There was a time, a few years after first trying fresh passionfruit, that I’d eagerly try anything and everything passionfruit flavoured. With time, that obsession has mellowed somewhat, but the tart tropical flavours of passionfruit are still some of my favourite. And this is Lupicia Takibi, a mango and passionfruit flavoured oolong. Anyone who’s had the pleasure of smelling this tea in store would have trouble leaving the store without it. It smells amazing much like the passionfruit brewed soft drink by Bundaberg.
Steeping 3 g of loose leaf in 200 ml of water at 85°C yields for 3 minutes a clear orange liquor — a more oxidised oolong than the Lupicia Momo Oolong Super Grade both indicated by the colour of the infusion and the shift of the packaging from the green usually used for less oxidised teas (green teas and some oolongs) to the orange used for more oxidised teas (black teas and some oolongs).
Tropical flavours dominate this tea, with heady passionfruit and sweet ripe mango notes coming through from the first sip right through to the last. The bright and fragrant notes from the more oxidised oolong develop in the body to create a depth to the tropical sweetness to leave a lightly toasted aftertaste — like houjicha — from which the tea gets its name, takibi, or ‘fire’ in Japanese. It’s a refreshing oolong with minimal astringency and perfect for enjoying hot or as an iced tea on a balmy summer night.
The bag of Lupicia Takibi contained 50 g. The tea originated in China and was purchased in Kanazawa, Japan in 2015.