379 Tasting Notes

drank Santa's Secret by DAVIDsTEA
379 tasting notes

ok, this one won’t be neither the DT I’d like.
So sorry ! I am sure my daughter would like it with these funny and beautiful little candy canes mixed with the black tea.
I got the peppermint, I got the vanilla and I got some chocolate. I would have loved to get the tea taste as well.
Thank you TheTeaFairy for sharing.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
379 tasting notes

I haven’t had it for a while and in my memory it wasn’t my kind of tea.
Kindly cteresa sent me a large sample of it as I can drink it again.

It’s a a nice tea, smooth tea base, round, with strawberry and vanilla taste. And that’s it for me.
I’ve never understood why this one especially is the best seller of the brand – It’s a nice tea but really some others are really better to my opinion.
Now I have to confess strawberry is not my favourite berry and by the way not my favourite flavouring.
Having said that, Marco Polo is, without reserve, a very good tea but I do prefer a lot of others MF.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

I love strawberry, so this has a special place in my heart – but I think I might love Marco Polo Rouge even better. And strawberry is one of the most difficult flavours to get right I think. But you are right, MF has so many other great blends – I think of their regular tinned blends my particular favorite might be Thé sur le Nil. Nobody loves it as I do, though!

I am worried this tin I have of Marco Polo has aged a bit, I think it is noticeably less intense than what it should I think.

I will never understand one thing – why call this Marco Polo?!? Marco Polo makes me think of spices and smokey caravans and something medieval, or maybe Venice. Not this so very refined so very french (compliment) strawberries and vanilla tea.


Marco Polo makes me think of playing the game by the same name in a pool. Marco….Polo!!


I never heard of a game called Marco Polo, what is it?


Really?? It takes place in a swimming pool. One person is “it” and closes their eyes. That person then has to try and tag someone else to become “it.” Since his/her eyes are closed, he/she can only find the other people by hearing them. So, the “it” person calls out “MARCO!!!” And then the other people reply “POLO!” And you just keep saying it over and over and over. “Marco…Polo…Marco…Polo…” I played it all the time when I was a kid.


Never heard of it, sorry.

But keep in mind there were not a lot of private swimming pools around when I was a kid, maybe even now – and that sounds precisely like the type of game adults will stop you from playing.


I don’t see why they would. It’s harmless.


I mean that it sounds noisy and splashy and active, and so likely to bother other people in the people, at least in public pools (there are not a lot of private family pools, at least not in the circles I know!)


well I never heard of this game neither, probably not a game we play in Europe -that sounds funny ! I’ll see MF blend with another eye now…


we used to play it in fields outside as well :)


Teresa, why Marco Polo for this tea…my personal feeling is Marco Polo was an adventurer, a merchant… he went in various countries but especially those where tea was present…China, Tibet,Mongolia…but he was Italian…can we consider this Marco Polo blend is an homage to his travels and to his european origin ? Italy was cultivating strawberries in gardens at Marco Polo’s period.
It may be exagerated …but…it is just my feeling :)


Hi y’all! Don’t really know why the association with strawberries, but I do remember those:


Just wanted to put my 2cent in the conversation, haha!


how that’s funny !


haha i always thought of the pool game too. hours of fun.


oh, we had candy exactly like that, though not that brand name. Though LOL very appropriate.

Ysaurella it is a lovely theory, maybe… But MF is weird about names, Thé au Tibet is even frencher than Marco Polo (bergamot, vanilla, roses…), Prince Igor which should be russian is not but Aida is a “russian” tea ….

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drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
379 tasting notes

Well, how to say that…it is a nice hot flavoured cup of water ?
It’s caramelly, not salty and I get coconut (which is nice as it is in the ingredient’s list !)
I am just wondering why DT added coconut or why did they not call the tea coconut salted caramel? When a brand decides to go for a descriptive name, why not telling exactly what it is ? In this case something like coconut salted caramel Tea-free !
It is very round and mellow – my daughter adores it- and I think I will leave the rest of the cup to her.
She asks me : why don’t you like it ?
My aswer is : because it’s not tea…sorry I cannot taste the TEA once and again with this brand.
Thank you TheTeaFairy for sharing even if I’m so sorry for not being able to appreciate the famous Canadian brand.
I’m sure I’ll find one I really like in the big swap you sent me.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

I think I have a sample of this in my cupboard too! But don’t think I am eager to try this… agree with you that DAVIDsTEAs generally do not taste like tea… and in my opinion adding coconut to a caramel tea just ruins it! :(


Aww, DT isn’t for everything. Even I find they’re very hit or miss.


