Lupicia Karakoro is one of two teas — the other being Tattoo — that are available only in Kyoto, being a black tea flavoured with yuzu and plum inspired by the apprentice geisha or maiko of the ancient capital.
Steeping 3 g in 200 ml of just boiled water for 2.5 minutes yields a red liquor typical of black teas with the smell of yuzu. There’s a refreshing yuzu flavour from the first sip that develops with the characteristic sweetness and tartness of fragrant Japanese plums against the malty notes of the black tea that build in boldness towards the tail of the sip. The flavour of plum is very distinct and difficult to describe, yet comparable to that in umeshu and other plum flavoured alcohol like chu-hai — only more palatable as it’s without the sharpness of the alcohol. An astringency that recalls the puckering from an unripe plum (from the black tea and plum notes) and a hint of yuzu lingers in the aftertaste.
This is one of the most elegant black teas and few plum flavoured drinks or foods I’ve enjoyed to date.
This bag of Lupicia Karakoro contained 50 g. The tea originated in India and Vietnam and was purchased in Kyoto, Japan in 2015.