408 Tasting Notes
Here’s a sample of tea offered by my mother. She went to see the " HOKUSAI " exhibition at the Grand Palais and Le Palais des Thés ,for this occasion, created an exclusive tea sold at the Grand Palais (and also on their website) .
Green teas and I is not the best pair but I like to drink some of them time to time especially in the evening . Last night the time had come to test this Hokusai.
The blend is really pretty and generous with all these pieces of citrus peel and these pretty little electric blue flowers .
I bought a small bohemian glass teapot at Nature & Découverte . Less than 20 € , perfect. I do prefer those from Mariage Frères but … I’ll wait to win the lottery :)
The good point is that you can see the infusion step by step even if I find the filter a little tight on this teapot .
The taste is delicate and refined . Citrus fruits are on the first line but the sencha base used for this tea remains perceptible.This is invigorating thanks to the addition of ginger here . A spicy ginger.
The liquor is a lovely pale yellow.
This tea is very successful and even if I won’t rush to buy a box of this tea, I drank it and could drink it again with great pleasure.
You can see pics of this lovely tea & of the glass teapot here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/le-the-hokusai-le-palais-des-thes/
My tea of the morning. Another Theodor tea from my order on vente privée.
For my daughter , this tea tastes and smells like barbecue & charcoal. Well … it’s a bit more complex than that a Lapsang Souchong ! Personally I like the smoked teas but it is true that the first step in this universe can be difficult to initiate .
The smell : wood- fire , comfort , tranquility that’s what we can breathe here .
The dry leaf looks nothing special , short cut , curled and very dark.
The taste : the tea obtained has a very pronounced smoky flavour and is extremely soft and mellow like all Lapsang Souchongs I met but this one is really particularly mellow . No ounce of bitterness.
I made a full teapot . I think this was a mistake because it is not a tea that I enjoy more than 2 cups at a time. However, I swallowed everything … Very successful this unpretentious LS .
For those who like to see, some pics are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/lapsang-souchong-theodor/
Alleluia ! I finally found the time to get the package waiting for me since 6 days at the post office. I didn’t have to wait to get it … unexpected . And on the top of it the package was containing my beautiful Taiwanese teas purchased atTaiwan Tea Crafts .
So I have a series of packages pretty , colored with all the indications in Chinese and English. This is too cute.
Highly appreciated, a small handwritten note was added to my parcel and in French !
So this tea … chosen because Taiwanese and Oolong and because of being an Oriental Beauty … this is a silvery brown and almost fluffy tea.
The package says (yes , the package is talking to me ) to use boiling water . Oh yeah ? really ? Oolong … I am rather inclined to infuse at 85 ° c … well let’s be disciplined , do it .
After a dip of 6 minutes I got nice wet leaves , quite small but entire, dark brown mixed with other leaves more on the chocolate colour side. And an amber liquor , quite dark but translucent.
Taste : it is an Oriental Beauty quite serious , not at all on the sweet side , on the honey side . It has the typical taste of fruits such as apricot, plum but sugar-free or with a low sugar content.
This is extremely surprising , very good and really unexpected. As a kind of extra extra dry champagne that I did enjoy once without any sugar touch . A version of “dry” tea like we have dry wines in fact.
You can see somes pictures of this tea and the lovely packages of Taiwan Tea Crafts here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/oriental-beauty-superior-grade-oolong-tea-lot-341-taiwan-tea-crafts/
Oh ! This is an extremely surprising flavoured tea.
First we have a very small cut leaf with dried red berries.
Theodor says it is a mix of non smoked black tea and smoked black tea . The smell escaping from the bag is slightly and gently smoked and red fruits are immediately detectable .
I took my “old” Japanese teapot to prepare this tea. I love this teapot . It was a gift but I had chosen it myself 15 years ago in the shop Le Chat Huant, rue Galante in Paris. This shop sells Japanese objects and still exists even though I have not seen a teapot for a while in. I used it very little since it was sold without a filter … and I never found one that fits … until now !
The taste is divine and yet I am not the biggest fan of red fruit teas . The Smoked side is extremely discreet. I think a smoked tea beginner should start exploring these types with a tea as Madame .
The tea base is not hidden by the scent of red fruits : smoke taste associated with red fruit is very unexpected and absolutely irresistible.
Finally, another point but not least, lapsang souchong (probably used here with a second non- black tea smoked) in this blend offers a deep mellowness making Madame a velvet tea . Yes … Madame likes. Velvet … and plays the card of a masculine/feminine boudoir.