I’ll continue exploring, as TheTeaFairy sent me many samples of DT but I am pretty sure I can find one I like


Don’t feel bad Ysaurella, you have much better chances of finding something you like in the other brands I’ve sent! What you are describing is exactly the reason why I fell «out of love» from Davidstea. I hardly ever have their teas anymore, but I thought I’d give you a chance to try them and help you stop wondering what the fuss is all about since you are so far away from them! On the other hand, I’m glad your daughter likes them :-) I should be the one feeling bad for enjoying the French teas you have sent me while you are still trying to find one you like from mine :-(

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I thank cteresa for sending a generous sample of Paul et Virginie.
Of course, the flavour, as the tea name is somehow very romantic : berries, caramel and vanilla.
No berries nor chunk of caramel in this tea, every flavour comes from essential oils here.

So different from St Pétersbourg from Kusmi teas with the same flavours…I am not a fan of St Petersbourg.
The tea base has a hint of astringency to me. It’s not an in your face flavoured black and the berries are the main flavour here – raspberry is very detectable as well as strawberry, less evident for cherry to me.
Caramel is far behind even if pleasantly present.
Not bad even quite nice but I think these kind od mix between fruits and caramel or fruits and chocolate are rarely for me.
Quite strange as a big fan of the cake “forêt noire”, I’m not seduced by the same with tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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drank Ceylan by Café Richard
379 tasting notes

I am not very good at steeping tea in a brasserie or café.
Anyway this one was quite meh.This brand is proposed in a lot of cafés in Paris, it’s just a little better than lipton.
I am just wondering why they decide to pay more attention to the muslin sachet, the marketing wrapping envelope rather than to the tea itself…
I am also wondering why cafés are not able to propose nice teas and to boil correctly the water…
Next time I’ll choice a coffee !

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drank Mademoiselle by THE O DOR
379 tasting notes

Another Earl Grey ! I love Earl Greys ! This one is so beautiful with lavender petals mixed in the blend and it smells soooooo citrus incredibly citrus, not very lavender.

Let’s say right now : it won’t be my staple Earl grey.
I prefered the lavender Earl grey by Gryphon Tea company.Having said that this is a lovely tea : the tea base is very nice, the bergamot is nicely blended – my “concern” is more on the lavender side, it was too much for me- it’s not overpowering but a little to much for my taste.
Anyway I cannot reproach this tea to have too much lavender…this is the purpose of Mademoiselle ! I was just expecting maybe more bergamot rather than lavender, thats’ all.
Probably just a question of taste, really because this is a great blend as most of the Theodor teas :)

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Thank you for the sample, this tea looks so pretty and smells heavenly.

I am afraid now a bit – I had the Gryphon lavender earl grey but even that one was too much lavender for me. i still got the second teabag to try. We shall see!

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drank Celebration by THE O DOR
379 tasting notes

ok, I think I have now in cupboard a lot of Vanilla teas : vanilles des îles (MF) Phénix (MF) and this one now.

On my packet (sent by Theodor shop on line) it was requested to brew it at 85°c so did I and to do a quite quick steep (3 minutes) so did I too, I am not a tea rebel !

To me Celebration is really much more on the vanilla side rather than on the chocolate side – and this is a brilliant vanilla (oh joy !)

The tea base is so delicious, so smooth, so mellow, there is none bitterness, none astringency here.
I can get the hazelnut without problem, a rich hazelnut.
I get much of the malty chocolatey notes in the liquor scent but not that much in the beverage itself except in the aftertaste.

hummmm c’est trop bon, j’adooooore !

