405 Tasting Notes

100

I received my Butiki Order yesterday and I cannot resist to begin by this tea.
It’s as good as in my memory.
At the moment it’s from far the best straight black tea I ever had.

I get the bread notes , the fruity ones and the famous honey.
I bump up the rating because it’s too good !

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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73

Yes I am having a Christmas tea for breakfast in the middle of Summer…I wanted to taste it for ages and now I have the opportunity thanks to a sample I received with my Instant thé order.

This is a classical blend more than clearly the same kind as Thé de Noël from Compagnie Coloniale exactly the same ingredients cherry,ginger, cornflower on a black tea base.

I need to make a special tasting with a cup of each but I have the impression now that the tea base of Dammann is maybe a little bit stronger vs Compagnie Coloniale.

Well this is clearly not my favourite christmas tea even if nice but these flavours change from cloves, orange, mandarin…

I am gloomy today as I have to come back to work on Wednesday and I really would have loved to remain in holidays – That’s so weird to me as in my previous job I was always so happy to wake up to go to work.
I know what it means so…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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82

Thanks so much to Ruby Woo Scarlett for sharing this tea with me.

I wanted to try this one for ages and here I am : classic Dammann tea base and greedy ingredients such as chocolate, hazelnut + blood orange.

It is really quite similar to Velours Nacré (same tea base, same ingredients at the difference it has almonds in place of hazelnuts)

it’s a pleasant tea, not one I would buy as I own Velours Nacré but I’m happy to have had the chance to taste it

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

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80

second steep, less steep time (2 min) it is really better. As promised by the salesman I get strong honey notes.
A little astringency remains, I need to play more with this tea (I bought 50g as it was quite an expensive tea 16,50 €/100g and wanted to be sure I like it before buying more)
I think asap I’ll find the right way to brew it for my taste it can be a staple.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

:) yay! I’m glad you don’t hate it

Ysaurella

I think the preconisation of 5 min is due to a lazy preparation of the website, they should have put 5 min by default for all black teas…
I think I will love it

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80

brewed 4 minutes at 95°c(in place of 5 preconised by MF) it’s very bitter…otherwise the tea seems really nice…pfffff I was SURE I shouldn’t buy an assam. I’ll retry with 2 minutes and retain for now my rating.

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

Just saw this…MF recommends FIVE minutes! Ew! I’m sure I never steep this one more than 3

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75

This one came from a sample I requested with my Mariage Frères order today in the shop Place de la Madeleine.
This is something I dislike with MF, the fact they NEVER propose any sample even if you have bought 3 or 4 teas (and even if you buy more…), if you request one or 2 they would add them to your pretty bag Mariage of course but from a trade view I cannot understand them : why do they wait the client to request, why don’t they propose systematically to gain another possible sale the next time if the customer had appreciated the sample ? Bizarre…vous avez dit bizarre…comme c’est étrange…

So I requested this one because and only because of its name, it was reminding me l’élixir de longue vie from Honoré de Balzac that’s the only reason, I didn’t know what the ingredients were.

The dry leaf scent was absolutely strong on sweetness.
Immediately after steeping, it was a kind of bitterness, cooling it disappeared (thanks God !)

I wasn’t able to drink it hot but only warm because of an over perfume-y taste.Too strong on the essential oils for my taste.
Cooling, it was a very acceptable and decent tea, high on aromas of flowers (rose and lotus in the leading roles) and on fruit (citrus, even if I was not certain to recognize really bergamot, it probably was + orange-probably a bitter one.

Vanilla was lingering on aftertaste and gave this tea a kind of festive intonation.

Something was disturbing me with this tea,it may have been the presence of lotus as I already noticed some teas with lotus were not among my favourite.

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

I’m always shameless about requesting samples from MF. It’s the only way. I agree with you, though – complètement bizarre.

cteresa

Consider myself a lotus-twin of yours. Lotus just does not work for me.

I kinda liked this, it was not bad, but did not love it either – it reminded me of Thé au Tibet though I much prefer Thé au Tibet, maybe because it has no lotus.

Ysaurella

Anna you have the right attitude, at the price of the teas it’s better to ensure we would like one before buying

Ysaurella

Teresa, it’s a pity because I enjoy the scent of these flowers but I really don’t like its flavour in tea

Qwendy

I live in France and have gotten used to the “you don’t get it until you ask for it” in almost every situation …. Including directions! I have never requested a sample at Mariage, what a great idea, thanks! We are so accustomed to the American idea of Living Large and the holding back of everything is simply one more cultural difference …. Probably comes from the ancient need to conserve everything, odd I know in a country now very abundant, but they sure do make wonderful things here!

