75
drank Thé du Hammam by Le Palais des Thes
300 tasting notes

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.]

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec
JustJames

love how you link locations to your purchases…. wow do you travel alot! lol

Anna

Haha, yeah – it’s a little off balance, though; like I said in another comment, tea is one of the things I tend to shop for when I do travel (if this were a fridge magnet or a tea mug blog, the results would be similar) so the reviews tend to get a little travelogue-ish. Now I’m going to stay put for a while, however, so the teas will have to come to me.

Ysaurella

you may have a better cup with a 3,5 minutes steep :)

Anna

Ysaurella: I think so, too,and I’m excited to try it – keep your fingers crossed I get some semblance of a kettle in the mail next week.

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Comments

JustJames

love how you link locations to your purchases…. wow do you travel alot! lol

Anna

Haha, yeah – it’s a little off balance, though; like I said in another comment, tea is one of the things I tend to shop for when I do travel (if this were a fridge magnet or a tea mug blog, the results would be similar) so the reviews tend to get a little travelogue-ish. Now I’m going to stay put for a while, however, so the teas will have to come to me.

Ysaurella

you may have a better cup with a 3,5 minutes steep :)

Anna

Ysaurella: I think so, too,and I’m excited to try it – keep your fingers crossed I get some semblance of a kettle in the mail next week.

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Bio

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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