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293 Tasting Notes


This is a sample kindly sent by cteresa. This is clearly not a tea I would have bought by myself because I am not familiar with Lapsang Souchong and was quite afraid of.

But I am nicely surprised because even if for a LS beginner like I am the smocky taste seems heavy, it is so lovely blended with a light bergamot that I can only love it.

The tea base is really mellow and the bergamot touch is perfect to help to
tame this type of tea.
As it cools the smocky taste seems lighter now.

Thank you so much for permitting me to discover this type of teas cteresa

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I bought this one because of Nicole!
She kindly sent me months ago a sample of Sungma Darjeeling from H&S and I loved it. Unfortunately it is not available here in France and I found this Sungma at Mariage Frères so I decided to give a try.

It was clearly a good idea : this is a fruity, light and energetic Darjeeling.

The classic muscatel taste is really there.
However it resteeps quite nicely (2nd steep) and even if you oversteep it (15 minutes this morning as my boss came in my office and I forgot to pull the basket off my mug :S) it doesn’t become bitter : incredible.

Sure I got my Darjeeling staple :)

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I’m so glad you found a local vendor. :)


yeah but it’s different from the H&S- H&S has more a joyful Darjeeling attitude than is one which is a little darker – I miss the H&S :)

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drank Black Orchid by Mariage Frères
293 tasting notes

I have a cold and I am not able to smell the dry leaf unfortunately.
But my taste remains intact and this vanilla tea is really different from the ones I have had until now.

The mellowness of this tea is incredible, it’s so smooth, delicious feeling.
The Vanilla is not a sweet vanilla, it’s a lovely sharp Vanilla to me but it may come from my steeping time (4,5 min) and the tea base used by MF.
I think there is some assam probably here because I get a hint of astringency at the very end of the sip and it may be different with a shorter steep – I’ll retry next time with 2,5 or 3 min.
Anyway this astringency is a pleasant one so I can rate this high quality tea.

Thank you so much cteresa for this sample, this is lovely.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

sounds lovely!


I use to have this in my cupboard. Loved it!


I’m hoping your cold goes away quickly and does’t transform into something worst like last time…
Ditto with Sil, the tea sounds lovely. I do like a little astringency in my morning black tea.


from pneumonia into a cold! you need to change the theme, madame!


ouch, poor you.


ahaha this is nothing regarding what I had, I even just didn’t pay attention to it until I wanted to sniff Black Orchid…

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drank Black Pearl by Mandala Tea
293 tasting notes

prepared western style (I don’t have any gaiwan)
A strong,malty and lightly smoked tea.
I was just like …oh how many pearls should I use for my mud and decided to go for 5, it was a good choice.
Thanks to justjames for sending me this lovely tea

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Hello French cousin :-) Missed you!


Thank you :) There is a guy at work who is moving to Montréal in January and I think every time…he may cross the way of TheTeaFairy…


hahahah! That is so cute! Well, at this time a year, I go to montreal only to visit my mom…I’m in my phase «hibernation à la campagne»! I’m only an hour away from montreal but being up north, I got 40cm of snow this week and they got almost nothing. But no worries, your friend will get to experience Canadian winter, in January there will be snow in Montreal for sure. Here’s what my backyard looks like today, snowwwww!!



Hi you French speaking beauties! Those pearls are a little smoky I think too! You have a lot of snow TeaFairy. You are a snowfairy I think by now. We don’t have snow down here probably until after the New Year, but maybe a dusting.


Bonjour, Bonnie chérie! Yes, at this time a year, I turn into the Snowfairy, oui, oui!
I thought you were getting lots of it too in Colorado…


No no pardner. Out West, this cowgirl won’t git snow fer a bit.


lovely snow :) I am jealous :)

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drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
293 tasting notes

Stacy, James : BRAVO – Well done, congrats – what a delicious cup !

I think this blend can directly join the Butiki Teas official card but of course it’s up to Stacy.

I’ve been happy to see the puerh has been replaced by the Premium Taiwanese Assam, I love the tea base.
Of course a caramelized coconut is hitting me first then seconded by banana. Praline is not so evident to me. What a shock ! ouch what a match but all these flavours are pairing so well together it’s a real greedy pleasure to drink my mug.

I don’t think this is a tea I would drink too often because it may push me to go to the cupboard and take one or 2 cookies for a decadent afternoon break ! Be careful !

Thank you so much justjames for sharing some of your custom blend with me

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drank Lychee Oolong by Butiki Teas
293 tasting notes

I’m late at tasting all my samples kindly sent by justjames
I decided to spend more time with teas this afternoon and I am now with 2 cups in front of me, including this lychee Oolong.

J’ai deux amours…mon Pays et Paris as Josephine Baker sang…yes of course even if for me Paris is already IN my country, it makes things easier…but I have 2 other loves, much material : Raspberry and Lychee !

Unfortunately it is rare to find fresh lychees (we write litchi in French)in our supermarkets, we need to go to special Exotic markets.
Having said that I am so lazy and so impatient to eat them, I just hate to take the shells off…even if I have to recognize nothing compares a fresh lychee.So this is a wonderful fruit I rarely eat as fresh fruit.

