Saturday, March 15, 2008


Tea: Sakuranbo
Vendor: Lupicia USA
Price: $7.50 / 50g w/ tin
Vendor Description: Black tea with fresh Japanese cherry flavor. Its sour-sweet aroma is taste-catching and its cute topping with the image of red ripened cherries is also eye-catching.

Sakurambo is a very unusual tea. The tea itself has a very different aroma than the actual taste. The leaves have an aroma that is very sweet, but at the same time it has an almost bitter scent to it. There is also a combination of a pine scent in there, which probably contributes to the bitter scent, like the strong smell from a handful of pine needles.

The tea itself is a harsh mixture of flavors. It tires to be sweet with the cherry flavoring, but the pineish flavor attempts to give it a tartness, but instead of mixing well they are almost in contrast to each other. I tried adding milk to this since it was a black tea, and it seems that for my tastes milk helps some of the teas. It didn't really do much in this case. It still had the strong pine aroma to it and the flavors were almost overpowering to the tea.

I tried a second infusion with this, and this time I tried a much faster infusion. It wasn't so overpowering and the berry flavor started to show through more against the pine flavor. It gave it a certain sweetness and smoothness with no astringency or bitterness. I believe that a weaker infusion is the way to go with this tea, the flavor is complex and long lived.

The tea does have an issue with the actual flavor of the tea, it is dominated by the two primary flavorings and masks the true flavor of the tea. A flavored tea should have its flavors in harmony with the flavor of the tea, not masking it and using the tea as a base for color.

Rating: 3/10

Conclusion: Although it would appear that this is one of Lupicia's more popular teas, I didn't really find it that appealing. I think the flavors would be well to be less pervasive and to be paired with a green tea. It would also be good to have them more in harmony with the base tea.

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