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Recent Tasting Notes
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #25
I’m about finished with everything I wanted to sample from this teabox (other than a few I’m removing for later) which means I can focus on the Lewis & Clark teabox that should be arriving tomorrow! Can’t wait!
This one has the color of the cup, the syrup texture, the fragrance coming from the mug and the taste of APPLE CIDER. In all aspects, this one is cider. It doesn’t even seem like a black tea. The second cup was nice as well. I’ll have to try more from Fauchon. They seem to be my favorite French company, other than a few blends from Nina’s Paris.
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // half mug // just boiled // 3 min
Pass the Stash TTB v2.0
The packaging smells like soap. Well the whole box smells like soap- I reckon that it’s that packet of lavender at the bottom. Thankfully this baggie was sealed fairly well and the tea smelt orangey.
I would not have picked this out as an oolong just by looking at it, which goes to show you how well I can identify things on sight (not very well). It feels weird brewing up a flavored tea after pretty much a week of straight teas. I sent the Butiki TTB2 back to Marzipan after work yesterday.
Despite the dry leaves having smelt orangey it was not very apparent in the brewed liquor. The brew was mostly oolong with a touch of orange candy. Not a very strong flavor. I got none of the almond flavor. I think this should be renamed ‘sweet orange oolong’. =) Even then I would say that the flavoring is very light, or maybe very faded.
The oolong base was of medium…? The place were it’s definately not green but I hesitate to call it anything resembling mature. It seems only partially oxidized and brews out with a touch of astringency. It wasn’t exceptional, nor was it the worse thing ever.
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #21
The scent of the dry leaves here almost scared me away. It has kind of a sour scent. But the flavor is SPOT ON pear! Not one of those very green shiny pears that look so fresh but one of those brownish mottled overripe rustic pears. I can definitely mostly taste the pear skin here. Magic! The black tea is tough to describe but pairs (pears) well with it. The second steep didn’t have as much of that pear flavor but the first steep was amazing! I didn’t think the French teas were my thing before, but I can work with this one. Best pear tea I think I’ve tried! (I think I said that about a pear tea I tried from the last round of this teabox.)
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
One of my scores at Homesense the other day. During the last Fauchon craze, I had steered away from it because I am not really a fan of pears. In general they are not really my favourite fruit or flavour.
I was a bit worried when I opened up the tin and took a whiff. It smelled like that fake pear smell and subsequently taste that you get from pear candy. It did smell a little more genuine than a candy would, but it still made me cringe a little. For 10.00 though, how could I go wrong, and I am sure I will have guests who like pears in the future so why not.
Brewed, it was subtle and crisp. Much nicer than I was expecting. It isn’t my favourite, but it is lovely. The French are always so masterful at blending and smells though, so I should have known better. If you’re thinking of buying it when you see it in your local TJ Maxx chain store, I would recommend it :)
Flavors: Honey, Pear
For my first cup of the day, I’m digging into the teas I got from Dinosara.
Opening the bag, I was struck by just how floral and perfumey this tea is. Rose was pretty much the only noticeable fragrance and it was powerful. This is an unflattering comparison, but it really reminded me of the air freshener my grandma always had in her bathroom when I was a kid. The dry leaf is quite pretty with the pink peppercorn scattered throughout.
The liquor is a clear, reddish brown, and has the same fragrance as the dry leaf.
Steeped for three minutes, it’s flavourful but light. There’s a touch of bitterness, a touch of fruitiness (that I honestly couldn’t identify as raspberry) and lots and lots of rose flavour. The mouth feel is pretty smooth, though a bit of astringency builds up as I sip.
This is a pleasant tea for sure, but I wish it tasted more like its inspiration.
I didn’t realize that the base tea was a Darjeeling when I made this, so I’ll have to give it a shot again, with more Darjeeling specific steeping parameters.
Edit: Bah! I had a few cold drops of this left in a tiny cup that I was using to sample it, and I sipped those down before starting on my next tea. There were all the raspberry and pastry notes, even some coconut, that I just couldn’t detect at all in my cup! So they’re there, but now to figure out how to draw them out in a full cup.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Coconut, Fruity, Pastries, Raspberry, Rose
This is really strange! I love the unexpected combination of sweet and savory. It reminds me of an ice cream flavor from a local made ice cream company, Lick, which was peach and rosemary. The two went really well together, surprisingly so and I think the same goes for this tea too. The scent of thyme is dominant, but lets the peach come through a bit in the sip. I think it is even better with a bit of sugar to round out the peach flavor. I added a little soy milk to see what would happen and I think it kind of kills the flavors. The thyme is muted and the peach is only present in the aftertaste. Should have stuck with just sugar.
This is a really creative and unusual blend! I like it!
