300 Tasting Notes

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

I’m a little tired and I need to open a new box of contacts. How I know this? As I squinted at my profile just now, I read, ‘All pets are off’ and wondered what the hell whoever had written it meant by that.

Those poor smelly pets.

Anyway, this is today’s second batch of Thé du Hammam, but this time… iced! This has the same unfortunate reaction to being cold-steeped as Kränku’s delicious kiwi vanilla – it gets all foamy. My glass seriously looks like I’ve been drinking beer from it (and it’s not just the contacts this time).

Aside from that, it’s nice – clean and fresh, but without much of an aftertaste. I was hoping for a little bit more of that smooth, creamy vanilla LPdT do so well, but this is mostly vaguely Hammamy and nothing else.

In accordance with my ratings rule that greens, whites and oolongs must also be tasty and delicious iced, this might have warranted a five-point reduction, but I was going to give it another five points after enjoying it so much hot this morning, so I’ll just do nothing and congratulate myself on giving it such an insightful grade right from the start.

In other news, the right index fingertip pad is a really bad place for two mosquito bites.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
JustJames

lolololololol. ‘all pets are off……’ hedgehogs too? :-(

Anna

HEDGEHOGS ARE FOREVER.

__Morgana__

Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you…

Cheri

Morgana I am laughing so hard….

Anna

Oh, Phoebs. Such a creative genius; so misunderstood.

mrmopar

Too Funny!

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

Today’s tasting notes are going to be wildly unoriginal, as I’ve only had one tea, in two incarnations.

This is the first. Hot in spite of the weather, as I had it for breakfast and hot tea really does make more sense for breakfast no matter the weather, in my opinion. I was going to fruit, too, but then there were phone calls and things.

Again, I have to say how impressed I’ve been with Le Palais des Thés in terms of consistency and quality – I know they’re probably (or, most definitely, really) not the tea company to turn to for unflavoured experiences in a fair price range, but the four flavoured LPdT teas I have I really, really love. I find myself returning to them frequently, and I want to restock all of them.

I haven’t tried them iced yet, but for that you will only have to wait for the next note.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

I shared a pitcher of this with Em while we hung out on my hideous pink couch. We had a couple of glasses as we caught up (she’s been away) and a couple as I talked about all the packing I have to do (I’m off for a bit on Wednesday) and then a couple more just because…

…and then there were none.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Sil

want! sniffles this sounds totally neat

Angrboda

I’m beginning to notice a theme here… Are you sure your jugs haven’t got unauthorised holes in them? :p

Anna

Pfff! What are you even implying.

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

A whole pitcher of this, cold-steeped…

also gone.

Poof. Just like that.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
yyz

It’s ice tea weather here as well… Hmm greens and Oolong’s are my favourites to ice. I should make some.

Anna

Mine, too. And yes, you really should. And then you should tell us what you had.

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80
drank Paradise Green by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

An Agatha Christea mystery in two sentences:

First there was a cold-steeped pitcher of this…

…and then there wasn’t.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
TheTeaFairy

Easiest mystery to solve ever ;-)

Anna

You just go around the room, jiggle people and see who’s the sloshiest.

caile

Hahaha

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75
drank Melon White Tea by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

I don’t technically have time for this tasting note. Shhhh. I had to tell you, though, that this is not what I expected.

One of my most beloved iced whites is A.C. Perchs’ White Temple, which has some melon notes. As for Lupicia, I’d only cold steeped their greens before, but they generally come out absolutely perfect. So I figured this would be an instant favourite.

But no! The weirdness! This acquired a surprising tongue-tip tartness that mostly overpowers the melon experience for me. There’s also none of the sweet, lovely, lingering aftertaste the iced greens usually leave me with, and it has an unforeseen dryness to it, for lack of a better word.

I’m actually going to detract 5 points from my rating, as it’s so important to me that greens and whites work as well iced as brewed hot.

This feels like heresy, but, then again, my newly received Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter reward DVD case was in Italian, so I guess this is going to be one of those days when everything is off by a few degrees.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Angrboda

I agree, the temple blend was much nicer in a cold brew.

Anna

It’s always really weird when we agree.

WHAT IS THIS WITCH MAGIC WHY.

<3!

Angrboda

It’s only really weird when it’s about a black tea, though. We do a little better with these other ones, I think.
Did you ever try their dream blend, btw? I rated temple quite a lot higher, but whenever I think of them now, it’s always the dream blend I consider trying again. Isn’t that odd?

Anna

That is odd, but I sometimes get the same kind of craving for a tea I’m not entirely sure about. I guess my subconscious wants to revisit the weirdness and sort it out.

And no, haven’t tried their dream blend – if you try it again, send me some! I’m curious now.

Angrboda

I suspect it’s mostly because I recall it having banana flavouring in it, and I’ve been really liking my banananas lately.

Angrboda

(Oh dear. I made a Gytha Ogg-ism there and it wasn’t even on purpose…)

Anna

LOL. Also, that should have been banannas because they’re all mine.

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85

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Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Paradise Green by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

F and I used up all our pilfered wine in the spinach risotto, so we drank the pitcher of this I’d been cold-steeping.

I can’t even tell you how much I love Lupicia’s greens iced in summer. They’re just so good. Elegant, delicate, highly drinkable.

Now I just have to figure out what to put in the fridge next. I think I’ll try the Melon White and blame TeaFairy.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
TheTeaFairy

Haha! Fairies can’t be blamed, it’s a fairy fact!
But I think Melon White is worth being blamed for.

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80

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Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Chestnut Green Tea by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

This is very good, but not quite as good as last time. It has a burnt quality to it that I just don’t feel like today – I think today might just not be the right day for this tea. It’s not illicit library tea. It’s not voting day tea.

It’s not bad tea.

It’s just the wrong tea.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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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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