111 Tasting Notes

73

Thanks for Ysaurella, whose post on this tea caught my eye and helped us swap some teas we had in our respective cupboards.
I felt I had to start my tasting of her samples with this one;)
Thanks to my recent fantastic infuser, I could see that the green leaves were rather nice and bigger than I expected when I had served the dry tea.
The smell is really nice, sweet and very fruity.
The taste was fine, though not exceptional. What I liked is that the different flavors taste natural (as I’ve had a not so good experience with a flavored green tea from Le Palais des Thés before, I was wary of that. The flavors were however a bit weak in comparison with the green tea base and not as striking to my palate as to my nose.
I also thought some japanese sencha powder had been added to it, as there was a lot of it at the bottom of my teapot. I also found it to be quite astringent while I was finishing my teapot (after 6 cups or so).
However I have to say that I’m not sure I’ll ever like a green tea, as much as a nice black-blend, a oolong or a white tea. I believe this tea might rate among the green teas I liked best.
And some of Ysaurella’s other samples really have a smell to die for. To be continued…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec
Ysaurella

I am happy you liked it “for a green tea”
That’s right that steeped longer than 4 minutes it becomes astringent, it is a quite complicated.
Maybe try some pleasant green from Mariage Frères as Thé à l’opéra or a mix black & green blend like Prince Igor or Balthazar to pursue experiences with green teas.You surely find one you really really like, I did and I am not very green tea.

Ysaurella

I meant a quite complicated tea !

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97
reviewed Brew In Mug Infuser by Forlife
111 tasting notes

I’ve always used tea-balls but was very frustrated lately with those, as I felt they did not allow for large leaves to really unfold and on the other hand were letting quite a lot of rooibos small parts seep into the pot. When I found this infuser at Dempsey Hill, it just seemed absolutely perfect and I did not hesitate at all before buying it.
I use it generally with my teapot, whose opening is a bit wider than a mug, but the infuser is very stable thanks to the handle. The cover is perfect to keep the water warm during infusion, as my normal teapot cover cannot fit with the infuser in.
The tea leaves have a lot of space to unfold with a cylinder 6 cm long by diameter 6 cm (2 inches 3/8). The quality of the stainless steel and of the seals seem pretty high, and quite up to par with a similar infuser I had seen sold by WMF for 3 times the price.
I’ve used it with different kind of teas and rooibos and am definitely very happy with everything about it. Very easy to use, very easy to empty and to clean, perfect size for my teapot or large mugs, good looking design, no stain on the table thanks to the cover being used as a dish for the user – with the silicon coating on this side, no accident ever when bringing back my tray to the kitchen (and it sometimes feel like I have two left hands…). Last the holes are indeed very very tiny which makes it the best infuser I’ve ever used for rooibos.
On small flaw, if/when I leave the handle above the opening of my teapot and forget to put it on the side, it gets a bit hot, which is not so pleasant to take it off. I never was burned just felt surprised and a bit too hot at the fingers.
And the price is ok, especially for the quality (around 20 USD).
I would definitely buy it again, and may also offer some to my tea-addict friends.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Ysaurella

I use this one home but only in mugs, it is a very good infuser

Barbara

I use something very similar from Cha Cult and like Ysaurella only in mugs. When I’m through with my tea, I throw the wet tea leaves out and leave the strainer on the kitchencounter to dry. When it’s dry you only have to shake it to remove the residu (which by then has become dust). Rinse off with a bit of water and soap and/or put it in de dishwasher occasionally and it’s all prepped for re-use.
I love how easy it is to clean and the room it provides for the leaves to unfurl.

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94
drank Nil Rouge by Mariage Frères
111 tasting notes

Definitely one of my favorites rooibos
The blend is both subtle (much more than Rouge Rushka) and not so subtle (less than Marco Polo Rouge). The citrus scent can be very easily identified but it’s nicely blended with other flavors that do not make the citrusy taste overwhelming. I’m currently drinking the second half of my second box of this tea. I’m not sure I will replenish this supply at Christmas, but I know for sure I’ll buy it again in the next years.
Depending on the moments, I tend to prefer Rouge Bourbon when I’m in the mood for a sweet sugary-feeling vanilla taste, or Marco Polo Rouge, when I’m in the mood for a very mellow evening drink, or this Nil Rouge, when I feel like having a drink feeling slightly more refreshing.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
cteresa

I was wavering about restocking on Marco Polo Rouge or Nil Rouge – ended up deciding for this one, just due to the fact that Nil Rouge was available by the weight closer to home. But I know I will end buying and rebuying more or each in the future, they are both so very wonderful on different ways. And I got my eye on trying Rouge Provence as well!

