111 Tasting Notes

69
drank Rose Green Tea by Kusmi Tea
111 tasting notes

Reading the other reviews, I really wonder if there are different batches not made with the exact same recipe.
When opening the tin, I was a bit disappointed to see less rose petals in my blend than there are in the marketing picture. However the smell is there.
While brewing, the flowery smell gets quite strong and wafts over the room.
I tried to be careful not to overbrew the first steep and tried it.
Yes, roses and roses and roses with a nice green tea reminding me of green-pasture grass.
It’s a bit too flowery for my taste, though I believe there are not too much rose flavor in the blend; it’s just that I prefer the flowers to be mixed with something else.
The first brew looked a bit murky, not as much as Green St Petersburg, but enough not to look too appealing to me. From the second, it got clearer and nicer. For this first batch, I steeped it 4 times in total and it felt like 1 or 2 more could have been possible. I forgot it for almost 5 minutes at the third steep and positive surprise, it was not bitter.
I may try to mix it with my jasmine pearls, to try to replicate the Pearl of the Orient blend and see if the mix jasmine-roses makes it easier to finish both those very nice but too flowery teas.
I would definitely recommend it to rose and flower flavor addicts.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec
LaFleurBleue

Uhmm earlier this week, I left it steeping too long (no clue how long exactly); the resulting brew was awfully bitter. I had to throw it away.

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80
drank Blueberry Hill by Yumchaa
111 tasting notes

I so wanted to love this tea. When reading the description, I thought it would be perfect and get to be one of my favorites. Let’s just say that I had very very high expectations for this blend.
Unfortunately I’m a bit disappointed, as I feel that this tea does not deliver all expected (though maybe unrealistic) promises. It’s nice, but no out of the world experience when drinking it.
The tea base is very nice, neither too weak not too strong and with no bitterness, even when the tea is forgotten steeping. The flavors are very pleasant and very natural tasting but not as strong as I expected. I honestly do not manage to recognize any of them and I’ve had this tea more than 20 times already.
This tea does not allow much resteeping, as it soon provide only a weak brew.
I will probably not go out of my way to rebuy this, though I’ll enjoy drinking it and might consider buying again much later if there are no better options for fruity-peachy tea or as an add-on to a rooibos order.
IMO this tea is good but not as deliciously flavored as Yumchaa’s rooibos.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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91

One of the only teas sold with a 50g minimum by Mariage Freres (considering the price 10 Euro for 50 g, that’s not that much of an effort from them…)
Before choosing the one, I smelled a few white teas: Brume de Roses targets rose addicts; Eau de lune smelled quite nice but with no wow factor (which I needed considering the price); Madame Butterfly was nice but I was not in the mood for cherry blossoms; Marco Polo white was my second choice after this one.
I do not remember how the tea looked in the large tin, but in my small bag I do not see any of the small pink flowers which can be seen on the picture.
The leaves have different green colors; it’s quite surprising. The smell of the dry leaves is exquisite.
The brew has a light yellow color, with a cristal clear look.
The taste is also really amazing: no bitterness, full of flowers but not cloying, with a hint of fruits (unidentified as of now). Spices I do not get or recognize any.
It’s a very dainty brew, best appreciated in an extra fine china cup and cannot be brewed in a mug – call me snobbish, if you like, but that’s my feeling.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

the name of the tea is an invitation ! it’s so beautiful …

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I won’t be rating this tea yet…
I’ve been lured by the Gentleman in this tea name. Expecting something slightly refined, I put way too much leaves in my strainer. Second I put less water than usual in my boiler and did not get a full teapot. Third and last, I got busy while brewing and forgot the tea for way too long.
The resulting brew was strong, with a slightly bitter touch, that did not prevent me from drinking it all, though with probably not as much pleasure as could have been. The citrusy flavors seemed well balanced and very pleasant.
I’ll have to prepare it by the book next time to try to see if I get my gentleman and not the ruffian just out of the boxing ring, all sweaty and male I ended up with today…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
Julia

Haha, flooding it with milk usually fixes the issue for me, when I forget my tea is steeping.