Ysaurella

well Qwendy I think it may come more from the position of Mariage which is very snobbish and considers their position in the tea market as a Luxious position. The fact of proposing a sample should be like “depreciate” their products in their mind… they don’t offer as a mecanism because their teas are so good :
we don’t need to
we don’t want to borrow the clients by proposing something to sale in the future (propose something = commercial harrassment)…it should be something like that…
But you’re right too much often the French retailers make a retention of their advices and friendly attitude. Thanks God I wasn’t like that when I was working in retail :)

Qwendy

Very interesting observation Ysaurella, I think it holds true for many commercial pursuits in France. I live in the provinces and people in stores of all kinds are very friendly, but the idea of leaving people alone instead of bothering us is the rule, instead of what I might consider as sharing information rather than being pushy is a fine line. I do appreciate the privacy in a way although I would love a bit more participation and just ask for it when I need it. I worked for years in retail in the US and perfected a way to be open without being too pushy, but so often one feels that they are trying to hard to SELL, almost the opposite here! All the best from sunny Brittany, drinking Balthazar iced.

cteresa

How filled with tourists are the Mariage shops usually? Any you particularly recommend? and how to ask, is it échantillon? And can you ask for any of the teas (reasonably priced ones, I mean?)

cteresa

Oh, and just to add, I have assumed this was one of those MF teas named after an opera – they do seem to like those, though they seem to change the italian or russian names to english! Swan Lake (ok, that is a ballet), aida, prince igor, parsifal, madame butterfly.

Ysaurella

@ Qwendy : you’re sooooo lucky to live in Brittany my favourite area in France (well with Corsica and Ardèche too…) You should add your reviews here on Steepster about Balthazar and other teas you’re sipping in the beautiful Brittany :)

Ysaurella

Teresa, well the shop rue du bourg Tibourg and in the carrousel du Louvre are crowded of tourists.
The one Rue du bourg Tibourg (near Chatelet and Hôtel de ville) is the first, the “original” one.
My favourite is the quietest : rue des grands Augustins (St Michel area, quartier latin) : here you can have a tea or lunch and buy tea.
Another I go often (for aquestion of geographical area only)is the one place de la Madeleine (near the department stores Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps)

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84

This is a subtle tea with natural notes of wood, and warm roasted chestnuts.
It has none astringency and is absolutely sweet and mellow.

We know that oolongs have naturally a nutty taste and it’s just as if DF had just poured some roasted chesnut in for some time to add this specific natural taste, delicate and refined.

A very comforting tea.

A very well blended tea, thank you Ruby Woo Scarlett for sharing this sample with me.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

I think I may have a teeeeny smidge of this left, and your description makes me want to leave my desk and go dig in the basket for it. (Of course, today, anything makes me want to leave my desk. :)

Ysaurella

oh lord, I’ll be in the same situation next week when I’ll come back at work -yes this is really a wonderful tea

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82
drank Eve by Nina's Paris
405 tasting notes

What a lovely tea ! I am a sucker for apple teas and for peach, apricot and vanilla teas so…i picked this one

I especially adore apricots but actually I refuse to buy any…I am living in Paris it just means we don’t have apricots around and I cannot buy directly to the producer…We are producing a lot of Apricot in the south of France but if I want to buy 1 kg (2.2 pounds) I have to pay 7 € ! 3 years ago during the season apricots were around 3 € which was correct. And I won’t speak about cherries (9 € a kg !) I hope in your respective countries you can buy seasonal fruits without contracting a credit :) !

The tea…of course I love this one.
I brewed it at 100°c and left it for 6 minutes.
Again same tea base as with the other Nina’s Paris flavoured blacks I tried until now.
The aromas are incredible and I got first peach and vanilla then apricot, apple is really behind.
This is my favourite of the Nina’s samples I tried until now.So delicate, so smooth and YUMMY.
Thank you Laurent and Mélanie from Nina’s Paris for the sample.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Ruby Woo Scarlett

The price of fruit at the moment is ridiculous but probably due to the dreadful weather we’ve had :( I haven’t had a single cherry this whole summer (and only a few nectarines..)

