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Lupicia Karakoro

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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.

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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