Thé du Hammam, we meet again – I reviewed the rooibos a couple of months back: http://steepster.com/clareborn/posts/184694. I am unsure whether or not that’s too high a grade in light of my recent love affair with Mariage Frères and their Rouge Provence, but we’ll see.
The green version smells beautiful; sweet, floral and fruity. In the cup, though, vanilla kicks in, and it’s the patented, creamy Palais des Thés vanilla I enjoy so much… but which for some reason isn’t particularly present in their actual vanilla tea. I really want to like LPdT more than I do, but there are all these little inconsistencies that glare.
This tea is the best of the greens so far, though, and what I wanted their green vanilla to be. In many ways, it’s similar to my long-time Lupicia love Strawberry & Vanilla, but without the lightness Lupicia do so well. This is also quite astringent. (To be fair – if I’d had this before Lupicia’s tea, I probably would have rated this a 90.)
Flavour wise, most of the distinct fruity notes disappear in the cup, there’s more of a mellow fruitness which is quite good, especially rounded off with the thick vanilla aftertaste. For me, the payoff is just that – the lingering, sweet vanilla.
I tend to go for the shorter steeping time/hotter water strategy at the moment due to my current kettle situation (which may change very shortly, fingers crossed that the Italian postal service don’t make me send them my CV and birth certificate and passport photocopies as per their usual routine), but I would really like to try this at 75C/3 minutes to compare.
[Purchased at Le Palais des Thés in Tel Aviv, June 2013.]