Doulton provided this as a lagniappe when she sent me the Dammann Freres I’d ordered through her organized buying efforts. How nice to have something unexpected show up, and something I hadn’t yet tasted to boot!

It’s also something of a mystery as I can’t find a list of ingredients for it. Clearly there is black tea. There are also red and blue flowers and a slight rose scent to the dry tea. So I’m going with Alicia on this — rose and cornflower. Apart from that, mild spiciness, like a spicy perfume. Lovely fragrance.

I steeped this for a full 5 minutes, as suggested on Doulton’s label (with a giraffe on it, how cute!) I get a light floral note and some gentle spice as well as smooth tea in the aroma.

The flavor has this, too, plus a suggestion of citrus. I cheated and read the notes others had posted and it seems the consensus is this is bergamot and that this is in fact something of an Earl Grey variation. Hmm. I don’t think I would have got that at all had I not read it. If it is supposed to be an Earl Grey variation, it isn’t succeeding, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I liked the Earl Grey Special from Teafrog even though it didn’t seem much like an Earl Grey to me.

I like this, but it isn’t my favorite Mariage Freres, and it wouldn’t rank among Earl Greys for me.

I think next time I’ll try it steeped for less time and see what that’s like. I rarely steep anything for 5 minutes anymore except herbals and very late oolong and pu erh steeps.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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ok so how do u make text bold in hereon steepster? i’ve tried html tags but they dont work…


You add a * in front and in back of the word without spaces.

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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