Pass the Stash 2.0
I don’t drink a lot of oolongs so I can’t say much about the oolong part of this tea. It was a pleasant orange and almond flavor with a nice aftertaste. But it was a bit weak in the flavor department. They said 1+ tsp per 8 oz. but maybe it needed more. I have more so I’ll try it again in a couple days.
Flavors: Almond, Orange
Well I was enjoying this tea! That was until I ate a giant pumpkin shaped marshmallow. After that the tea tasted a little dull. Halloween is one of my other obsessions/loves and I go a little crazy this time of year with all the limited edition pumpkin foods, or in this case just pumpkin shaped.The scent of apple is really strong and it comes through in the tea! I added a little creamer that is sweetened and it rounded it out nicely. It reminds me of Nina’s Marie Antoinette minus the rose (which is a really amazing combo). The apple flavor is very true. It is a really nice tea and I’d probably be head over heels for it if I hadn’t had that other tea or wanted just an apple tea. It would be a great second pick in the apple tea category.
Basil in teas is sort of a trendy things right now, but this is the first blend I’ve tried that has thyme in it. I grow my own thyme and cook with it a fair bit so it’s easy enough the recognize in the scent and flavour. Honestly they should just call this tea ‘Straight-up Thyme Tea’ as it’s the dominant flavour in this tea by far. There’s maybe a little bit of fruitiness but it’s very subtle.
Mostly when I think of winter-themed teas I think of spices like cinnamon and clove or oranges. This tea goes a completely different route with its creamy lemon flavour that reminds me so much of some lemon-flavoured macarons that I bought recently. A very light and elegant blend.
Aw, this is my last Fauchon sample from Dinosara… Sad day! I put off trying this tea yesterday because dry, it smells insanely floral. The leaf itself is mostly small black tea leaves with quite a few rose petals mixed in. Dry scent is powerful rose with a sweetness that reminds me of powdered sugar or candy. I brewed for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
I wasn’t very excited to try this one, but the aroma started to get me there. It’s mostly vanilla, surprisingly! There is also some floral there and a bit of citrus. Unfortunately for me, that strong vanilla aroma doesn’t really carry over to the taste side. The beginning of the sip is mostly citrus with a bit of vanilla in there, while the middle and end are dominated by the rose flavor (blegh). Aww, I was so excited too… :(
Flavors: Orange, Rose, Vanilla
I only have two Fauchon teas from Dinosara left to try, and this one smelled much less floral than the other choice, so I decided to have it. There are many flower petals mixed in with the small black tea leaves, which is somewhat discouraging, but luckily it smells more like some kind of citrus candy. I’m finding that all of these Fauchon teas have that odd candylike smell that I can’t quite put my finger on, maybe powdered sugar or something? I guess it must be a side effect of their flavorings.
Brewed, the tea still has that same candy smell, and it’s mildly citrus. I can definitely taste orange, although it seems a bit peppier than a normal orange. After reading the description for it, I can say it’s probably the blood orange that adds that extra intensity. The apricot is there too, but it’s quite mild and is overshadowed a bit by the citrus. Overall, still a nice enough orange black tea with (hooray) no floral! :)
Flavors: Apricot, Blood orange, Candy, Orange
Another sample from Dinosara. The dry leaf looks like sencha – long, flat-steamed leaves. The dry scent is raspberry candy with a hint of citrus yumminess. I did a 3 minute steep at 175 degrees.
The brewed tea itself smells quite vegetal but sweet from the vanilla. Yum, I really like this one. The main flavor I get is a lovely combination of the grapefruit and raspberry, fresh and fruity with a little bit of tartness. The vanilla comes in more toward the end of the sip, and that’s when I can taste the lovely vegetal green tea base the most. I can see this being delightful with a bit of sugar, but I’m trying not to add sugar to any of my teas lately. It would also make a lovely iced tea, I’m sure! :)
Flavors: Floral, Grapefruit, Raspberry, Vanilla, Vegetal
I’m having a lot of fun trying all of these Fauchon teas that the generous * Dinosara* sent samples of, even if I haven’t really liked them so far! This one looks like black tea leaves with flower petals mixed in. The dry scent is fantastic! It’s definitely some kind of strawberry-esque flavor – taking a look at the description reveals that this one is red fruits flavored. Yum!
Oh, yum yum. I’m so happy to have finally found a hit from these samples! The red fruit flavor in this tea is spot on, mostly strawberry in my opinion. It’s definitely candylike, in fact it reminds me of strawberry Bubble Tape gum, in the best way possible! I let most of mine get stone cold, and it was still super tasty, leading me to believe that this would make an awesome iced tea as well. I’ll make sure to pounce on the next Fauchon sale so I can get a tin of this one. Happiness indeed!
Flavors: Red Fruits, Strawberry
This sample was given to me by Dinosara. I didn’t look this one up prior to trying it, I figured I’d just get on with it and be surprised. :D The dry leaf is mostly small black tea leaves with what looks like dried crushed mint mixed in along with a few flower petals. My nose tell me that it is indeed mint in there. I did a 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.