LaFleurBleue

As I cannot drink milk, this proven recipe will unfortunately not work out for me…

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60

I seem to be the first one to post something about this tea. Surprising considering it’s included in the Treasures Box and a few people have bought this box.
At the same time, it’s not one of Gryphon’s best or must try.
It’s supposed to be a medium-bodied tea. To me, but I may have used too much water for this one, it was rather a weak-bodied tea.
And regarding the flavors, the bergamot was rather nice but the Eucalyptus brought a taste of medecinal plant, and brought out a kind of bitterness at resteep.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Lemon Sherbet by Yumchaa
111 tasting notes

This Yumchaa blend is once again far from subtle. If you don’t like Lemon, lemon, lemon, this will not be for you.
The smell of the dry leaves is amazing. The brew is delightfully refreshing. And the taste is exactly what I remember from the sherbet “Citron givré” (frosted lemon in English, but I have no clue if this correspnds to the way it’s called in anglo-saxon countries) – a lemon sherbet served within a complete lemon bark. I loved this dessert when I was a kid and haven’t had any in years. So I really enjoy being reminded of this each time I drink this.
I’ll have to finish it quick though, because there are some pieces of lemon inside the bag and I’m not sure the climate here will be friendly to those. Might even have to store it in the fridge.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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25
drank camomile infusion by Lipton
111 tasting notes

Had this in a hotel room one evening
It’s pretty bad. I could hardly recognize the chamomile taste; it’s as if only the stems, leaves had made it into the bag, while the flowers had been sent to another product.
There’s a faint bitterness to the brew and nothing flowery.
Not vile but really not good either.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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50

Another little tin among the 5 included in the Afternoon tea set I was given for Christmas. This one was actually the one I really looked forward to drinking the most…
It looked lovely in the small tin and also smelled delightful with an appealing citrus whiff reaching my nostrils.
Then I brewed it: probably putting too much of it given how much the tea expanded in the filter. That was only the first mistake: then I also left it steeping for way too long (not sure but probably between 5 to 10 minutes) and got a very bitter brew, with no flavors except bitterness.
My second steep, shorter but still too long probably, around 3 mn, was less bitter, but not completely devoid of bitterness, and did not have so much flavor as I expected.
The brew is also murky, with a lot of floating dust in the cup. Not so appealing!
I tried it again later, with water that was a bit cooler but still too hot probably, as I had difficulty drinking it right after brewing.
I was extra careful not to put too much gunpowder leaves in the filter and not to let it steep for more than 1 minute.
Right after taking the filter out, I got a nice whiff of citrusy scent. It was also quite present each time I picked the cup to drink it. However the taste was rather milder than expected and did not really work out for me: the caramel was much stronger in flavor than in smell and almost completely covered the citrusy taste. The tea quality however seems rather good as it’s still very fragrant at the third steep.
Capricious, contrary and twisted. Those would be the “qualities” I would associate the most with this tea. I brewed myself 7 or 8 cups of it today and succeeded only in getting 1 that was correct, all the others were between meh and real bad.
I so want to empty those little tins to refill them with nicer teas, as they’re the perfect size for my office desk. It’s going to be tough again with this one!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

I have a full collection of Kusmi teas small tins full of MF or DF teas in my office :) – Anastasia and Prince Wladimir are my 2 staples from Kusmi

LaFleurBleue

I could have 4 tins in a smaller space than my 2 smallest containers (those from the ikea 17 pieces set)…
And those small tins are also very easy to stack on top of each other as well.
I’ll have to manage to tell my nice but touchy brother in law that the Russian set would be a perfect match for next Christmas.

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91

I had bought this mint rooibos, just to try, thinking it should be nicely refreshing with the mint flavor, also because my husband told me he liked the smell in the shop. But I must confess I was not expecting much of it, as I was afraid of the mint.
Yesterday I opened the bag and smelled it: very refreshing mint, natural smelling for instance.
I brewed it and started drinking it.
And there came the surprise…
Even when the brew is hot, it feels cooling and refreshing. The taste is also much smoother than I expected, most probably as a result from the rose petals sparkled everywhere in the tea (which looks very lovely as well).
The only drawback I see to it is that the brew has a slight toothpaste taste, when the brew is really hot; the mint taste is much more natural and pleasant when it cools down slightly.
Tonight I had absolutely no hesitation in what I felt like drinking.
I believe this should also make an excellent ice tea, and it would also be perfect at the office to replace Rouge Rushka that I’ve almost finished.
An almost perfect hit.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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64
drank Spicy Chocolate by Kusmi Tea
111 tasting notes

