Nina's Paris

Recent Tasting Notes

86
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
4421 tasting notes

Backlog:

Tasty!

I steeped this at 185°F for three minutes and I was very happy with the result. I could taste the richness of the black tea as well as the light, sweet, fresh notes of the green tea and the roasty-toasty goodness of the genmaicha. And I love the way these teas meld with the caramel and vanilla notes!

A deliciously different blend that I really enjoyed.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/06/23/ninas-japon-tea-blend-from-ninas-paris/

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82
drank Les Nymphéas by Nina's Paris
353 tasting notes

This is a surprise blend my mother offered me. It’s sold in a beautiful box : cylindrical, navy blue lacquered box decorated with a label that shows the famous painting by Monet Waterlilies … well one of the paintings … since Monet painted a series of more than 250 … The tea had been purchased in the Orangerie museum in Paris . By the way I recommend to all visitors of the Jardin des Tuileries to make a stop to admire the spectacular big sized paintings of the garden museum .

Tea: Well it is very good ! There are still a few months I would have praised its many qualities: lovely dry leaf nicely decorated with blue and pink flowers , an extremely mellow tea base ( in some ways it reminds me the tea base used for Boléro of Mariage Frères ) , its delicious taste of apricot and at the same time a light floral taste provided by cornflowers and roses petals.

Today I have to say this tea is a real success, extremely smooth and quite delicious .

The thing is I drink now less flavoured teas and am more inclined to pick directly a straight tea at any time of the day , so I’m less enthusiastic about them than I was before.
But on the other hand I’m still very happy to drink a good flavoured tea and this one is one of them. I love it.

Some pics of my session with this tea : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/the-les-nympheas-ninas/

Flavors: Apricot, Floral

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank 4 Fruits Rouges by Nina's Paris
423 tasting notes

This is nice, but not actually as fruity or sweet as I would have guessed. The cherry is the most prominent of the fruits, but even so it mostly comes through as an aftertaste. I think I’ll try cold-brewing this before I rate it in case that brings out more of the flavor.

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69
drank Magicienne by Nina's Paris
1604 tasting notes

Another offering from the Traveling Teabox – I’ll hopefully have time in between classes to pack it up and git it shipped out tomorrow.

This one isn’t bad, but it’s unfortunately tastes like a lot of other flavoured green tea blends out there. There’s a mild sweet pineapple flavour and green tea used as a base is a good one, not being harsh or bitter – but really there isn’t anything special about this blend, and from a nicer company like Nina’s Paris I expected a little bit more than what I’m getting.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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96
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
423 tasting notes

At some point I read that roasted teas go well with fatty meals, and since then I’ve found it’s true. This feels like the perfect way to follow up my dinner of bacon, steak, and potatoes—the roasted flavors cut the richness of the bacon fat, and the caramel aftertaste feels like dessert.

The scent of this is almost entirely caramel, with just a little roastiness that makes it feel different from other caramel teas. The beginning of the sip is all genmaicha, to the point that I almost miss the caramel, but then it shows up in a slightly sweet, smooth aftertaste. It’s a really good combination that I wouldn’t have thought of myself and wasn’t sure was going to work, but that’s exactly why I wanted to try it. Thank you NayLynn for surprising me with this one!

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drank Thé sur la Lune by Nina's Paris
1932 tasting notes

I do really enjoy this tea, I just never reach for it. I really should though because this is sweet and delicious. Rich fruitiness from the blueberries and yet a candy-like quality from the mallow blossoms. Also, I am always shocked that this has pu’erh because I don’t taste it at all and thank goodness for that.

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drank Je t'aime by Nina's Paris
218 tasting notes

Another backlog from last night. I figured I should get through another one of the three I got since the sample was so small.
Brewed this reminds me strongly of Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam. Which had my mouth watering since I adore that tea so much. Unfortunately, like the Eve I’d had just before, the flavor kinda falls flat again. I get the caramel/vanilla goodness mostly in the smell, which is divine, but the taste just isn’t there. Something that smells like that I feel sould be sweeter or something. I dunno. Adding some Truvia made it sweet, but I guess not the right kind of sweet that I was wanting. And on top of it all there’s a very strong astringency that’s off putting for me. I’m pretty sure it’s the base tea since I went light on the time and didn’t use as hot of water as it seemed other’s used. Or maybe that was the issue and I should’ve used hotter water. Who knows. Lol. I certainly don’t have any more to try, and honestly I wouldn’t order this myself for another attempt. I’ll just stick with my Butiki Caramel Vanilla Assam. Lol.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Eve by Nina's Paris
218 tasting notes

Backlog from last night.

Got this as a free sample awhile back when Laurent was offering 3 samples to try. I got this one, Je T’aime & Mon Secret. Backlogged review for Je T’aime coming next.
There was two tsp in the package, so I dumped the whole sample in.
Off the bat it was deliciously fruity smelling. Reminded me of the peach oolong I have from Adagio. I didn’t really get much vanilla in the smell, just the peach/apricot/fruityness.
Taste wise it doesn’t quite live up to the anticipation of the smell. It’s fruity, but the taste kinda falls flat for me. So does whatever the base tea is, which is just kinda there, but could be stronger. Adding some Truvia helped boost the fruityness, but overall I don’t think it really improved it. And after awhile it got kinda bitter.
So, good to try, nothing I’d likely order myself.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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83
drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
1945 tasting notes

Sipdown (132)!

