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Lupicia Takibi

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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.

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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.