404 Tasting Notes

77
drank Thé de Vendome by Nina's Paris
404 tasting notes

Thank you so much Laurent and Mélanie for having sent me some samples from Nina’s Paris.

Thé de Vendôme is my first sample : I have chosen it randomly among the other samples…;) … Do you know how I choice randomly ? I pick one randomly and randomly say…oh no, not this one tonight…and then another always randomly…until I randomly choice this one. This is my typical touch for hazard …
So I went for this one because it has grapefruit in the ingredient list and it is mentioned to be a keemun and I love keemuns.
Grapefruit seems to be a difficult fruit to respect in a tea.I had very few and was curious.

The sample is a delicate and beautiful tea bag made of a luxious muslin.
I like to sniff the dry leaf so you should imagine me sniffing the leaf through the muslin…definitively the less sexiest ceremony for a tea BUT that’s the way I am.
The dry leaf so was absolutely divine, for sure it is orange and grapefruit and a natural scent.

I strictly respected the timing advices of Nina’s : 2 minutes (even if I found it really short) and used boiling water as no temperature recommendation is provided.

I retain my note at the moment because even if I can say the aromas are just fantastic and incredibly refined, sophisticated and so natural, the tea base is really weak, present but weak.

I will retry soon with a longer steep (4 minutes at least) to see if the base is coming out better for my taste.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Rosehips

I like your selection process. :)

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98
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
404 tasting notes

You know I am not an expert in drinking straight teas but I think I’m good enough to recognize a great tea and this one is a wonderful tea.

I should thank and even warmly thank TheTeaFairy for sharing this tea with me.

I don’t find it so strong neither so malty as described in a lot of reviews and I don’t even find it so chocolaty – What I get much with my poor tastebuds is the a warm bread taste and an honey hint.
It’s so smooth and mellow it’s just incredible.

I really enjoy it and it surely goes in the shopping list.
I think Sil had sent me a sample as well of this one…I’m looking forward to have it for a second cup this week.

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

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93

It seems I am the very first to review this tea.
It comes from a sample I had with my Theodor order in may. Never have taken the time to taste it until now.

I am on holidays since this morning and this is just so pleasant to take the time to have breakfast or brunch properly without hurrying and worrying about trains, buses and timings.

The brewing instructions of Theodor are always surprinsing but I have the habit to strictly respect what they request and it is always for the best.

This Earl grey supérieur (pointes blanches) has been brewed at 85°c (185°F) only and it is perfect.
The bergamot is subtile here and isn’t overpowering at all. The tea base is very delicate without any acridness. It’s a medium bodied tea.
It’s not a sweet tea neither,it’s not so smooth nor mellow.
It’s abslotutely a very present tea with a specific personnality.

I’am happy to have found another Earl Grey so different and I love.
It’s a pity the sample was only for one mug.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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78

Quick note to say this tea is really nice iced as I was suspecting.
The lotus flowers and jasmine are the main tastes here and offer a very floral and refreshing iced tea.

Preparation
Iced

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94

I need to thanks warmly TheTeaFairy here for providing me some of this tea during our last swap.
I turned around for a long time before tasting it for 2 reasons :

1/ I’m afraid not loving it because I am often disapointed by myself when I drink a straight tea, not able to appreciate most of them.
2/ this is an assam…and assams are capricious teas, so strong robust and…often bitter to me !

But several Butiki straight teas were a success for me so I dared…and it’s a chance I did !
This assam is just fantastic : no bitterness at all nor astringency even if I respected the brewing times given by TheTeaFairy : 3 minutes.
It’s a so smooth and mellow tea, that’s just incredible regarding all the other assams I had in the past.

The notes are delicate and I can pick some spices somehow, pershaps cinnamon, not sure of my taste here and raisins. There is a soft malty chocolate note as well but no too strong for the best.

I really like it but I have one regret : I don’t get any aftertaste with this tea. After drinking its taste just disappears…like a wizzard…no more trace…I miss it…It’s a shocking way to disappear like that…

So ,need to have another cup…
Is the upgrade version lingers after drinking ?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

The “upgraded” version is a totally different tea in my opinion. I prefer the normal version after trying both. They’re both good, but i like this one best.

Ysaurella

is the upgraded one more robust and somehow gets a little bitterness to your opinion Terri and Sil ?

Sil

that sounds about right ysaurella…it’s been a while since i had the upgraded version but that sounds close to what i remember thinking :)

Terri HarpLady

I felt like it was an earthier blend, with more of a resinous taste, more savory, more masculine. If that makes sense, LOL.

Ysaurella

It does Terri !

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75

I’m now sipping this tea iced since 3 days…like a mono-maniac person…
We have 32°c here and even had 38°c on Monday. I am unable to drink hot tea(or whatever else hot !)with these kind of temperature.

I prepared 5 liters (yes 5 liters, just for me, no one else as my daughter is with her grand parents during holidays) and I normally drink 1 liter in 2 hours. My stomach just looks like an enormous balloon but I still have the impression to be alive…yes you have guessed I hate when the weather is too hot.
Weather in Scandinavia is just the perfection for me.

So believe me and trust me : I tasted this tea iced in so enoooooormooooooous volumes that I can say : YEAH it’s nice and even more than nice.
This meh tea as hot beverage turned paradisiacal when iced.

