390 Tasting Notes


I spent all my day with this unique tea. This morning and tonight as well. In the middle I went out with my daughter in a funfair.

Weather is quite hot around and Darjeelings are the type of hot teas I can drink with pleasure during summer time. They are refreshing teas, energizing teas. Not heavy at all, light but deep on the same time. Deep joy.

I particularly enjoy sungmas and this Mariage Frères is really a staple for me.

Flavors: Muscatel

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Hope you had fun with your daughter at the fair :-)


she had a lot of fun with one of her ‘old’ friends :) and we ate waffles…so yes lot of fun and calories !

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I got this lovely sample from Dexter thank you very much.

The dry leaves are very green and smell very herbal.
I’ve prepared this tea western style and brewed it at 185° for 5 minutes and I get now a very lovely Oolong, mellow and tasty.
I taste mainly peachy notes and floral notes and a touch of honey.
This is delicious.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

I liked this one too :)


and it resteeps very well really ! I forgot it for 15 minutes …and no bitterness at all, an easy tea.


Sounds like a lovely one!


it is a very nice one, probably the peach tea I prefer even if totally peach free :)

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I am afraid I just ruined my nose by making my hair coloration this morning. This is a new one and I had a heavy scent of amoniac which just lingerates for 1 hour now.
I cannot really enjoy the tea as it is probably regarding smell but my taste is intact and I really enjoy sipping it.
I get all the things I love so much in Laoshan Black + a roastiness quite heavy to me. This is very lovely. Even if I tend to prefer the black version because I didn’t really get the Oolong-iness I was expecting from it.
Thank you so much Dexter for sharing.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

It’s probably just a very temporarily ruined nose. And hopefully your hair looks good enough to be worth a few hours of Temporary Nose Disorder!


thank you Anna for the support. Yes my nose came back but I am quite impressed a simple coloration can be so chimically nuisible, this is the first time I experience this.


Did you switch to a new kind of hair dye?


new line yes and I think I won’t rebuy this one :)


At least that’s better than when they change a product you’ve used for years, and you open it, and it’s all, ‘Aaaah! This smells WRONG!’

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Earthy so earthy. Not my alley but a pretty nice full bodied tea. Thanks Dexter for sharing

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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I had a pot of this one while waiting with a collegue at Gare de Lyon in a kind of design & snobbish café inside the station : le café premier.
Beautiful place but low service level. Not bad, low. More than 15 minutes before the waitress decided to ask us what we would like to drink.

I was happy to welcome a pot (but without lid !) of this tea. Good surprise, no lipton.
No possibility to choice the tea.Having said that I just requested “a tea please” whereas my neighbor asked “what do you have as beer”….of course a lot.

I was a little disturbed by the absence of lid on my pot so I may have understeeped the tea but it has a lack of complexity and body to me.
Correct but nothing more.
More a tea I would drink during a lunch without paying as much attention to.
To be correct with it, I would need to have it at home.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

It seems a little strange that they would bring a tea pot without a lid! Did you end up asking why?


I think they simply forgot as at the other tables the pots had a lid. I didn’t have the force to try to find the waitress to request the lid.


a tea without lid? goodness, that is indeed bad service.


well I am not very difficult I am the kind of personne able to eat a meal I didn’t order and which wasn’t for my table if it can avoid me a discussion with the waitress – of course I need to like what my neighbor of table ordered :)
I am more the kind of client who doesn’t say anything but never come back again if the service is unfriendly

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I had a full pot of this flavoured Oolong yesterday night.

I already reviewed this tea but I wanted to add something : the mineral taste.
This taste is the most proeminent I ever had in a tea. Ever. Of course I already noticed mineral taste in some teas but here it is really as if I made my tea with some typical mineral water very heavy on iron (Volvic).
It makes this Balade en Bretagne a very special tea and a beautiful dedicace to Brittany, a very mineral area.


I love the name of this tea!


Sounds quite interesting!


Very interesting – I usually find some teas kind of mineral, kind of maybe coppery, ceylons mostly (and I like it).


