I passed this store for the first time today and stopped in for a looksee. Has anyone else tried it as well? What's their reputation?
Short version: it's a fun store, the tea's okay, but I'm not clamorning to go back.
As far as I can tell, they have a lot of tea from Japan, China, and Taiwan, and smaller numbers of tea from other places including England and Africa.
I bought a muscat flavored oolong from China because it smelled incredibly enticing. They somehow got the tea to smell like those big expensive Concord grapes you find at Korean markets, or like Japanese grape candy.
The actual brewed product was a less exciting. I'm drinking it hot right now and it's okay, but the muscat flavor suffers because the oolong it's paired with is mediocre. I'm going to try it iced with some sugar next, hoping that will bring out the flavor. Some other flavors I had a hard time passing up:
-muscat black tea (instead of muscat oolong)
-pineapple oolong (with a more expensive oolong that comes in rolled balls instead of shards, smelled better, and was from Taiwan instead of China). Smelled like Taiwanese pineapple cakes.
-strawberry black tea
That's just what caught my eye today, and I was in a fruit mood. There are at least a hundred choices, likely more, both simple and complex.
I found this photo of Lupicia on Flickr: it's of the San Francisco store. The one at Century City has the same setup but is smaller.
People are nice if not terribly knowledgeable (still getting used to things, I assume), there are a few brewed samples to try, and it's a fun store to look at. I wish they would sell weighed amounts. They currently only sell 1.7 oz. bags, so you have to make a $5-10 commitment to one flavor.
Website (Japanese only): http://www.lupicia.com/
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