Forgeron & Blanc
Recent Tasting Notes
This one has grown on me a little bit, to be honest – it smells so completely delicious and I find more complexity in it flavour wise, too. At the same time, it’s hard to tell to what extent this is a quality tea – maybe it’s just bells and whistles and I’m falling for it. I mean – German tea companies, who can take them seriously? (Yes, I said that in a heavy French accent.)
I had another jasmin tea this weekend (my friend Em embarked upon her very first Birthday Week; decadence reigned) the Jasmin Mandarin from Mariage Frères, expertly served, as always, by the lovely staff at Dagnino. It’s such a great place to enjoy tea and dessert – their cassata is out of this world. But I digress – I will pick up some Jasmin Mandarin and give it a fair review at a later date… and wait patiently for dessertster.com for the full cassata write-up.
This cup, though, is pleasantly floral and without bitterness, in spite of the fact that I was distracted and brewed it a little too hot, Lupicia style. I’m having some kind of late morning snack consisting of fruit and almond butter. The latter is so good and I wish I’d picked up a couple more jars at Whole Foods in NOLA. But I felt a need to check out how organic and responsible Justin’s actually were – nothing ticks me off more than pretend organic, like, ‘oh, we source everything locally, except this palm oil that we have no idea where it comes from, but that’s probably not a controversial product at all’.
But I needn’t have worried, because Justin’s are so OCD about their product sourcing they even have detailed carbon footprint charts for every single ingredient on their website. With all the privilege I enjoy, I’m completely fascist about buying organic whenever I can – quality over quantity consumption appeals to me much more. This time around in Italy, there are so many more organic choices on the shelves compared to just a few years back, which is cool.
Anyway, I need to finish my banan(n)a and strawberries and get on with my day.
M left today, many sads. She seemed to be in good spirits, though, but maybe it was just pre-panic, seeing as she is terrified of flying.
I’m really not.
But she’s cute when she freaks out.
Anyway, we split a pot of this and it was nice. Then she tricked me into carrying her suitcase. Classic M.
It is time for a short break from the infernal EU swap box (don’t get me wrong, the swap experience itself is beautiful, but the logistics of getting that box closed are seriously like something from Dante) to give Project Jasmine some attention. It was thanks to the first round of the box swap that I was reminded of how much I appreciate a good jasmine tea – entirely understandable memory lapse; during the fall I was a little too busy trying every single French fruity/floral green tea on the market, after all.
This is insurance tea – remember when my bag was lost and not found for a few days and there were little teas in there, all lost and scared? Yes. I needed to pick up some emergency tea, so I found this one at Gusto’s (yes, the restaurant) kitchen store, which is truly a marvel. They have so much great stuff. Italian kitchen stores can be amazing, and they turn up in the weirdest places – I found a crazy good one in Rovigo (population 50 000) a few years back, with the most amazing gadgets and molds and if I don’t stop now I will probably make a full list. The one in Rome is pricey, though – pricey-and-trendy-but-not-overpriced, which makes it hard for me to tell whether or not this is a quality tea, or just a trendy tea. I mean, this company isn’t even on Steepster, but they have a fair website and a really nice graphic profile. (Look at the tin! It has monkeys and elephants!) Then again, they’re German, and have chosen an ancient-renowned-French-tea-merchant-sounding name, which is always cause for some alarm.
Adagio’s Jasmine Silver Needle from the first round of the EU box swap is a really tough act to follow, seeing as it really is the best jasmine I’ve ever had, and overall, this does lack the exceptional qualities that made me rate Adagio’s tea so highly. Dry, it has a less complex, nicely perfumed, yet not too heavy scent. In the cup, it’s definitely pleasant and well-balanced, although it lacks the silken dreamy lightness of the Silver Needle. There is some very small astringency as it cools, but I’m sure the brewing parameters can be adjusted somewhat to avoid this.
Overall, I’d call this a solid, everyday jasmine. Jury’s still out on Forgeron & Blanc.
[Picked up at Gusto Libreria in Rome, February 2014.]