352 Tasting Notes

95

Thank you so much Terri HarpLady for sharing this one with me !
And even a double thanks as Terri sent me a second parcel because the first one has been lost.
I wanted to taste this tea for ages. Loving bergamot and loving rose I was sure it was a tea for me. And was right.

First, it’s a lovely tea : the blend is full of petals of rose, exactly as on the picture here.
The scent of the dry leaf is fantastic: rose & citrus

After brewing, the liquor is darker than I thought, amber.
The dominant taste to me is rose and behind bergamot.
I don’t get the chocolate, sorry but not a problem as I am not the hugest fan of chocolate in tea (especially because it never equals a real cup of hot chocolate to me :) )
The tea base (which is more than a tea base as it seems to be one of the best seller of Verdant) is absolutely fantastic and welcomes ideally the flavours.
I am in love really, the kind of teas I would have every day without problem.

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

oh yay! i’m so glad the second package made it there for you and terri

Terri HarpLady

Yay!! ME too!!!

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92

I am lucky today, when I opened my mailbox I have seen a lot of advertising papers and behind Santa Claus ! not himself but he took the appearance of the Postman and left for me : my Theodor tea order, cteresa’s swap envelope and Terri Harplady’s second swap box !
Yes !!!! Now I am embarrassed because I have so much teas I cannot decide which to begin by.

So after one hour turning around my teas,I finally decided to drink this one first.

The dry leaf scent is really magic even if quite herbal, of course it’s a green tea…not so surprising- the flavours scents are lovely and I get first a dominant apple and a supportive rose .
I brewed it as required on my bag (handwritten notes behind the bag-I love handwritten notes even on tea bags): 85°C I found this a little weird for a green I generally never give much than 80° but decided to follow the instructions.
The liquor is really beautiful, a lovely pale green almost yellow.
There is NO astringency neither bitterness (release! I am so picky with green teas)
The green tea base is nice and mellow (yes, a mellow green tea…hurray it exists !)
The flavours are really mixed :apples, dates, rose, peppermint for sure. I am so sorry for not being able to taste almond, especially because I love so much almond teas.
For sure this tea reminds Orient as constantinople is the muse. It makes me think to Thé du Hammam (green tea base, rose and dates) but it is different, less fruity, more grave somehow.

While cooling apple and rose continue to dominate.

Terri HarpLady

I’m so happy this 2nd box made it into your arms! Whew! I really was afraid that it too would be lost!

cteresa

I also really liked this! I got to do a proper taste note for it, but for me, it was so very much the date – particularly if you do a second steep. The sweetness there, so well blended as a base – the mint and rose are more noticeable, but the date sort of gives it a depth. A very well done tea blend IMO – I must do a proper tasting note!

cteresa

And Theodor has lots of Constantinople inspired teas – this one, Trahison Byzantine ( which I sadly could not buy), Héritage de Istanbul, Les 3 Empires

TheTeaFairy

Yay! So relieved for you and Terri! Wow, Christmas tea really knocked on your door this week, lol!

Ysaurella

@ cteresa :I have now to taste Héritage d’Istanbul, I have it in cupboard and sent you a sample as well so you’ll need to do a note too ;)
I’ll consider les 3 empires next time I would order but not Trahison Byzantine (even if I do love the name)because it’s a rooibos…

cteresa

Oh, thank you – I will definetely write a taste note! And yes, i know about you and rooibos. Though I warn you if anybody could ever convert you to rooibos, it might be Théodor!

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75
drank Eros by Tealeaves
352 tasting notes

No,no no no I didn’t make a mistake, I am not reviewing Eros of Mariage Frères but Eros by T.
I get this sample thanks to Nicole in our very first swap and never had the occasion to make a note about it.
It seems we are the 2 only persons to have drank this tea ?

It is a very pleasant tea,with a sweet aroma of orange (they say it is mandarin but it’s not very evident). The orange is perfectly blended with vanilla but there is a hint of bitterness even if I didn’t oversteep the tea.

A very decent tea but probably not one staple for me.
Thank you again Nicole for sharing some with me.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Violette by Mariage Frères
352 tasting notes

I have the habit to drink the Dammann Frères Violette.
This one is just so different, incredible.
The DF Violette is more a candy Violette, the MF Violette is a flowery Violette.
That’s it ! I like both.
The tea base is really nice, smooth. The flavour is for sure floral and it just tastes like a violet. I get something additional, something like a hint of acidity, like a cloud of pure lemon juice- but I don’t think there is lemon, this is weird.