I wanted to taste this tea for ages and here I am thanks to justjames
I love it, I was sure I would and I do love it.This is fresh lychee for sure combined with a mellow Oolong with a hint of flowery taste. It’s gorgeous.My big mug is already finished.
A very very elegant tea.

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Amandine Rose by Teavana
293 tasting notes

Thank you James for sending this blend ! I think this one is the one which made me crave for rose and marzipan.

This is a very lovely blend combining extraordinary flavours.
There is something special in this blend, the flavours are pairing well together but there is something extravagant…I cannot put a word on this…I’ll continue to try it to make a proper note and to try to find the word to express what I feel.

Thank you justjames for sending me this lovely Amandine Rose

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it is so good to read you!!! are you feeling better? this is a dear blend, steeped in memories and gateways to lovely times. i am glad you enjoy it as well. should you want more let me know. xo


There you are! Missed you!


thank you James I feel better now even if I’m still very tired. This is a very romantic blend.
@Bonnie thank you Bonnie, I’ve been away a long time because of a pneumonia but I’m back and thanks to cteresa and justjames I have a lot of teas to taste !


maybe make lifting your tea cup the most exertion of your day. sleep. rest. drift….. tired is a sign that you’re healing.

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Take a look at my girlfriend, she’s the only one I got
Not much of a girlfriend, never seem to get a lot
Take a jumbo across the water, like to see America
See the girls in California
I’m hoping it’s going to come true but there’s not a lot I can do …..

No idea if this blend is a tribute to Supertramp’s song breakfast in America…but it makes the job !
What a lovely naturally malted and chocolatey blend. The base is not as strong as I feared but yes, it reminds me a little Wedding Impérial, I agree cteresa.
For me I keep my Wedding because there is caramel inside but this one is really a very good MF and for sure it will go sometimes in my cupboard.
Thank you so much for sharing this one with me cteresa.
Another plain tea I love !

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

good to know!


great song :)


I am afraid I changed my allegiance from Wedding Imperial to this one. I mentally call it my Maltesers tea – it´s so much more low maintenance than Wedding Imperial (my very first MF tea, my very first “expensive” tea..)

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drank Je T'Aime by THE O DOR
293 tasting notes

Thank you so much cteresa for sending me some of this tea. I wanted to taste it for ages but each time it was out of stock on the internet website.
Now I’m recovering from pneumonia I can find some courage to prepare a tea.
The blend itself is so lovely with these rose petals and it smells delicious and I decided to strictly stick to Theodor’s brewing instructions. I may have been wrong because I think 90°C may have been better.
As cteresa I find more chocolate and coconut in this tea than almond and pistachio…and this is not what I was looking for.
The tea base is too weak for my taste and I will continue to try this tea with different steeping times and temperatures.
Pistachio comes more when the beverage is cooling.

I am not in love with this Theodor creation even if of course it is more than correct and decent.
There a lack of explosion in this tea, something I miss. Exactly when you have an appointment with a sexy guy to have dinner and …meh…there is no electricity between you and him, you begin to look at your watch…
I may have put too much expectations in Je t’Aime…but I’ll continue to have some dinners with because I think something may happen.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

First off, sorry to hear that you’ve been sick, & I hope you feel better!
I love this review! You have such a lovely way with words, & comparing the tea to a date? Hell yeah! :)


Do try it a bit hotter. I thought it was strong enough, but been cruel and brutal and used almost boiling water with it.
Though maybe with all these expectations maybe this one was not for you and all those missed chances to buy were fate :)

I might prefer Tribute to this though!

I am glad you are feeling better, and up to facing making tea!


Glad you are better!


thank you girls :)

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Aaaaaaah Autumn…falls, colours, rain, clouds and…diseases !
I’ve been quite absent from steepster because I have a pneumonia…first time of my life I have such a delightful disease…15 days of high temperature and the impression to suffocate while breezing is really an enjoyable experience (so I had it now, thanks, no need for future)
The funniest is to have worked for 10 days with high temperatures, do 3 hours/day of transport time to be a good manager and finally being stopped by an angry doctor…to discover this effort seems not being enough to the boss…I had to shut my Blackberry down to avoid all the messages about things to do (things he can do easily in 2 minutes)…well I know I should be happy to still get a job but really sometimes it sucks to be treated as a machine.

My doctor asked me to drink a lot of hot beverages but I’ve been unable to prepare tea until yesterday and this cup is the first one I am really enjoying.
I am at the very end of the bag and I probably get much pumpkin aromas because of that (I had a lot of powder mixed with tea leaves), I love the extra aroma of pumpkin here and I still love this blend,so mellow, so comforting : it gets me reconciled with Autumn !

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

i have a TON leaving for you tomorrow. feel better. and now i must sleep or i may get it too!


Poor you, hope you are feeling a little better. And, well this is mean, but if it did not mean more work for you, that your boss learns for itself what pneumonia or any bad respiratory infection really is like!


Hope you feel better soon!


Omg. Know the feeling. Get better!

Butiki Teas

That does not sound like fun. Feel better soon!


thank you all :)


I hope you’re ok now, dear Ysaurella :-)


Feel better soon!!!

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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 ?!?!?


Paris, France

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