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec

Oh, it is a good point about Phénix and this one – though this totally wins over Phénix (and I will let you know what i think of Vanille des Îles. And duh about the vanilla, yes, very much how did I not even remark on it (you know almost all chocolate has vanilla included onit? it is magic for chocolate, and IMO for rooibos as well) though I get more chocolate. Though we did get our stock from very different sources.

I still got a smidgeon of Thé du Loup, I want to compare both one of these days just for my curiosity (and because they are both oh so delicious). Their smell have totally different personalities while having the same notes, it is so interesting.

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drank Carol by Lupicia
379 tasting notes

Thank you so much Devilish for sharing a sample of Carol with me.
The dry leaves were so beautiful, a lot of pink flowers mixed with tea.It smelled like candies.

First sip was disapointing for me, I got a very artificial flavour of red fruit candy and behind a vanilla base mixed with a strong black tea.
I left the mug a while and retried it, this is the flavour : strawberry candy, artificial type.

It’s really a pity because the tea base is really nice, smooth, mellow, strong enough. It is correctly blended as well, the balance between the flavours and the tea base are respected.
But I’m sorry : Natural flavourings exist to be used ! I cannot understand why a good tea manufacturer prefers artificial ones EVEN if it is supposed to be dedicated to a candy taste.
Dammann Frères Violette tea is dedicated to Violet Candies and natural flavourings are used, none artificial. It means it’s possible.
Quand on veut on peut…at least for something easy like this !

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

yes the flavour in this tea is pretty artificial… this sometimes happens to Lupicia teas! It seems to me that French teas tend to use more natural flavourings, don’t they? Perhaps it’s the reason why they are sought after by so many people! ;)


French tea brands say they ONLY use natural flavourings.
It’s often true but cannot bet it is surely the case. I have no doubt MF and DF and PDT only use natural flavourings. I have a doubt regarding some B&B blends.

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First : I updated the tea description as it was false, the previous description was the Inachevée de Constantinople one ! So I can understand why Keemun note was mentioning he cannot find almond and peppermint, there is none in this tea.
Héritage d’Istanbul is clearly a flowery tea on a double tea base : green and black.

I steeped it 3 minutes at 75°c as requested by Theodor, it sounds low but it was really ok because I can still detect a hint of bitterness.Very light but there.

The way the flowers comes is really lovely, very smooth : jasmin, lotus with a peppery note, this is pleasant and elegant.

I am not bewitched by this tea, it’s pleasant but even if I’ll keep exploring it a little, I don’t think I’ll rebuy it.

I may be a nice iced-tea as well.


Sounds interesting, though it also sounds like no competition for Inachevée? (And I want Trahison Byzantine, though that one would not be a tea for you!)


I’m impatient you receive my envelope as I’d like to get your opinion about this tea.
I am maybe not a big fan of lotus in tea and it may be the reason I’m not in love with this one

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drank Adele H by THE O DOR
379 tasting notes

Thank you cteresa for sharing some of this lovely tea with me.

The mix of orange flowers with the dark assam is first very lovely and the scent is peppery and fruity.

Once steeped, the scent of the liquor is mainly peppery, spicy.
Theodor requests not steeping it too long (3 mn) as it is an assam I strictly respected the advice.As well, this tea shouldn’t be brewed too hot, 85°c are really enough.
The taste is definitively spicy : pepper for sure, nutmeg (very present) and cinnamon but fruity as well with a very natural and pleasant orchard peach.

This is a fantastic tea, very original but not original to be original only : not something stupid like creating a fish and marmelade tea! Original to reveal spicy flavours working perfectly with a lovely peach, really.

This is a tea who works on the same basis as Mandalay from Mariage Frères, I do agree with cteresa, the spices are the honour guests in these 2 teas and without these guests the ambiance would be so annoying ! They are totally different, as Mandalay is not fruity and works with Rose and Vanilla.
I love both, this one as Mandalay is a keeper.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I am go glad you enjoyed it – I totally agree! A different, original, weird in a good-weird way tea which is really unmistakable.

And the assam is so complicated to brew, but somehow so right for the pepper and spices and peach. An unexpected genius combination this.

But anything longer than 3 minutes totally kills this tea.

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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)


Paris, France



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