I should send you some of this one so (I know I know not before Autumn) :)


I should say no, but oh it sounds irresistible. In Autumn we talk. I have just been lured to steepster over new travel tea purchases and I admit the teas meant to be brewed cold will probably need to wait a bit to get taste notes..

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drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
390 tasting notes

My relationship with grapefruit is made of love and hate.

When I was a kid, my step father was making the meals. Often, as a starter, he was serving us grapefruit. Here we can serve grapefruit for starter or dessert…even if for me it sounds weird as a starter on its own. We had the right to add a little sugar and we were using the special little spoons made especially for grapefruit.
I hated these moments and I hated grapefruit : so bitter to me so terrible to have had to finish it each time.

Later I tried grapefruit juices and I didn’t like neither. I had more chance with mixing grapefruit with other fruit or vegetables or shrimps.
Now I can eat them without other addition.

Anna was kind to have sent me this tea. I can appreciate the grapefruit here and even the green base. It is fresh grapefruit with a little only grapefruit bitterness for the very best.
Very well done Lupicia, a so lovely blend.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Terri HarpLady

When I was a kid, we also had grapefruit sometimes before breakfast. I remember these very small knifes for cutting around the section, & the dainty little spoons! Mom always put sugar on the table, & in those days it seemed that the grapefruits were always the yellow kind, not the sweeter pink or red ones.

When I was visiting my gramma & my cousins were also there, gramma served grapefruit at breakfast too. My cousins all sprinkled salt on theirs.
Now I like mine plain, or in salad with grapefruit, avocado, & lime juice. Maybe some jicama, cilantro, shrimp… :)


with avocado and shrimps this is a must ! I do agree

Terri HarpLady

Also good in this salad is thinly sliced fennel bulb
I need to plant some fennel in my garden!


Ysaurella, I’m so with you on this, we were served half a grapefruit as a starter as well!! As a kid, those special tools were intriguing to me and made the whole thing worth while, cause otherwise, I thought grapefruits existed just to make kid’s lives miserable…today, I can,t get enough of them :-)


and the funniest is my daughter adores grapefruit, she likes its bitterness.

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drank Chili Truffle by Hans & Grete
390 tasting notes

I am lucky Anna sent me this lovely blend. Thank you Anna.

This is chocolate and kind of chaï and I like it. Strangely. Because I don’t really love that much chocolate teas but this one is really nice.
The mix of spices and perhaps pepper too works perfectly for me.

Even if it is not a great great tea, this is a very correct one and it really makes me want to explore more chocolate and spices tea.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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At last I am finally tasting this famous tea, kind of Mariage Frères holy Grail for me.
This is an expensive tea and I didn’t want to go for a full 100g bag without tasting it. I requested a sample and they accepted. I even received a generous sample , large enough to serve 2 big mugs.

This is a low oxidation tea and a very green type of Oolong. With a name as Jade it seems quite logical.
The taste is much on the floral side rather than the biscuit side mentionned by MF. There is the typical buttery and creamy Oolong texture in this tea.
The biscuit comes more at the end of the sip for me, very light.
It reminds me a little Teguanyin green Oolong of Dammann Frères on some aspects.

I like it ,really, but now this is maybe not a tea I’ll buy to get on my cupboard. Happy to have had an opportunity to taste a sample before buying.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

that’s great that you were able to try it!


Glad you were able to get a sample, especially if it’s expensive!

Terri HarpLady

I enjoy sampling teas like that, nice for a little variety, but 100G would get old in my cupboard, it’s just not something I want to drink every day. Glad you got to try it out. I love sample sizes!


I was afraid they can refuse as the tea is an expensive one.We should dare asking for samples !

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Thank you so much Nicole for having sent this gorgeous tea.
It is not a yunnan wrote Nicole on the sample but it has a similar taste profile.
Interesting thing first is the leaf itself, sooooo thin, 2 colours golden and chocolate. Lovely.

I don’t drink gongfu style but even western style it is really delicious, it has an incredible lightness and mellowness in the same time.
Medium bodied, malt and sweet patatoe make this tea a real winner.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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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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