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Recent Tasting Notes
Mélange Madeleine is a tea I picked up over the summer at Hédiard’s flagship store on Place de la Madeleine in Paris. It was one of the few teas I squirreled away in my already overstuffed suitcase to bring home and share with my friends. It isn’t the type of tea I would typically consider since I’m not a fan of citrus flavors, but I’m glad I went with the recommendation of the store, it’s a fabulous tea. The black base is mellow, yet full-flavored, and has hints of orange, vanilla, and lavender. While I’ve really enjoyed drinking it hot, it makes an excellent iced tea. In fact, most of my tin was consumed during the later part of the summer when the temperatures soared. I’ll likely finish off what is left before the end of the week. This is one of those rare teas I could drink a lot of and that isn’t something I say often when it comes to things that are heavily citrus flavored.
You can read the rest of the review on my blog:
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Vanilla
I guess i forgot to write a tasting note on this one the first time i had it. Oopsy! This was one of the teas Ysaurella sent me and it’s a sneaky tea. The front half of the sip of this tea was all like..“Yo! Sil! i got your black base here…gimme some…” and then APPLE jumped out and poked me in the tastebuds. true story. This isn’t a crisp, juicy sort of apple…but this IS baked warm apple without the cinnamon. You hear that people? NO CINNAMON! yes! now…i don’t have anything against cinnamon…and apple crisp is one of my favourite desserts and HAS cinnamon..but after 120398210398 teas that were all a variation on a theme of apple + cinnamon? this. this was a welcome change!
it’s also my first tea from Hediard, and so yeah. goooo me! thanks madam!
This was a bonus sample that Ysaurella added to her swap box, thank you so much.
This might be an example of “be careful what you wish for”. I was whining not that long ago about apple teas always having cinnamon in them. This is a black apple tea, no cinnamon. While I can appreciate the lack of cinnamon, this isn’t my favorite apple flavor. To me, this is baked or cooked apple. I’m craving, tart, crisp fresh apple. This just isn’t it.
I don’t think this is a bad tea, it’s just not to my tastes….
sipdown! (252…going to be a long day..) This was a tea from NofarS, via my tea sister terri!I really love this one. There’s a sense of malty chocolate coming off this one that is really tasty, especially in contrast to the qimen. Really glad i had the chance to try this one!
i will begin by thanking ysaurella.
this is not a tea i would normally buy, but i really must rank it highly because of what it accomplishes!
have you ever been around bees? not like when a wasp is dive bombing you while you’re driving on the highway, or when you feel a sharp sting at a picnic…. but observed a hive? or spent time around an apiary?
there are very strong, smiling elements of clumsy, fat honey bees in this tea. i always found that bumble bees had an odd warm smell to them, as though heat generated by all of their busy work. the blend has the same warm, velvet honey flavour to it. very reminiscent of fresh honeycomb that is sold at the farmer’s markets every weekend.
the orange is very subtle… not remotely astringent or sharp. not bitterness from the pith. much more like a honey derived from orange blossoms.
a beautiful pairing. i am beginning to conclude that french tea blenders do not simply create a tea, nor is that their goal… nor is it their goal (for the most part) to be purist as their asian counterparts. they are monet and degas…. they see a pastoral scene— maybe bees working in a field, maybe blueberry shrubs crowding around a single rose bush, and they try to capture its essence. in a tea. for my cup.
I am sipping this one right now and it is really delicious.
I was sure orange and honey were pairing so well together but it is better than I thought.
I really love it, the honey is really natural (maybe an orange honey or acacia) and not over sugared, it perfectly balances with the orange, a sweet one, not a bitter one.
The tea base is classic and has no bitterness at all.
This is an Hédiard blend but we can recognize the Dammann one behind so my tasting note is valid for the Dammann Frères Miel Orange as well.
Backlog of my first cup of the day.
Mélange Hédiard is a very good citrus tea : strong, really robust-It’s a quite malty tea but without any bitterness.
An ideal tea to begin the day, it wakes you up very well.
I have a drawback to point out but a very light one : the scent of the dry leaves is amazing, fantastic and powerful, there is a difference in the cup, the aromas aren’t so strong – don’t get me wrong : they are absolutely present and divine but a degree under the scent.
A very lovely tea
I’m a fan of very fine China black teas to begin with (Bai Lin Gong Fu comes to mind here, although the tin label doesn’t specify what kind of China black they use), and I would never have thought to add citrus oil. The result is a delicate sweetness that’s perfectly amplified by demerara sugar or a light honey (like acacia or orangeblossom).
So, I’ve been playing around with this tea and I have discovered something worth mentioning. Unlike a lot of Earl Greys and things that are similar, like this, Melange does NOT hold up well as an iced tea. It loses a lot of its subtle flavors and something about it being cold just breaks up the harmony. So, fellow Steepsterites, this is your warning. Make this tea iced at your own risk.
So, the owner of Taste talked me into getting this. She said that her French customers requested she carry it, and that it was a big deal in Paris. Now, this stuff was expensive at $22.50 per box, but I had ScoutMob, so I only paid $12. And after I read the list of ingredients, I was intrigued.
When I opened the packet and sniffed, the Earl Grey lover in me went “Oh yeaahhhh…” It smelled like lemony bergamot heaven. And when I brewed it and had a taste, the first thing I noticed was how absolutely smooth this is. The black tea in it isn’t bitter in the slightest. It’s a very malty black, especially in the aftertaste. Almost creamy. There is no astringency, no sharpness. The bergamot is gentle but firmly there, and not too terribly loud. It harmonizes with the faint orange oil that reminds me of orange bitters if orange bitters weren’t, er, bitter.
I am going to savor this stuff. And give it the full 5 minutes next time.
This is very nice. I was a little afraid when I saw “rose essential oil” as I tend to prefer floral teas that have been scented with the flowers by layering the leaves and petals. I tend to find the floral teas that have been flavored with oils to be a little on the perfume-y side … a little TOO on the perfume-y side. But, this is not what I expected. This is delicate, not nearly so perfume-y as I would have expected.
It does have a slight perfume-ish taste toward mid-sip, but, it doesn’t linger, and it isn’t strong so it doesn’t become off-putting. There is a nice balance between rose and black tea, and I find the overall cup to taste sweet, floral and pleasant.