne flavor and lends a certain savory element to this otherwise sweet tea.

The strawberry tastes sweet and offers a hint of tartness, while the champagne tastes like … well, champagne!  This is tea and not a sparkling wine, so it doesn’t have the bubbly aspect of champagne, but it does have a certain grape-like taste to it with a clean, almost tannic quality that is very representative of my limited experience with tasting champagne.  (err… that is to say, I don’t drink champagne very often!)  It is not strongly astringent, but there is a hint of that wine-like characteristic that expresses itself as champagne-like.  This is also really good iced!

This is one of the best teas that I’ve tasted from Lupicia – and I’ve tasted quite a few.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say this one is my favorite from Lupicia, but it is probably in the top 5.  VERY GOOD!

White Christmas from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Product Description:

A black tea blend with the sweet aroma of white chocolate and apricot.

Taster’s Review:

Yesterday, I reviewed a tea called White Christmas from Harney & Sons.  Today, I am reviewing a tea by the same name – and yet, the two are very different teas, indeed!

This tea offers a robust black tea base that is quite invigorating.  It would serve well as a morning tea, or if one is in need of a little afternoon pick-me-up, this tea would fit that bill as well.  There is a bit of astringency to this cup, but it doesn’t overwhelm.  I will say that I steeped this tea for 4 minutes and notes of bitterness were starting to emerge, so I recommend steeping for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes maximum to avoid the bitter notes.  Fortunately, these notes of bitterness were not detracting from the overall deliciousness of the tea.

When I had previously read about this tea, I knew that it was a white chocolate and apricot tea.  But what I smelled when I first opened the pouch, and what I tasted with my first sip was a nutty essence!  At first, I thought my memory must be playing tricks on me and that White Christmas was in fact a nutty flavored tea, and 0ne of the other teas in the holiday sampler was a white chocolate apricot.

But no, as you can read by the company’s product description (above) – this is definitely an apricot and white chocolate blend.  That being said, there is a definite nutty quality to this tea.  That isn’t a bad thing – because I find that it rather compliments the apricot and white tea flavors, and it gives the overall flavor a toasty, baked kind of essence, like fresh baked tea cakes!

The apricot flavor intensifies as I continue to sip on this tea.  It starts out mild, and by about mid-cup, the flavor is much stronger.  The white chocolate is very nice here and provides a very pleasant creamy taste and texture to the cup, with faint notes of sweet chocolate that also intensify as I get closer to the bottom of the cup.

I really like this tea!  I don’t know if this is a tea that Lupicia keeps around all year or not, but, if they do, I highly recommend getting some as soon as you can!  Yum!

Joyeux Noel from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Product Description:

A bold black tea blend with the sweetness of chestnuts roasted on an open fire.

Taster’s Review:

I really love chestnuts but I am not able to capture that “roasted chestnut” flavor when I buy chestnuts and attempt to roast them myself … which leaves me feeling … well, a little cheated, actually.  I mean, chestnuts aren’t exactly cheap.  And try as I might, I cannot seem to roast chestnuts just right, like the way I would get them at a holiday festival.

But, Lupicia has managed to capture that delicious essence of roasted chestnuts with this tea!  There is a bitter nutty flavor that approaches the palate first.  That pleasant bitter nut taste doesn’t sit there for very long though, and is followed by a creamy, smooth, buttery sweetness that reminds me of the flavor of a freshly roasted chestnut.

The black tea base is bold and has a slightly smoked note that lingers in the aftertaste.  There is a strong astringency with a gentle dryness to it that lends a certain starchy kind of essence to the cup.  It is a very flavorful black tea, and one that is strong enough to work as a morning tea.

This is absolutely delicious!

This tea makes for an absolutely delightful cup for those of us who love the flavor of roasted chestnuts but can’t seem to get it right when we try to roast them ourselves!  Why bother, when all we need to is brew a cup of this fabulous tea!

Jingle Bells from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Product Description:

A winter holiday black tea blend with yogurt and citrus fruit flavors.

Taster’s Review:

Lupicia is one of my favorite tea companies.  Why?  Well, put simply, they have great teas at reasonable prices, the packages arrive astonishingly fast, and I receive a free monthly “Fresh Tea Magazine” which includes a sample of their tea of the month.  (For the record, you too can receive a 1-year subscription to their Fresh Tea Magazine when you place an order of $30. or more)

Another thing that I like about Lupicia – they march to the beat of their own drummer.  When other tea companies are rolling out their holiday teas comprised of spices, cranberries and pumpkin, Lupicia has their own idea of what holiday teas should be.  The “Carol” tea is strawberry, vanilla and coconut.  The “Joyeux Noel” is chocolate and apricot.  You get the idea, right?

And this… their “Jingle Bells” tea, which is also part of their holiday collection, is black tea blended with the flavors of citrus and yogurt, giving me a creamy, delicious dessert in my teacup!

The black tea base is fairly mellow and very delicious.  It has a rich, smooth character but it doesn’t attempt to protrude onto the flavors of the citrus and yogurt.

