Lupicia is easily one of my favorite tea companies. They have a huge selection of delicious teas, fast shipping (and it’s free if your order is over $45) and every month for a year after my most recent purchase, I get a free “Fresh Tea Magazine” in the mail. It’s actually more like a newsletter than a Magazine, but the best part about it is that there is a free sample of the tea of the month enclosed in the Fresh Tea Magazine! Yay! (I mean, really, what’s better than getting free tea in the mail?)
This is a tea that I ordered from Lupicia some time ago, and with so many teas in my tea cupboard, I am just now getting around to trying it. And it is so yummy that I’m almost kicking myself for not trying it sooner. But, when I think about it, it is a very autumnal tea, so maybe THIS is the right time to be trying it.
Even though the above thumbnail photo is small, it is a pretty good representation of what this tea looks like dry: Medium to dark brown leaves (toasted green tea leaves) with little caramel-y kernel bits (although, there are fewer in my bag of tea than the photo might suggest). It smells amazing, with a roasty-toasty kind of scent with a delicious caramel note. I steeped this tea in 185°F water for 3 minutes, and it brewed up a dark, golden brown.
Most of the caramel flavored teas I’ve tasted have been black teas, so I was very intrigued by this caramel flavored Houjicha. There really aren’t that many flavored Houjicha teas out there (I think Lupicia has four different flavored Houjicha teas, and that’s the largest selection that I can recall seeing!) so when I find a flavored Houjicha, I sit up and take notice, and this one had me at Caramel…
Lupicia describes this tea as:
Sweet aroma of milk caramel brings out the comforting aroma of houjicha.
The toasted flavor of the Houjicha proves an excellent combination with the flavor of creamy caramel. This is sweet, smooth and so decadent. If you like caramel, you really MUST try this tea!
The Houjicha base is a light base, but, when matched with the sweet, creamy notes of caramel, it becomes a deep, rich experience … but still manages to maintain its lightness, somehow. It doesn’t feel heavy on the palate. The caramel is a sweet, milky smooth caramel flavor, reminding me a bit of dulce de leche. And even though this is a sweet tasting tea, I like that it isn’t cloying. It is a very cozy, indulgent flavor. And because the caffeine in Houjicha is light, this is a tea that you can probably enjoy any time of the day without it interfering with your rest cycle … and it makes an awesome evening dessert!