A friend of mine who lives in Hawaii (lucky girl) sent me a special Hawaii-only Lupicia package of tea, full of flavours they apparently only sell in their Honolulu store. So if you’re wondering why you don’t see these offered elsewhere (or on their website, with a couple of exceptions), now you know. :)
At any rate, upon opening the package, the first whiff is kind of ashy. Not in a bad, “oops, I burnt my house down, my bad!” kind of way. It’s sweeter, like when you toast marshmallows over an open campfire on the end of a slightly green branch. Anticipatory burning, yes.
Upon pouring the recommended boiling water over it, the water instantly turns a nice, rich gold. Within a minute of starting to brew, that gold deepens into a rich, luxurious amber colour. The amber deepens as it steeps, but it never becomes a flat brown. Instead, it’s got slightly warm, reddish undertones, like a really nice single-malt scotch. Or John Simm’s eyes, if you like (and I do). Hee. ;)
The aroma as it steeps smells less like burning and more like something sweet and yet slightly sour…not-quite-ripe mango, maybe? There’s an undertone of the aforementioned pleasant burning smell, but it’s overlaid by sweetness. Not overly-sweet, though. (I’m worried I’m making this more confusing in my attempt to clarify. It’s a bit like dancing about literature. XD)
First sip is smoky oolong all the way, but it’s held in check by something sweeter and slightly floral and perfumy that lingers after the oolong is long gone. As the perfumy smell lingers, the burning aroma comes back, and yes, it’s definitely reminiscent of a volcano. In a good way, I promise. It’s smooth, slightly dark in taste, and quite nice overall. :)
I’ll probably go for a resteep later, so stay tuned. :)