LaFleurBleue

Rouge Provence might be nice; but I need to smell it to check that there’s not too much rose in there.
I personally have my eyes on Surabaya, Bloemfontein and Kimberley…

cteresa

The interesting thing at least about the green Provence version is the thyme IMO and maybe the rosemary – it´s not uppermost but anchors it. I really got to write something about it, as soon as my nose is working well again. Rouge Provence smelt mostly of red fruits, but I got to use a lot more of my other teas before I let myself buy some of it!

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37
drank Premium by Dilmah
111 tasting notes

Had this at the office, to try.
There was no lipton yellow available to compare it directly; but those two teasare rather similar to my opinion;
The taste of the Dilmah Premium might be a bit less generic, but it remains a black tea with only very tiny pieces of leaves in the bag. I tried a second steep and got slightly colored hot water; with a Lipton, the second steep was weaker but still tea.
I’ve got to bring something to drink my good teas instead of those craps.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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94

I have had a few more bags of this one (for which I bought a complete box, in addition to the 2 teabags from the Treasure box). The more I drink it, the more I like it and find it the perfect Earl Grey, that I want to drink again and again.
And I’m so impressed by the number of steeps possible with one single tea-bag.
Very expensive, but it’s worth while at least a try. The best blend from Gryphon with Nymph of the Nile, to my opinion.
My husband also liked it a lot and asked for more, while usually he just finishes the first cup or regularly even does not finish it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

I have only 2 tea bags of this one, from the Gryphon Treasures box, and I’m quite unhappy with myself for having spoiled this first try. I’m convinced the water was too hot and I left it steeping the 1st time for too long (water like 95° and almost 10 mn steeping…)
I’m not used to drinking sencha, so I confess not to have lots of experience and memories to compare it with.
Despite my extremely poor handling of this, I found there was something interesting in this tea.
The color is a light greenish-yellow. The smell is very pleasant, very Japanese tea and not only that, but also something very sweet, slightly flowery. The taste is also quite delicate, green but not only, very sweet (despite a slight bitterness in my first brew due to mishandling).
This tea reminds me of a piece of silk material, less shiny than satin but perfectly smooth and very fine.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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65

Pleasant and refreshing, with a nice Mint taste, that really reminded me of mint leaves, not freshly plucked from the plant but with no fake mint chewing-gum taste. I did not really find the lemongrass, though I’ll try looking for it again when drinking the second tea bag from the Treasure box.
The green tea used as a basis was to my opinion too weak. The third steep already turned quite watery and the fourth was a lightly colored hot water with a very very slight mint-infusion taste.
Last thing, I was expecting some taste closer from Morrocan mint tea; I’m not sure how they brew it in Morrocco, but I believe the tea used is not as green as this one, plus they use tons of sugar. This one was probably better without sugar, but then it just cannot be a real Morrocan taste.
Another blend from Gryphon that I find quite nice, with no wow factor, and definitely overpriced.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Palas Afternoon Tea by BOH
111 tasting notes

I bought this tea at the same time as Garden Teas Palas Suprem, directly at the plantation in the middle of Cameron Highlands.
I started with the other one, thinking it would be more citrus-flavored than this one. I had already find the explanation behind my complete misunderstanding of Orange Pekoe and Pekoe tea, when I decided to open this box (see rating for Garden Teas Palas Suprem). I did not expect a citrus tangy flavor but just full nice leaves.
I realized that the box despite being the same thing as Palas Suprem only contained 75g of tea while the other had 100g inside. As soon as it was opened, I realized why : the dry leaves were slightly twisted, looked quite big and if there had been more, they would have been broken.
I steeped it in a gaiwan, as I anticipated that the leaves should require space in the water to really expand. That was a great idea, as I found it really nice to look at the leaves opening and expanding completely within the cup. After steeping, all leaves were entire and were all between 5 to 7 cm, I had never before seen any so large and unbroken in any tea.
The taste was rather nice for a black tea; to my opinion, a bit nicer than Palas Supreme. If you like unflavored black tea, you should probably try this.
I resteeped a few times without getting anything close to watery, proof that the tea is indeed quite potent. It did not seem to get bitter at all, which I also liked.
I will probably not buy it again as I usually prefer flavored tea, but I may try to flavor it myself (starting with the Palas Supreme tea) as the tea base would then be exceptional and much better than that usually used in the black tea blends, even from Mariage Frères.
I’m really glad I bought those two teas as they helped me get to know better what is a good quality black tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Palas Afternoon Tea by BOH
111 tasting notes

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78
drank Palas Afternoon Tea by BOH
111 tasting notes

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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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