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I’ve been catching up on books and movies lately – the World War Z mantra is as suitable as any other for that process, or moving into the new year, or getting through the tea stash, for that matter: movimiento es vida.

This has been a year of chapters closing, much like the year before it. Last words have been exchanged, final breaths have been drawn, dotted lines have been signed. At one glorious, memorable point, I’d even sampled all the teas then present in my cupboard. The cupboard situation right now, though? World War T.

But the old clichés are true (because, you know, clichés are just oft-cited truths and people get so cranky about them mostly because they’re completely unavoidable) as something new begins the very moment something old ends.

And since I really, really want some THEODOR tea in the new year, I better start moving so I can get through my current stash of French greens.

As I have previously reported on several occasions, I am thoroughly underwhelmed by Dammann Frères. The teas from Comptoir have fared somewhat better (I mistakenly assumed they were part of the Fauchon-DF family, but they really seem to have more character and personality overall, so I guess not) under my scrutiny, and this is one of them.

This is my first violet tea. I love violet – I grew up eating these little candies: http://husmorsbloggen.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/viol.jpg and it tastes of childhood to me. Super nostalgic, with some quirkiness and a dash of whimsical adventurousness. This is a horrible description, but the way I experience the flavour is just so deeply interconnected with my memories of being a child it’s impossible to be more neutral (or, for that matter, even vaguely comprehensible).

I think this would be a really perfect beginner’s violet tea. It smells lovely in the bag – first, there’s a sweet, ripe berry presence, and then a hint of violet right at the end. In the cup, however, the violet is ever-present, from the first sip to the aftertaste.

It’s a mellow, balanced violet, but definitely without being bland or watery (which is a nice change after all these dull Dammann dates I’ve been going on) and it remains equally pleasant cooling off.

This one is hard to rate, because in spite of being a violet fan, I don’t really feel I need a violet tea in my life. Then again, it might just be one of those cases of, ‘You just haven’t met the right violet tea yet.’ I will definitely try at least one more to make absolutely sure.

[From my epic Instant-Thé order to Rome, October 2013.]

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Lala

World War T – I love it!

Anna

It’s funny ‘cause it’s TRUE.

K S

Anna, I often find myself lost in your writing. I mean that in the best possible way. Your writing is precise and elegant. I see Rome Italy on your profile. If you don’t mind my asking, what is your native language?

Anna

That’s such a beautiful compliment; thank you. I feel my voice is just the opposite of precise when I write personal notes, so your kind words are very much appreciated.

My native language is Swedish, but my linguistic background is a little messy.

K S

I am even more impressed. There are a few people that I don’t simply read their words, I hear them. I’ll have to adjust the voice I hear with your writing to include a slightly different accent. :)

Anna

Hehe. But nooo. I don’t have an accent – it’s very generic US with a slight Californian tendency. Unless I’m in the UK, then it’s all Essex, all the way! (No, no, no, just kidding.)

JustJames

argh! you’re killing me!!!!

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Lala

World War T – I love it!

Anna

It’s funny ‘cause it’s TRUE.

K S

Anna, I often find myself lost in your writing. I mean that in the best possible way. Your writing is precise and elegant. I see Rome Italy on your profile. If you don’t mind my asking, what is your native language?

Anna

That’s such a beautiful compliment; thank you. I feel my voice is just the opposite of precise when I write personal notes, so your kind words are very much appreciated.

My native language is Swedish, but my linguistic background is a little messy.

K S

I am even more impressed. There are a few people that I don’t simply read their words, I hear them. I’ll have to adjust the voice I hear with your writing to include a slightly different accent. :)

Anna

Hehe. But nooo. I don’t have an accent – it’s very generic US with a slight Californian tendency. Unless I’m in the UK, then it’s all Essex, all the way! (No, no, no, just kidding.)

JustJames

argh! you’re killing me!!!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.

2013

Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.

Ever.

  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

100-90
My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

89-80
Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

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