The Betjeman & Barton ’s rapsberry gives the very best of its aroma iced.

Preparation
Iced
Nicole

I find I like most raspberry teas better when iced. Hope the heat breaks soon for you!

Fjellrev

Those are crazy temperatures! I hope it cools down soon.

TheTeaFairy

I sympathize with you Ysaurella! It was as hot over here for almost 2 consecutive weeks! Iced tea for sure!

gmathis

Had to go Google the temperature conversion (sweat, pant)!

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64

As I was not very impressed with you, dear tea des sables, I decided to make you iced.
I need to clear my tins to put all my good teas, the ones still in a simple bag…So bye bye basic teas and unloved teas !
You’re not my cup of tea but you may be my glass of tea ?

Sure ! you’re definitively better as an iced tea but obviously I am really less picky with iced teas (I think I’m not far of even being not picky at all when I am deshydrated !)

I get the rose flavour here and the peach one not sure for mango.
This is flowery and fruity and really refreshing.

I’m sure I’ll get my tin available very soon :)

Fjellrev

I do the same thing! Any teas I don’t care for hot I just default to cold steeping. They’re usually better that way, and it’s a great way to make room in the cupboard. :)

Bonnie

I was up late last night looking for tea houses in Paris for my Nephew David to explore. He lives close to the Arc de Triomphe. Thought of you.

Ysaurella

@ incendiare yes and even good teas can become a HIT iced ! I tried with a just correct rapsberry tea and it became a paradise drink !

Ysaurella

@ Bonnie, thanks Bonnie :) Your nephew can try the mariage frères tea room at Ternes (not far from the Arc de Triomphe)
If he’s looking for great Japanase teas he can find some in the area of St Michel, what does he want to try ?

Bonnie

Have you been to Maison des Trois Thes? I was looking for a Chinese Tea House with gonfu service and no flavored tea and read about this highly rated shop.

Ysaurella

I’ve never been but I know this tea room (very reputated)
You’re absolutely right they offer the tea ceremonial. It can be a little intimidating for a new tea drinker, a place dedicated to meditation.

Bonnie

Then, you and I would enjoy it because we know what we like and are not intimidated or snobbish. People are that way about wine too and I used to laugh at the winery when people got snobbish. Tea is for everyone! Without humility you know nothing!

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Haha, clever: ‘You’re not my cup of tea but you may be my glass of tea ?’

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82

Had this tea at Mariage Frères tea room last Sunday.
I really enjoyed it even if I remember a kind of bitterness(subtile but present)
I suspected an assam…I think I was right !

The citrus are lovely

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec

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90

The dry leaf of Figue Fraîche strongly smells like dry fig to me.
It is very pleasant.It smells really like summer, Mediterranean countries.

4 minutes steeping later, I get the classic medium bodied black tea base of Dammann with a strong fig taste + a bakery taste.
Drinking it it reminds me some little biscuits we have here, the Figolu which is something similar to your newtons fig.
The fig is really natural and tasty, no doubt this is a greedy fruity fig tea.

Even if it reminds me the figolu biscuits, it is absolutely not an over-sweetened tea, it’s a perfect fig tea.

I’m very happy to finally have the opportunity to enjoy it, I had difficulties to find it (Dammann frères shops didn’t have it ! and the salesman even asked me if I was sure Figue Fraîche was one of their teas…you know with a stupid snobbish way to speak ! YES I was sure, grrrrrrr Working here, are you sure to know the teas of the brand ? hehehe). I managed it to find on line and now I have 50 g to enjoy. YES Figue Fraîche is typically a Dammann Frères Tea, natural with a smooth medium bodied black tea base from China and Ceylon.

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

I asked for a tea the other day at Dammann and they were very surprised to hear the name. But thankfully one person in the shop knew it was one of their teas (they just didn’t have any).

I ordered some of this tea from instant-the.com as well, hopefully I will eventually get my order! It got delivered after I left my hotel, and they said they would send it to me.

Ysaurella

so you are enjoying the hot weather here in Paris :)
I hope you’ll get your parcel soon. Instant Thé was very reliable from my experience and the French mail service is normally very good.
I think you’ll enjoy this one, looking forward to read your review about it and other DF !
The service at Dammann shops is just nice, not better

Ruby Woo Scarlett

I hate when sales assistants don’t even know their own products. I’ve worked in retail and it’s happened to me but at least I had the decency of actually researching the product before rolling my eyes.
Don’t think I’ve ever had fig in tea, it sounds delicious.

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79

This tea has a special place in my heart. It was one of the first loose leaf teas my mother have bought when I was a child and the name of this tea was really a dream to me…la montagne bleue…where is this magical blue Mountain ?

So I purchased 100g of this one and I’m not disapointed at all.
This is a “classical” strawberry and rhubarb tea with a very pleasant tea base. It’s not a sweet tea despite the presence of the strawberry.

It’s a very different way to play around rhubarb and strawberry vs Jardin Bleu (Dammann Frères, sweeter, tarter) and Thé du Hammam Black leaf (Palais des thés, on a keemun base, really more mellow).

This version is more serious on a way, darker.This si the serious side of the strawberry somehow.
I like it really much, there is absolutely no bitterness, just profoundness.

This is a profound tea with joyful accents to me.

I can’t believe I’m the first one to review it :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

sounds delicious! :)

Ysaurella

yes it is Sil :)

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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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