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.