Hubby is coming down with a mean cold, so I figured some chai-like spicy tea might halp me keep it away.
I have been given the afternoon Kusmi set at Christmas, which I probably never would have bought on my own. I usually do not really enjoy drinking spice-flavored tea. However I’ve got a small tin and those will be perfect to store nice teas at my desk in the office. So better try to drink it fast;)
The flavors when opening the tin are really nice and seem strong on chocolate, plus spices, but not curry-like flavors.
Once brewed, I was wondering how it would come out, as I had been a bit light in my serving. It was actually strong enough (and I managed to resteep it twice with no problem, which proves the leaves are rather good quality). The color is a bit dark but very clear.
The taste is slightly disappointing as I looked, searched and wandered around for the chocolate, but it was not very obvious and not as strong flavored as I expected; I was searching for a very dark chocolate, with a very high concentration in cocoa and could only come with the flavors of an industrial average-supermarket brand which would lower the cocoa content to optimize the price of the product. Not so appealing!
Then the spices: not so unpleasant as I was afraid of, with two popping up to mind: cinnamon first and then underlying it all and lasting so long after, clove. This last flavor is a bit overwhelming (and it can easily be so). After drinking it, I really felt the same taste on my lips I had after smoking kretek (Indonesian clove-flavored cigarettes) when I was much younger, without the cold ashtray feeling inside my mouth.
I will not buy it again, but should able to reasonably finish the tin, especially convincing myself that the clove inside the blend will help improve my gums…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
LaFleurBleue

I finished the small tin yesterday without having to force myself to pick this one up – unlike most of the others I got.

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Profile

Bio

I’ve started drinking much more tea quite recently, almost completely quitting espresso for it!
I’ve been introduced to high quality tea by one of my best friend, MF Marco Polo addict since more than 20 years. I’ve only rarely bought tea-bags since then, preferring the quality-price ratio of loose leaves.
I drink my tea natural, without any milk, sugar or sweetener. I only add honey when a sore-throat is coming along.
I usually either brew a large pot at home or resteep my leaves at the office. I cannot seem to learn to master the use of a gaiwan in an elegant and not clumsy way…
My tea preferences :
- I really like flavored black teas, with a preference for fruity flavors, from a tangy Earl Grey to a real fruit smoothie-like tea. I’m trying some single origin unflavored blacks from time to time but always end up having trouble to finish them. I usually do not really enjoy the strong breakfast teas.
- I do not like chai or teas with strong spice flavors. Strange considering I really like spicy food, but not what I drink.
- I am quite afraid of pu-erh and lapsang souchong, though I probably have never drunk any real good ones and I’m quite sure it can make a huge difference… A few years ago, I had been introduced to scotch whisky and can definitely attest that you cannot say you don’t like whisky, if you’ve only drunk blended stuff and not tasted yet single malts. I hope to get the same happy discovery for those teas.
- I discovered very good oolong, without going through the step of drinking bad-one first, and really enjoy it, especially with a meal. I’ll definitely try some flavored oolongs in a near future.
- I’ve just started discovering white teas, which feels very delicate. The only problem is that those can be awfully expensive…
- I also really like rooibos which I discovered a few years ago while searching for low-theine/caffeine teas that I could drink at night without suffering from insomnia.
- As with green tea, we’ve had a long-standing difficult relationship. I’ve occasionally had some that were real smooth, refreshing and so very many that turned bitter very quickly. And I cannot stand a bitter tea.
- As for jasmine tea, I used to like it but have indeed drunk too much of some bad quality bitter brew, and now I even have problem finishing the high-quality pearls I bought in Beijing.
- Yerba Mate: I’ve had some in one blend and am quite convinced that I would never like that as bitterness is one of its main characteristics. I’ll try to avoid it like the plague.
- Herbal tea: I used to drink more or those before discovering rooibos; finding good ones is unfortunately really difficult – even in organic shops, the herbs sold are far from great.
I loathe artificial flavoring of any kind in any beverage or food.

I’m quite opiniated and try to leave room for further improvement and better discoveries, which explain why I haven’t rated any tea in the 95 and above range.
Teas above 80 are among my favorites
Between 60-80, I could or could not give them a second chance or recognize that they are made with high-quality ingredients though their taste does not please my buds.
Around 50, it starts to be rather bad and a not so pleasant experience to drink.
25 to 40+ cover low quality products that I manage to drink when nothing else is available.
Below that, it’s really vile and basically almost undrinkable IMHO.

Location

Singapore

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