Many thanks to my Nina’s Paris dealer VariaTEA for the sample! I’m always up for trying another of Nina’s teas – they so, so rarely ever disappoint. This one absolutely holds true to that standard, as well!

So I made this in my timolino for work. Dry and steeping I really didn’t get much of any sort of smell from this so I was going in to this with relatively low expectations but still holding onto to some hope because this is Nina’s and Nina’s Paris knows tea. And it was such a joy to sip on while I was walking home after a long day! So cheers for that!

The black base was very smooth with just the faintest floral hint to it. Bitter and Astringent are totally foreign words in regard to this one. And then marrying beautifully with the base was this very rich and juicy orange flavour with a silky creaminess to it that reminded me of a very natural creamsicle type treat (but hot). Not fake orange flavoured syrup frozen over ice cream but something much higher quality, and richer.

There’s also chocolate in this blend, but I found it to actually be very light handed; just enough to sweeten things up and keep this from feeling monotone (or rather “duotone”?). I might not have even recognized it in the blend if I hadn’t looked this one up prior to making it.

So conclusion: this is simple and pretty straight forward, but really really good! There’s no need for me to stock both Three Friends (another sweet Orange/Black) but if I was out of that one I’d be perfectly content with stocking either of these two blends. Both are masterfully executed.

Also hey – here’s a random link ( http://donottouch.org/ ) for a neat-o crowd sourced music video you should all check out! Aside from just being pretty fun, the music/song itself is kinda cool and catchy too.

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86
drank Eve by Nina's Paris
423 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday morning—yum! This is a deep apple, and I could swear there’s some traditional baking spice (cinnamon, clove, etc.) in here but I guess it’s my imagination doing things to the vanilla. The apricot is subtle but rounds out the apple well; this is a really solid apple tea, where apple is undoubtedly the star and the other ingredients are along for the ride. Delicious!

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95
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
765 tasting notes

Well, it appears that Steepster (fingers crossed) might be back up and running. The dashboard is at least. The discussions and search functions are still all screwy. le sigh.

I am well aware I am very late to the party with this one. I have no excuse – well really I have lots of excuses, but no good one. Other than I have way too much tea!!

This one smells so delicious. A nice sweet, smooth, popcorn-ey scent with caramel drizzled on top. I can’t help but crave caramel corn, the kind you get at the fair, and its probably been sitting there forever so its got that crunchy outside and kind of chewy inside, but oh so good :)

The base tea is interesting because it is a black/green blend, I would say I think I am getting a bit more green tea taste than I am black, but the black tea pretty much covers up any of the vegetal type green tea flavours. It is very smooth. The base seems to be very light and lingers in the background. The flavours are what are predominate. I feel like I am drinking a caramel latte. There is that genmaicha/toasted rice/popcorn kernel flavour, the caramel is sweet over top. It adds depth to the flavour without making the liquor feel too thick. One of the first thoughts that came to my brain on the first sip was ice cream float (not sure why, but I think that pretty much covers the taste for me).

Very delicious. I am sure now that I have uncovered this one in my vast tea cupboard(s), it won’t last too long.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
scribbles

MMmmmmm…sounds so yums!! :)

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drank The des Muses by Nina's Paris
489 tasting notes

It’s Sunday Tea and Books time, people! Here we go.

The Tea

I got this as a sample from Laurent back at the end of February/ beginning of March, and have been holding onto it then – it’s been almost 6 months, and tonight was the first time I tried it.

I was expecting a blast of citrus and flowers, but the flavour in this is very subdued. I’m getting a little bit of citrus, and I can sense that it’s grapefruit, but it’s not knocking my socks off here.

I brewed this at 87C for about 2-3 minutes, using 2 tsp for 16 oz of liquid. I’ve found that those parameters have worked out pretty well for my other green tea from Nina’s, Demain, but the leaf between the two looks quite different. The leaf in The Des Muses is much longer and spindlier, looking more like a sencha.

The Book

Well, this is probably a bit of a cheat, but what can I say? If this tea is called “The Des Muses”, then I’m definitely going to compare it to one of the Greek Muses, the nine women seen as the embodiment of culture and artistic achievement in Ancient Greece. So which one will it be?

Well, since it appears that I’m not too fond of this tea, I’m going to go with Erato, the muse of lyric/love poetry. I’ve got a bit of a grudge against Erato, so why not?

Let me explain.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Greek myths. I read about the stories of Perseus and Theseus and Atalanta, and I was old enough to watch the “Hercules” and “Xena” shows when they were on TV, but young enough to watch them and take them at face value – I had no inkling of their camp value at the time.

As a result, I became a trove of trivia about figures in Greek mythology.