I love it.
Pics of Madame and of my “old” Japanese Teapot are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/madame-theodor/
Flavors: Berries, Smoke
This is a sipdown and by the way an eternal sipdown.
For the occasion I took more pics than usual to put on my blog.
Second tea from my Theodor order on Vente Privée . I must admit that I kinda chose this tea by default just to have a plain tea and because it was quite cheap . Now Ceylons never really transported me . I have at least 5 of them right now in my collection -because every time I think it will be THE little TEA Ceylon that will transcend me … and each time well no it’s not …
The smell is similar to all those little Ceylons. Are there only Great Ceylons somewhere ? I guess so .
The dry leaf is very thin and it has the typical twigs.
And the taste ? So we have an unpretentious and correct tea. Like all I tasted.. except 1 Ceylon I ’ve had … with my great aunt … a Mariage Frères …very good… but which one? mystery. In any case this Theodor is not his twin..oh no.
Some pics are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/ceylan-op-superieur-theodor/
Yesterday I received the Theodor order that I placed on Vente Privée . Oh joy to see the postman emerging at my doorstep in the middle of the afternoon .
Obviously Theodor wanted to sell its so-called kimono bags , in aluminum . The 5 teas I ordered were in this type of bags that preserve wonderfully the qualities of tea. Well I personnaly do not care because all my teas end in an airtight dedicated tin but for those who keep their tea in the original bags , those ones were perfect.
This morning I had an embarrassment of riches with five new teas to test but my love for the legendary Earl Grey outweighed everything else. And seeing the sublime osmanthus flowers and corn flowers mixed with black tea leaves I cracked .
During the infusion the yellow flowers rise to the surface and we can see them only !
The liquor is very dark and smells delicious bergamot-y.
The taste obtained is strong bergamot, very present and very bright , almost slightly spicy . This is an extremely invigorating and joyful blend. Ideal in the morning. It reminds me a lot of Mademoiselle another blend by Theodor , another Earl Grey but scented with lavender . The Bergamot oil used is most likely the same . I don’t think I am wrong on this . It is also probably the same Chinese tea base between medium and full -bodied in terms of strength .
A good Earl Grey in conclusion even if I denote nothing very extravagant here .
You can have a look at pics of my session with this tea here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/earl-grey-royal-theodor/
Darjeelings… with me it’s really all or nothing . I am often disappointed or completely horrified by the taste of some , and I’ve found some gems befitting me completely (some Sungmas in particular).
So we have a very classical leaf with a pretty vegetal but fairly low odour.
as I fear the highly outstanding capabilities of Darjeeling in terms of bitterness , I infused it for 2 minutes only.
Very green wet leaves, chopped wide are obtained. We see the classic mix brown leaves and green leaves typical of many Darjeelings.
The liquor is amber , quite dark for a tea brewed 2 minutes only.
Taste : it is a very vegetal Darjeeling , vivid, dynamic with this unique and so special boost typical of this type of teas. But it’s a little Darjeeling. Unpretentious. So not bad. But nothing more. Not the kind of tea for which I would wake up in the middle of the night to make me a cup of !
So I dip my homemade lemon & poppy seeds cake in it … that’s good anyway
pics of the tea (dry, wt and liquor) and of the cake are visible here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/darjeeling-f-o-p-2nd-flush-dammann-freres/
This is an extremely interesting tea ! It has beautiful golden tips and an odour of undergrowth .
Once wet, bye bye golden tips , they are becoming invisible. Like all golden tips actually.
It is an extremely strong tea tastewith a hint of tartness . undeniably a tea dedicated for breakfast.
It is so strong,almost smoky .
I like this tea but probably not enough to consider a re- purchase. It has an earthy and tobacco taste that I often found in Yunnans and that are not my favourite flavours .
I’ retry my next experiments with a water a little cooler and a reduced steeping time . Story to be continued so .
Here are some pic of the tea (dry and wet +liquor) : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/yunnan-celeste-tgfop-dammann-freres/
Flavors: Earth, Tobacco, Wood
Autumn. Nutty teas. Mmmmm.
This is a tea I wanted to swap 2 months ago as I drink less flavoured teas but I changed my mind. I was right to keep it, however there are only 40g remaining – 4 teapots and it will be gone.
This is Velvet in a cup !
Pics are available here (dry and wet leaf , liquor and my washi black paper tea tin) : https://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/amande-amaretti-dammann-freres/