Ysaurella

agree Ruby Woo Scarlett but I think they (distributors) are exagerating a little… without being a conspiracy enthousiast

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Haha! Agreed :D

cteresa

Oh goodness, 7 euros for apricots, that is a lot! One might has well buy a tree and keep it on a pot (am doing this that year with basil and chilly peppers and even a cherry tomato plant which is being surprisingly productive).

Cherries are cheaper here, around 3-4-5 euros a kilo on the main season, but cherries are always the most expensive fruit! apricots are sort of expensive also actually, by our standards – but we have a lot of very cheap fruit usually, citrins, apples and pears usually around a euro a kilo when in season.

Ysaurella

in Paris pears and apple in season are 3 € ! pears and apples…the simpliest fruits to find in France…I am on the point to decide to knit my own apples and pears ;)

cteresa

definetely a tree in a pot – I am going to try kumqats this year!

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83
drank Comme tu le sais by THE O DOR
405 tasting notes

I am sipping it right now and it is so good…It comes from a sample I had with my Theodor order.
I wouldn’t have ordered it by myself because it contains mango but I can reconsider because the main notes are much rose and lemon to me and the mango comes delicately.
I am very surprised how these 3 flavours work lovely together. The green tea base is smooth and with absolutely none astringency except a small pleasant note on the aftertaste which adds somme seriousness to the blend, I am very impressed by Theodor’s greens until now.

To me Theodor is really a very very very high tea merchant and creator, I think I’m going to consider buying their straight teas to develop my palate because if they are picking the right straight teas as they blend their flavoured teas I can find easily the way to drink more staights.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

Mmmmmm mangos… So good! Haha

Ysaurella

yes I find mango in teas is often hit & miss that’s why I generally avoid them :)

cteresa

I am liking Theodor very much as well – and do try the milky oolong! I think I sent you a sample once, if you can find it, give it a try, it´s so special I am almost surely going to rebuy it, even at the price they want!

Ysaurella

Teresa yes you sent me a sample of milky oolong :S I have a shameful amont of samples untried ! I will this week end :)

cteresa

Do then! Though I hope to not be raising expectations too impossibly high.

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80
drank Earl Grey by Nina's Paris
405 tasting notes

It is my second sample kindly sent by Laurent and Mélanie from Nina’s.

I am an Earl Grey lover, I have at least 8 Earl Grey or Earl Grey variations teas in my cupboard. So I was really happy to have another one to discover.

I didn’t respect the brewing advices of Nina’s because for the first sample I found the tea base light for my palate so I decided to steep 5 minutes.
And I think I have been right.

The bergamot is subtle and delicate and it was really light on the dry leaf scent.It smelled subtle but delicious.

The liquor is beautiful, an amber coulour, translucent, very lovely but I was a little worried because generally when I can see clearly the bottom of my mug it often means the tea base is light and often too light.

This Earl Grey has a very nicely balanced citrusy bergamot, this is really well done.Flavour is really a perfection :natural, not over- perfumy,it’s just as if a very fresh bergamot had been squeezed and added to the tea.

I suspect the keemun used as base is the same as the one used in Thé de Vendôme. I can taste it better here vs the previous sample but it is still a little too light for my taste. I would have prefered a medium-bodied tea but this is really a question with my own tastes.

This Earl Grey is really refreshing and perfectly blended. I would consider it as a Summer Earl Grey.
I imagine it can make a very nice iced-tea as well.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

First, please forgive me for my English and all the grammatical mistakes you’ll find in my posts.
As English isn’t my mother tongue it sometimes makes things more difficult to express cleverly and accurately what I feel.

I was mainly in black flavoured teas, green as well if not bitter.
I’m now drinking much straight teas because my palate is now developed enough to appreciate them .

My favourite brands are : Taiwan tea Crafts, Teavivre, Mariage Frères,Theodor,Butiki Teas,Dammann Frères, Betjeman & Barton.
My ratings are as follow :

100 to 95 : my darlings; always in my cupboard (or very often ! )

94 to 90 : Excellent tea

89 to 80 : very good tea, a pleasure to drink it

79 to 70: not bad even quite nice, why not having it sometimes, but well,it’s not so urgent !

69 to 50 : Meh, deceptive or just not for me – but has some qualities

49 to 30 : I just don’t appreciate it

Under 30 : is this thing supposed to be tea ?!?!?

My tea blog (in French)
http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/

Location

Paris, France

Website

http://thevangeliste.wordpres...

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