The citrus tastes mostly like orange to me.  It is sweet with just enough tartness to keep it interesting without making me pucker.  The yogurt gives it a creamy flavor and texture.  What this tastes like to me is a creamsicle that’s been melted in a cup of Ceylon tea!  Not a bad taste at all!

I like this hot, and perhaps that’s just the cold weather talking (because this time of year, I prefer just about every tea hot), but I find it to be very comforting and relaxing – which is somewhat remarkable to me since this is a black tea.  A really nice tea to sip inside (roaring fire in the fireplace is optional) while it’s cold and wet (or snowy!) outside.

 

Sweet Potato Pie from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Company Description:

A black tea blend with a generous portion of creamy Japanese sweet potatoes. The buttery sweet aroma will remind you of a cozy holiday gathering.

Taster’s Review:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Along with Lupicia’s October Newsletter came a sample of this tea.  I was originally going to publish this review right around Halloween, however, after tasting it, I decided it must be published on Thanksgiving!  It tastes like it should be on the holiday dinner table, right next to the cranberry sauce and turkey!

I can’t get over how much this tastes like sweet potatoes.  Lupicia has captured that flavor very well and combined it with a black tea base that melds with the flavor perfectly.  The result is a flavored black tea that nails the flavor “spot on” without losing the flavor of the black tea.

Now… I must backtrack a little here, because I can’t say with 100% confidence that the flavor is “nailed” “spot on” because I’ve never tasted sweet potato pie.  But I have eaten my share (perhaps more than my share) of sweet potatoes – one of my favorite vegetables.  And this DOES tastes “spot on” like sweet potatoes.

I can also taste a baked-pastry kind of taste in the backdrop.  It is not as strong as the dominant sweet potato flavor, but it’s there.  There is also a very pleasing buttery taste to it.

The black tea has some astringency to it, but it is not bitter.  It is smooth and rich, and in perfect harmony with the flavoring.

And while I have never tasted sweet potato pie, I can honestly say that this IS the best sweet potato pie flavored tea that I’ve ever tasted (and I have tasted at least one other!)

Happy Thanksgiving!  May your home be warmed with the presence of family and good friends, a bounty of nourishing food and delicious TEA!

Breakfast Earl Grey from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Company Description:

Earl Grey made with broken leaves brews up a robust taste. Perfect to enjoy with milk.

Taster’s Review:

Lupicia sells my favorite Earl Grey tea – it is the “Earl Grey” variety with Keemun tea.  I love it.  In fact, you can read my review of it here.

So I had really high expectations when it came to trying another Earl Grey variety from Lupicia.  They didn’t let me down!

This is a very flavorful Earl Grey.  Medium-bodied with a strong, even flavor, this tea would make a very nice breakfast tea, and because of its smooth demeanor, it would take the addition of milk very well, although I must admit that I prefer my Earl Grey teas without milk most of the time, because I feel that the milk tends to mute some of the flavors that I love when it comes to Earl Grey.

I’m finding that I want to compare the two Earl Grey varieties… but I don’t feel that it would be fair to this particular tea, which deserves to be enjoyed in its own right, because it is very rich and flavorful and delicious.  And while it isn’t my favorite Earl Grey, it is certainly a fine Earl Grey… and for those who find the Keemun variety to be a bit too different an Earl Grey for their taste, this one may prove to be just right.

The bergamot here is a bit lighter and is in harmonious balance with the black tea base here.  The result is a crisp, juicy tasting bergamot that is very refreshing, and there is a light astringency that leaves the palate feeling quite invigorated.  This variety of Earl Grey offers a very clean, distinguished flavor that I think any Earl Grey enthusiast can not only appreciate but will adore.

King of Fruits from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Company Description:

A distinctively fresh and tropical Thai green tea blended with pieces of freeze-dried durian fruit. Tart notes of exotic fruit balance out the rich and powerfully fragrant durian. THE KING OF FRUITS definitely prevails in this one-of-a kind tea experience.

Taster’s Review:

Wow!  This is REALLY good.  It truly deserves the name “King of Fruits” because it is really that good!

I have never tasted a Durian fruit before.  From what I understand (thanks to the newest issue of the Lupicia newsletter), the durian comes from Thailand, and it is a large (melon size) fruit with a thorny husk.  To be completely truthful, the photos of this fruit give it a very intimidating appearance, and I found myself wondering who it was that first looked at this prickly thing and thought “hey… that might be good to eat.”

Also, according to the newsletter, the durian puts off a rather strong odor that some find quite repellent.  However, when I opened the pouch of tea, I found the aroma to be intriguing and even mouth-watering.  While the fragrance of the brewed tea is a little softer than that of the dry leaf, it still smells quite delicious.

The flavor is remarkable!  Exotic, sweet-yet-tart, fruity… it has an exquisite taste that I’m finding difficult to describe.  It is definitely tropical in taste but unlike any other tropical fruit I’ve ever tasted.  It tastes a little like mango… maybe… and maybe a little bit like papaya and even a little bit like passion fruit.  Maybe a little melon in there too.  But, even if you somehow created a hybrid fruit with all of these fruits, it wouldn’t nail this flavor precisely.

