65
drank Vanilla by Fru P Kaffe & The
300 tasting notes

So it’s clearly time to start dipping into the samples from the EU box swap I did (Thanks again for setting it up, KittyLovesTea!) These are chosen on scent and scent alone – I had no clue what it was I was smelling, as I wanted to try to choose as instinctively as possible. It’s easy to get bogged down with recommendations and ratings.

Quite simply, this smelled tasty in the bag. I mostly get a warm caramel vanilla. Brewed up, it’s even better – very much like dessert in a cup. Flavour wise, it’s surprising, though. Where I expected this full, round, almost malty sip, I get a completely unexpected tartness – it’s ever so slight, just barely there, but so out of place it’s noticeable.

So there’s the tongue-tip tartness, then a great mouthful of what I thought this would taste like – warm, caramel vanilla… but then, surprise again! Because the aftertaste just isn’t there. I find most teas I try that aren’t overly flavourful usually offer some aftertaste payoff, but not this one.

This is going to be so hard to rate, because it’s definitely a nice, comfy vanilla (although much less elegant than MF’s Vanille des Îles) but the flavour profile as a whole is very surprising. I will definitely enjoy finishing the rest of this sample, but this is not a tea I would buy. Which is strange, because as I now read the reviews, this tea sounds like it’s made for me. Alas, the hunt for the perfect vanilla black goes on! Seriously, this is so much fun.

Thanks, Ang!

[Sample from the EU Travelling Box, autumn 2013.]

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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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