300 Tasting Notes

85
drank White Temple tea by A C Perch's
300 tasting notes

This time around, I cold-steeped this, as opposed to cooling a hot-steeped tea. There’s definitely a difference, and for the better – it tastes clearer and lighter, and even the most delicate flavours seem crisper, more well-defined.

Now this might be typical for cold-steeping versus cooling a hot-brewed tea of this kind, but I haven’t experimented with that much at all before, so I’m excited about these highly scientific findings.

Really, really good. I’m making another pitcher.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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70
drank Studio 54 by Bönor & Blad
300 tasting notes

So this, like Safari from the same company, was a tea I got for a friend, but as everything didn’t fit into the little travel kit I put together for her, I got stuck with some to try out for myself. (I am so unfortunate. Suffering. Really.)

I was looking for the black equivalent of the green champagne tea from Tehörnan, and this is what was recommended.

The tea is pretty light and floral in terms of both scent and taste, with that undeniable and yet undefinable lingering note present in all the champagne teas I’ve reviewed so far. To be honest, I find it has very little to do with any form of champagne or sparkling wine at all. It entirely lacks any of the complex exuberance – yeasty, sulphuric or otherwise – I associate with champagne, and there’s not the slightest hint of a boozy note anywhere. So when I get excited about a ‘champagne’ tea, it’s really just because I’m so hooked on that undeniable/undefinable nuance.

That nuance, however, works best in the green tea, very well in the rooibos, and not so well in the black. I expect so much more from a black tea – it can carry so many more nuances of flavor and hints of texture than a green (or even a rooibos). In addition, I often find drinking black teas somewhat challenging because of their richness, so they really have to be worth the effort. This one is not – it’s a black tea masquerading as a much lighter tea, rendering itself redundant in the process.

[Purchased at Bönor & blad in Uppsala, August 2013.]

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Momo Oolong Super Grade by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

I brewed this a little hotter than usual. This kicked the fruity notes down a notch, but really brought out the oolong base, which is ridiculously good. And it re-steeps so well.

In my last review I reminded myself to try this cold. I hereby re-remind myself; I just have to finish the huge pitcher of White Temple tea I made this morning.

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

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90

I still stand by everything I wrote in my last tasting note for this tea, but as I have had so many quite exceptional greens lately, I feel inclined to drop my rating by five points (Quelle insolence!).

I want to cold brew something today, though – if it’s this one I drop into the pitcher before I go take my tram walk with M. (It’s drizzly, so we might as well take the 3 down to Trastevere, cutting right through the city without getting our feet wet.) it just might get its five points back if it’s very lovely.

Ysaurella

To me Palais des Thés is a very correct brand BUT only correct…I only really loved 2 of their blends. But I may have to taste their unflavoured teas as I never had one from them.Some French reviewers on the net say that the brand is better on unflavoured blends.

Anna

Correct is a good word, it implies that, ‘No complaints can be made, BUT…’ factor. There’s just no excitement, no excess, no surprises. It’s all very unoffensive – but something that is merely unoffensive can never really be impressive.

Ysaurella

yes, it works for tea and it works for men !

Anna

You are sheer perfection, my dear Ysaurella. <3

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95

…and another steep and re-steep. I want to court this tea and love it very tenderly. Forever.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
keychange

Definitely on my to-try list.

Anna

Oh, you must. But treat my sweetheart ever so gingerly.

Ysaurella

This is such a fantastic tea !

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95
drank Wedding Impérial by Mariage Frères
300 tasting notes

Steeped, and re-steeped. It just gets better.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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30
drank Rooibos Tropica by Teavana
300 tasting notes

The dry tea is pretty enough, flush with petals. Scent wise, a slightly chemical citrus dominates.

Brewed, it smells a bit like citrus caramel, which makes me realize I’d really like to try a lemon caramel/lemon fudge tea in addition to all these more obvious lemon-ginger and lemon meringue combinations.

In terms of taste, it’s just a bland, non-descript vaguely floral/lemony rooibos. Not cardboardy at all, but with that hint of artificial flavouring Teavana (unfortunately) seem to have specialized in.

[Purchased at Teavana in Honolulu, January 2013.]

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Tokio by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

I could more or less copy and paste the review I wrote for Lupicia’s Apple & Berry: http://steepster.com/clareborn/posts/184943.

It’s just not one of Lupicia’s best, but in all honesty that matters very little. Why? Because Lupicia’s green tea bases are so excellent, they still steep beautifully even when the flavouring is on the bland side. I’m really enjoying this cup, in spite of it being yet another case of berries RSVP-ing but not really showing up for the actual event.

[Purchased at Lupicia in Honolulu, December 2012.]

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

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65

Okay, so this tea is a little worse for wear, as it’s been one of my travel teas – a slowly disintegrating bag of loose leaf I just cram into my carry-on and use for my thermos on flights and in hotels.

It still smells really nice, though, both in the bag and brewed up. The dry tea is mostly generally berryful, but steeped the blueberry becomes very present.

Taste wise, the blueberry remains strong throughout. The lingonberries account for some hints of tartness, but that’s mostly it. I don’t really detect any creaminess or sour notes from the yoghurt – this is mostly just blueberry. I’d like to compare this to an all-blueberry tea at some point, to see how Very Blueberry the leaves can get before it comes off artificial.

It’s good, and sturdy, and simple. Reliable. A travel tea.

[Purchased at Tehörnan in Uppsala, fall 2012.]

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Precious White Peach by Teavana
300 tasting notes

I finally got around to trying this iced – I dumped the last of the leaf in a pitcher and let it steep in the fridge for about eight or so hours. It’s definitely more flavourful and interesting than the hot tea, and I imagine it would make a really good base for tea drinks and the like.

It’s still on the bland side, though, and yet another reminder of why I go to Teavana for tea paraphernalia and not to buy actual tea. I’ll knock up the rating from 55 to 65, but that’s as good as this gets.

But PWP does acquire some semblance of immortality either way, because this is, in fact, the first tea I’ve finished since I returned to Steepster. Bag empty!

[Purchased at Teavana in Honolulu, January 2013.]
[Polished off in Rome, September 2013.]

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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Profile

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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