Well, this basically tastes like mint tea to me… I don’t really get much of the black base, but there is a touch of raspberry flavor. Looking it up, the concept definitely doesn’t fit this one. I mean, who has ever heard of a mint birthday cake…? And I don’t get any sugary or cakey notes here, just the (somewhat mild) mint with some raspberry mixed in. Not bad, not great, just ho hum. And not a cake! :P
Flavors: Mint, Raspberry
Another Fauchon sample from the lovely Dinosara. It’s so exciting to get to try all of these teas! I’ll be at least somewhat prepared for the next time Fauchon shows up somewhere :D This tea looks somewhat similar to La Naissance – it’s black tea leaves with rose petals and what looks like pieces of pink peppercorns? It smells similar too, candylike and very floral. :(
Yep, this tea is more rose than anything else, which leaves me extremely disappointed… There’s some raspberry flavor in there, but I don’t taste anything resembling macaron or pastry in general. This tea is making me very sad. Fauchon seems to be far too heavy-handed with their florals, rose isn’t even mentioned in the name of this blend and yet it’s the most powerful flavor…
Flavors: Floral, Perfume, Raspberry, Rose
This is one of the Fauchon teas that I’ve been most curious about, and Dinosara was generous enough to send me a sample (along with several others) in our swap. Thanks dear! The dry leaf is mostly small black tea leaves with a few rosebuds and flower petals mixed in. I didn’t really see any almonds included. Dry scent is sweet and very candylike with a strong rose aroma and the smallest hint of marzipan. I did a 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.
I actually made this one twice (using up the whole sample). The first time it mostly just tasted floral to me, which was a disappointment, especially when I read other notes that mentioned an almond cake flavor. So I told myself I would wait to draw conclusions until I tried it the second time. Well, the second time I seem to have overleafed a bit because it came out with just a small bit of bitterness. I’m getting a strong floral presence in this cup as well, but I am also getting more of a almond cakelike flavor, especially in the second half of the sip. Not bad, but I’m still pretty disappointed by this one. I was hoping for more almond and less floral. :P
Flavors: Almond, Cake, Floral, Rose
I see that Fauchon has a rose and litchi as well as a rose and apple tea! Alas, all that was at Marshall’s was rose. Poor me, right? :)
I was concerned that this tea might have that baby powder flavor that I loathe in some French teas, but I wanted to try it anyways. It is a little powdery, but not overwhelmingly so. It definitely tastes and smells rose like, very floral and I got a smooth cup out of this. I steeped it at 200, a little lower than I normally do blacks at, but I was trying to avoid any bitterness and it worked! It is really nice with a little bit of sugar and tastes lighter and more floral with a little cream. I think I like this one!
This is a very fragrant smelling tea! It tastes pretty strong once steeped too. I added cream and sugar which mellows out the intensity and I’m really enjoying it. It tastes pretty smooth to me and there is a bunch of bergamot at the back end of every sip.I just read Lala’s review and didn’t realize it is a black green mix either! I thought it turned out really good, but I’ll have to see if it is even better if steeped at a lower temp. Flavor wise it seems similar to Lupicia’s breakfast EG.
Thanks so much to Cameron B. for the sample! I see you also had this one today, so I guess great minds definitely think alike.
This was really, really amazing! I was honestly expecting mostly black tea with maybe just a hint of pear (like a “pear scented” black; you know, light…) but the pear was actually very pronounced, and very authentic. And I’m really gonna have to go with what Cameron B. said and say that the whole tea emulated more of a “cooked pear” vibe.
I also got some super light floral notes and some slightly stronger honey notes from the black base, which was very smooth and rich; which was just a bit surprising seeing as I think I over steeped this by a few minutes.
If I ever managed to find a way to get a hold of this again, but in a larger quantity, I think I would definitely do so. It was a really good pear tea! And, it might not being saying much given I haven’t tried many, but probably the best Fauchon tea I’ve had yet. I suppose on the wishlist this goes!
Side Note: The Steepster chat group is awesome, but really distracting. It took me probably half an hour longer than it should have to finish this tasting note.
I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t tried this one yet! I bought it from Hapatite a while ago, and it’s just been sitting, waiting patiently alongside my other flavored teas. I decided to pull it out today because I was wanting a flavored black. I don’t see any pieces of fruit in here, just black tea leaves. It smells very pear-like and somewhat tart. It reminds me of some other pear-flavored thing, but I can’t quite place it. I steeped for 3 minutes.
This pear in this tea is actually fairly authentic, in my opinion. Granted, it’s more of a cooked pear flavor, but it’s quite true to the fruit. I added a bit of sugar to mine, and it’s reminding me of canned pears with a bit of a honey note over the top. Very yummy, and I would recommend that any pear lovers out there try this one! :)
Flavors: Honey, Pear, Sweet