Thursday, November 09, 2006

Review: Lupicia Grapefruit Green

It seems only right to start out on a high note, so I'm reviewing one of my favorite teas - which fortunately I had three cups of today, so it's plenty fresh in my mind.

I first discovered Lupicia right after I moved to Japan. The first one I came across was north of Tokyo in an area I was pretty much never going to come back to, so in a blind panic I bought as much as I could afford (which was only about 100 grams, since I hadn't been paid yet). Grapefruit Green was not one of the ones I bought at that time.

Flash forward six weeks. I'm not quite starting to run low on tea, but I'm getting close enough to keep my eyes open whenever I go out. One afternoon I'm heading to work after stopping by a bakery, when I realize: wait, is that... it is! Lupicia! I'd been working across the street from one twice a week for over a month.

Well, I bought Grapefruit Green on that trip and have been hooked ever since. This is not a tea I'd recommend to everyone - the grapefruit flavor is quite strong, which is one of its selling points for me, but obviously people who aren't fans of grapefruit aren't going to like it.

For being such a flavorful tea, GG is also very light. It makes an energizing morning or afternoon tea and a refreshing summertime tea. However, the flavor makes it harder to pair with food. Baked goods are excellent, but I don't think I'd try it with a full meal.

Overall: four and a half stars (out of five). Fabulous, fabulous tea.

Now that I'm back from Japan, incidentally, I can still get my Lupicia fix at their two stores in San Francisco. Very convenient! No doubt they were thinking specifically of me when they opened them.

(I realize that Republic of Tea also makes a grapefruit green tea, but I haven't tasted it and so can't comment on how they compare)


Altissima said...

Greetings from Down Under! We have a Lupicia Store in Melbourne. It used to be L’Epicier (means "the grocer") - as you can see in this photos here:
I guess they got tired of having to explain how to pronounce it.

I love visiting the store to talk to the very gracious and knowledgeable staff, and to browse and smell various teas before making my careful selection.

I am currently totally hooked on the Grapefruit Green. This tea is deliciously refreshing during the heat of a Melbourne summer. I make it 1/2 litre quantities in a glass pot that sits on my desk (it's such a lovely colour!) and I probably get through 2 or 3 pots a day. It's hot when I start drinking it, but it's just as nice when warm or cold. This tea has a bright and invigorating flavour that somehow energises me for work with the caffeine jitters of a coffee hit. (Also: no sugars or fats = no calories = yay!). Almost every time I make a fresh brew, some-one will ask "what's that lovely smell?". I agree with you that this tea is generally difficult to pair with food, but I have found that the Japanese snack daifuku is a perfect accompaniment.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your teablog - keep up the good work!

Altissima said...

The link above doesn't seem to work as I intended. :-/

If you would like to see the photo, try following this link:

Anonymous said...

Lupicia Melbourne now have a website and online shopping Australia wide. Incredible range of teas including the legendary Grapefruit Green :)

Anonymous said...

woops. i will try that link again Lupicia Fresh Tea Australia

Carrie said...

Cool, congratulations. :) They opened up an online shop for the US too, but still nothing for Canada. What am I going to do when I move there? :(