I like both blends but prefer the Dammann Frères one.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec
cteresa

The Dammann, is to my nose, also very certainly superior. Thank you very much for the chance to try both!

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85
drank Spice imperial by Lindfield
352 tasting notes

You may be intrigued by this company …as I was when I bought it in a tea shop (along with my George Cannon teas).
This is French company (of course I thought first it was English with such a name !) and a company based in Brittany as they argue they want to be the first tea brand of Brittany, it sounds nice as Brittany is more reputed for its cider, kouign amann, pan cakes, caramel beurre salé and butter….and and and sooooo much splendid food specialties ! I love Brittany…I wish I can live in Vannes or in Rochefort en Terre…

So yes, Brittany needs a tea brand !

This is a Christmas tea, what’s better in the middle of May ?
It’s a very special Christmas tea because the main flavour is really orange, then a delicate vanilla and behind but very behind spices (with a very discrete and a very very very discrete clove)
The tea base is really smooth and mellow, we can taste it very well, it is not hidden behind the flavours.

This is a very nice blend and a very different Christmas tea as the main guest is a perfectly blended Orange, very natural.

That’s true Oranges are a Christmas symbol as they were often in the past the only gift. That’s nice to remember this sometimes.So thanks to this company to remind us with a such lovely tea.

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

That sounds like a wonderful tea!

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92

I am just coming back from the Mariage Frères shop Place de la Madeleine in Paris.
I needed to refill my box of Prince Igor …so bought 100gr BUT of course I cannot enter a MF shop without buying other teas…
I wanted to taste this one for ages so here it is !
I am terrible with vanilla : I had too much vanilla teas or ice creams made with a stupid artificial vanilla now I am suspicious.
I generally refuse any vanilla ice cream except those of 2 or 3 brands and I do the same with teas.

Knowing Mariage Frères I was sure the vanilla was a good vanilla and I am not disappointed at all.
This is a sumptuous Bourbon vanilla…meaning the Vanilla comes from the following islands ONLY : La Réunion, Mauritius,Madagascar or Comoros. This is the same Vanilla as the one used in Wedding Impérial but of course here no caramel and the tea base is not an assam but probably a Chinese tea and it is so mellow, awwwww love it !

This blend is perfectly balanced between the flavour and the tea base.
I think it can become one staple.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Sil

aaaaah! i need to try this one lol

Shmiracles

i will buy this. i will i will.

momo

This is the only one I got to bring back from Paris, it is my favorite vanilla. I wish I could taste right now, I really want some now :(

whatshesaid

Sounds amazing! :)

Ysaurella

yes it is especially if you like real vanilla :)

cteresa

I love Vanilla though like you, I am picky!

Have you checked out Black Orchid as well? I was comparing both recently and ended up deciding for Black Orchid, but keep wondering about Vanille des Îles – they must have something different!

Ysaurella

nope I didn’t try Black Orchid as I thought it was more a floral tea (until I read your review recently !)
I’ll add a sample of Vanille des Îles in your envelope :)

cteresa

Oh, but you do not have to! Or swap for some of the others then – I added no extras, could not think of anything (well, must buy more teas). But I now wish i had included Black Orchid or the humble clipper teabags.

Ysaurella

No prob Teresa, I’ll add this one for sure I am always very happy to see your reviews about the teas I sent – you can detect all the flavours and describe them so well, it’s a pleasure to read your posts.

cteresa

That is a great compliment, thank you!

Hallieod

I agree with you, Ysaurella! But yours are very good reading too!

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97

Thank you so much Nicole for sharing this one as a surprise blend with me.
It is a great great tea and you know I am not the biggest fan for straight teas.
I get mainly fruity notes to my opinion, I cannot say it’s raisin or another fruit but this is a joyful fruity tea !

I am very very happy because any time I tasted a straight tea from Butiki teas, I loved it and really loved it.
It means I can find straight teas I can appreciate without any reserve and appreciate the natural flavours.
So it really encourages me to continue exploring straight blends.
Some are so mysterious, other so dark, rocky or earthy, some so joyful…I really need to continue exploring :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec
Sil

This one is awesome!

whatshesaid

This is also how I felt! I can’t wait for it to come back.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

The way everyone describes this, I feel like it’s a mystical unicorn in the distance that I can’t catch. lol!

Sil

that’s how golden fleece was when i first joine steepster…. now it’s this one.

