Lupicia Tattoo

Lupicia’s col­lec­tion is defined by simple fla­vours that exude eleg­ance. A prime example is Lupicia Tattoo, described as being a ‘bewitch­ing green tea blend with jas­mine flowers and longan fruit’ with a ‘char­ac­ter­ist­ic smoky fla­vour’. It’s a lim­ited edi­tion avail­able only in Kyoto.


Tattoo is inspired by dec­or­at­ive Japanese tat­too­ing, or irezumi, that developed into an advanced art form dur­ing the Edo peri­od before tak­ing on con­nota­tions of crimin­al­ity in the Meiji peri­od, and retain­ing a cer­tain stigma in mod­ern Japan des­pite gain­ing pop­ular­ity amongst the youth of Japan due to Western influ­ence. Typical images for ire­zumi included dragons and oth­er myth­ic­al beasts, flowers, tigers and reli­gious images.

Steeping 3 grams of loose leaf in 200 ml of water at 75°C for 90 seconds yields liquor of yel­low-jade col­our with a strong, pleas­ant smoky aroma. On tast­ing, a trop­ic­al fruit­i­ness recall­ing the fresh­er — less smoky — fla­vour of longans comes through in the head, fol­lowed by gentle flor­al notes of jas­mine with a strong veget­al green tea in the body, before the smoki­ness of dried longans comes through in the fin­ish and lingers on the pal­ate with jas­mine under­tones and a slight astrin­gency.

Lapsang souchong can also bring out smoky dried longan fla­vours. It’s some­thing I’m keen to try but for now, Tattoo is the per­fect autum­nal tea.

This bag of Lupicia Tattoo con­tained 50 g. The tea ori­gin­ated in Japan and was pur­chased in Kyoto, Japan in 2015.