The green tea offers a fresh, rich flavor and buttery texture that lingers on the tongue long after you finish the sip. There is a tiny bit of astringency, but mostly what I’m getting is a juicy delicious fruit taste that I don’t want to stop drinking!  I’m going to be sad when I’m finished with this cup.

This tea is delicious hot and remains delicious as it cools.

I highly recommend this new tea from Lupicia.  It really is the KING of Fruits!

Ripe Mango Oolong from Lupicia

Tea Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Lupicia

Product Description:

Quality Taiwanese oolong tea scented with lusciously ripe mangos.

Tasters Review:

I’m always up for Mango Flavors and I’m always interested in Lupicia because I do not have the brand readily available to me…so I am eager to get my hands on it any time I can.

This time around I sampled the bagged version of this.  The contents looked more like a green tea than an Oolong but then again that could have just been because of the shear/silky material of the bag.  the Ripe Mango Aroma is awesome and true.  I realized the post-infusion liquid also looks more like a green tea…a more grey-ish green-yellow type color.

The taste is wonderfully juicy and very much like ripe mango.  Toward the end of the sip I can pick up on the natural woodsy-Oolong tones and it has a smooth finish.  Throughout the sip – beginning to end – is juicy-sweet and lovely!

I really like this one from Lupicia!

Strawberry & Vanilla from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Company Description:

Green tea with matcha is flavored with sweet fragrance of strawberry and vanilla.

Taster’s Review:

This tea is delightful!

The dry tea smells amazing – it smells a lot like strawberry milk!  It has that same creamy, strawberry scent.  The brewed liquor offers a softer aroma, but, it still smells positively delicious.

This is a green tea blend that contains Matcha, which is noticeable upon opening the package with a light powdering of green “dust.”   It is this addition of Matcha that makes this strawberry green tea so special.  The Matcha adds just the right amount of fresh, sweet taste.  Amazing!

Lupicia Tea does not indicate on their website what kind of green tea (other than the Matcha) is used in this blend.  But it is light and bright in flavor, and provides a good base for the strawberry flavor, which is slightly sweet, and a bit tart, and very much like biting into a ripe strawberry:  juicy and delicious.  The vanilla is softer in flavor, and softens some of the stronger strawberry notes… much the same way that whipped cream softens the flavor of a strawberry.  The result is a cup of smooth, sweet, creamy berry goodness.

This light-bodied tea is outstanding served hot, but, I think it would also be quite good chilled too.  The Matcha does somewhat settle to the bottom of the cup, so, do yourself a favor and keep a spoon nearby to stir it.  The Matcha really adds a beautiful flavor to this cup, so it’s worth this little extra effort to keep it incorporated in the tea.

This tea needs no sweetener.  Most flavored teas need just a little sweetener to bring out the best flavor in the cup, but, this one is an exception – it is pleasantly flavorful with a sweet-tart attitude that comes through without the addition of sweetener.  However, you might find that the slightly sour qualities of this tea are a bit too sour (it is *almost* too sour for me, but not quite) and you might want to add a little sugar to curb that.  If you like sweet-tart candy, you’ll like this tea!

Moreover, if you like strawberry green teas – you MUST try this tea.  It is astounding!

Earl Grey from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Company Description:

Authentic Earl Grey made with Keemun tea. Delicious straight up or with milk.

Taster Review:

This is truly a remarkable Earl Grey – quite possibly the best Earl Grey I’ve yet to taste!

What makes this Earl Grey so unique is the Keemun black tea base.  Most Earl Grey teas are comprised of Ceylon black tea, which is typically quite mild.  Keemun tea, on the other hand, is much more robust, possessing a fruitier character, and is almost wine-like in flavor.  It has a slight toasted quality to it as well.  This Keemun is very deep in flavor:  with notes of fruit and wine as well as hints of earth and smoke.

The aroma of the dry tea is – not surprisingly – quite “Earl Grey-ish.”  That is to say that it has that very pleasing scent of the bergamot orange.  Citrus-y … floral … beautiful!  Upon brewing, the bergamot softens slightly to allow some of the wine-like and even slightly earthy qualities of the Keemun tea to come through.

The wine-like characteristic of this tea provides an interesting contrast to the citrus flavor and flowery tone of the bergamot.  When they meet together in one tea cup, it is a fine, complex grouping of flavors that this Earl Grey lover finds irresistible.   The fruit and earth flavors of the Keemun seems to curb the sharp notes of the bergamot just enough to make it extraordinarily palatable.  There isn’t even the slightest suggestion of a perfume-ish taste to this tea.  It is magnificence in a teacup!

When you visit the Lupicia Fresh Tea website and enter “Earl Grey” into the search field, you just might be a bit overwhelmed by the number of Earl Grey teas that Lupicia has to offer.  I know I was!  This one is simply “Earl Grey,” but to ensure you’re getting the right Earl Grey, read the description to make sure that the base is Keemun.  I’m not trying to dissuade you from trying their other Earl Grey varieties (as I do plan on trying them myself eventually as well), but, this one is an absolute MUST TRY… and for me, this one is an absolute must keep on hands at all times!  I love this tea!

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