Terri HarpLady

When I first joined steepster (labor day weekend, was it really only 8 months ago?), Golden Fleece was as unattainable as it’s name implied. A few months in, David included a sample in one of my verdant orders. Then it became available (& yes, I’m still hoarding some). This Wild mountain black was similar. I was on an ordering haitus because I’d gone so crazy over the Holidays & to keep myself under control I didn’t even look at tea websites (that would be like an alcoholic going into a bar to order a glass of milk…). By the time I knew about this tea, & went to the Butiki site to order some, it was gone!! ;_;
Luckily, Sil, the wonderful awesome Sil, sent me a sample!
(((Gives Sil a big Hug))) Thanks!
Now I too can wait for it’s return!

Ysaurella

what ? it isn’t available anymore ? nooooooooooooo Stacy !!! is there any chance to see it back ? it may depends on the season ?

Sil

Ysaurealla – she’s trying to get more in for July/August. So stay tuned :)

Ysaurella

thanks Sil , I will sure ! :)

Butiki Teas

Ysaurella-Yep, Sil is right. I’m just waiting until the next harvest. July/August couldn’t be soon enough. I miss this tea.

Nicole

I was hoping you’d like this one since you don’t find many unflavored blacks that you like. :)

Ysaurella

and you were right having this intuition, Nicole – thanks again :)

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75
drank Apricot by Harney & Sons
352 tasting notes

backlog of this morning.
This is a very pleasant black tea base, without any bitterness nor astringency. The apricot flavour is sweet, mellow.
I am not sure the flavour is 100% natural but anyway it works perfectly.
I like mono flavoured teas, this is a kind of ode to a flower a fruit, a spice.
I love apricot and really enjoyed this one, thanks Nicole for the share.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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This was my tea first cup of the day.
I oversteeped it stupidely as I get distracted by a phone call.
I had to add a splash of milk to drink it because it took a taste too strong for me, a kind of earthy taste.
I didn’t get the typical mellowness I normally detect immediatly in keemuns.But may be due to the oversteep.
With milk it was really pleasant. I have enough to try a second cup thanks to the sample kindly sent by Sil

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 30 sec
Hallieod

I have this one thanks to Sil too, and was thinking maybe today would be the day to try! But then I oversteeped my regular afternoon black badly, and decided to wait for a better tea-treatment day. :)

Ysaurella

yes I hate when I oversteep my teas ! especially when it is a sample :S

Terri HarpLady

Yes, I hate that too.

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71

I have the chance to write this note thanks to Sil – thank you so much for sharing.
You know I’m not a plain tea person. It means I don’t get all the natural flavours you mentioned in your notes.
It’s a medium bodied tea, quite malty but no so much. What I get much is a smoky burnt taste. I feel a little like if the tea itself was hidden behind this flavour. It is mineral too to my opinion.
It’s doesn’t taste chocolate to me or maybe the grilled cocoa beans.

I’ll try a second steep to see how the tea evolution is

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Sil

But you tried it! And that’s important :)

Ysaurella

absolutely ! I am trying to have more plain teas to develop my palate. I know I love keemums and orange pekoe types…more reticent with plain assams, but depends on the teas really. I need to continue experiencing plain teas

Shmiracles

ah yes me too, i don’t have a good tasting machine in my mouth either. not for the subtleties. just your saying this helps me feel a little less malfunctioned.
and i keep trying too. having fun all along the way of course!

Ysaurella

yep drinking more and more teas is really fun !

Ze_Teamaker

This one gets better through the steeps. It gets a tieguanyin creamy floral aspect to it.

It took me a while to like plain teas. But once you get use to them you can get hooked.

TheTeaFairy

Ysaurella, this is great that you are trying. I know this analogy is mentioned quite often, but it is true, straight tea does compare to wine and the more you have it, the more you get to appreciate it in your own ways :-)

Ysaurella

thank you all, I keep trying :)

Terri HarpLady

You will also get to try this one again, along with the caramel vanilla assam & a few others, as I have once again sent you a box. Hopefully this one will not get stuck in customs!
Keeping my fingers crossed!

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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 : Mariage Frères,Theodor,Butiki Teas,Dammann Frères, Betjeman & Barton.
My ratings are as follow :

100 to 95 : my darlings; always in my cupboard

94 to 90 : Excellent tea, often in my cupboard

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

79 to 70: not bad even nice, why not having it sometimes, but well, 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 tea ?!?!?

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

Location

Paris, France

Website

http://thevangeliste.wordpres...

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