70

Now this is the last of the Comptoir teas, and this time I’m not mistaken. It’s a bit confusing, as this smells almost exactly like Le Thé d’Amandine by the same company. (Reviewed here: http://steepster.com/clareborn/posts/212004)

Obviously, these two teas have completely different flavour profiles on paper, some of which comes through in the brewed tea. Weirdly, this one has a slight hint of Dammann Frères’ Pu erh Gourmand, as well. (Reviewed here: http://steepster.com/clareborn/posts/196900)

So this feels like a big, crazy, mosh pit of French quality tea. It should be more appealing, you know – two teas I really enjoy coming together in one dirty oolong? Because the base tea here is very nice, just the kind of earthy oolong I enjoy. But no – it’s just too similar, like when you hear a song that sounds almost exactly like one of your favourites, or when you meet a person who looks very much like a friend of yours. Something’s just the tiniest bit off, and it’s hard to make out what it is.

Still, this is a great tea. Dark, rich, velvety sips all throughout the cup. If I’d tried this one before the two others, this could very well have ended up being the one I preferred.

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

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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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