Now, fast-forward to an event about 4.5 years ago. At that point, I was part of a trivia league that met in pubs across the city every week on Monday nights. The scoring worked like this: each round of trivia questions had a theme, and during a round, every person on both teams had the chance to answer a single question. If the person who was asked the question answered it correctly, their team scored 2 points. If they couldn’t answer it correctly but their teammates could, the team scored 1 point. However, if nobody on one team could answer the question, the opposing team had the chance to get a “steal” and earn 1 point for themselves if they could answer the question correctly instead.

(Does this make any sense? I hope it does.)

Anyways, this one night, the round of trivia in question was about….the muses! And it appeared that among all of the people on BOTH teams, I was the only one who knew the names of the muses. So I continually saved my team by earning 1 point when each individual lost the chance to earn 2, and kept stealing points from the other team when they couldn’t answer their questions.

However, I didn’t remember the names of ALL 9 muses – I could only remember 8: Calliope, Urania, Polyhymnia, Terpischore, Melpomene, Thalia, Clio, and Euterpe. I was struggling and struggling to remember the name of the 9th muse.

And guess what happened? The ONE muse I couldn’t name was the answer of the ONE question that was posed to me specifically, thus the ONE opportunity I had to score 2 points for my team instead of a succession of 1-pointers.

That one muse I couldn’t name? You guessed it: fuckin’ Erato.

So I couldn’t answer that particular question, and NO ONE ELSE could either. Thus, that question earned a big round goose egg for all involved.

You know what the kicker was?

I gave the correct answer to every other trivia question that was posed specifically to me that night. Out of 10 rounds, I got 9 2-point questions right – my highest result ever in that particular trivia league – and the only one I got wrong was that damned question about Erato.

(Can you tell I still haven’t gotten over it yet? Fuck you, Erato. Seriously.)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Sami Kelsh

Yeah, Erato’s a total bastard.

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First sample from the GCTTB3!

I have read so many positive reviews on this tea, so I was excited to try it! At first sip, I found it quite bitter. The tea looked black to me, so I used boiling water which I think might have burnt it. I immediately thought, okay, this is a pina colada flavoured gen mai cha, so I went strait on the computer to read what it’s actually supposed to taste like. Hmmmm. Caramel and vanilla, nope, not getting either of those. Not sure where that pineapple flavour I am getting is coming from.

I’m not loving this right now, but I think it is totally my fault. I am going to pull this from the box and steep it differently next time. I think I will leave it unrated for now.

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78
drank Pour Maman by Nina's Paris
517 tasting notes

Strawberries, vanilla, and rose? What could go wrong? :D
Apparently nothing, except for my steeping the tea until it’s astringent. Bleh.
I don’t get much rose, but I do get floral. Besides that, this is very tasty. Soft vanilla and fun fruitiness. A very and tasty accessible tea. :)

Which reminds me, a work friend asked me to help her stop relying on sweet drinks so I showed up in her office with a bunch of tea samples. Her eyes got all big when she saw the various packets and brew basket. “Omg, you’re serious about tea!” Umm… Yeah. :)
She really enjoyed the genmaicha we started with. That’s another very accessible tea.

Thanks for sharing this precious tea with me Ashmanra!

ashmanra

All Nina’s get just three minutes from me! This one is really good when it isn’t oversteeped. I hope you have enough to try it again! :)

Mercuryhime

Oh I do. No worries. I just got distracted is all. Next time will be perfect!

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80
drank Taurus by Nina's Paris
592 tasting notes

Lazy day so it’s this tea in my DT cup shaped filter tonight!
Thank you VariaTEA for sending this tea to me! I love rooibos so much, and this definitely had that woodsy smell to it. Don’t really smell the strawberries and cream so much dry, but once I poured the water in, the other non woodsy flavours came out :)
Right now it just tastes like water but SOOOON, I had a slight hint of strawberry so I’m excited for this tea!

Mmmm a very lovely tea. I can definitely taste the strawberries and cream, with a slight hint of wood coming from the rooibos!

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I bought this from someone’s stash sale (VariaTEA I think?). I’ve been sitting on it for a while now. The first time I tried to make some, it came out inexplicably bitter, and I was sort of afraid to try it again. So I tried it today with the same parameters and it came out with only a tiny bit of bitterness. Go figure. Anyway, the leaves are rather small and dark, and there are rose petals mixed in with them. It smells very strong and perfumey, with a sweet fruit element. I added some sugar to help tone done that little bit of bitterness.

This tea isn’t bad, considering I’m not the biggest fan of rose. The rose is definitely the most present flavor here, unfortunately. There’s some apple there too, and it’s a kind of tart green apple flavor. And there’s a bit of black tea taste, but it’s overall very submissive and mellow in the background. I thought this would be more similar to Fauchon’s apple tea, but this is more of a rose tea with a bit of apple, while that one is all apple.

Not going to rate this since I don’t like rose, but I would definitely recommend it for people who do. Into the rehoming box it goes.

Flavors: Floral, Green Apple, Rose, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

I like rose, so this one at three minutes and 200F is great for me. At four minutes I get almost no rose but a lot of sour apple, which a few others have really loved. It amazes me how much the steep time alters this tea. Could the bitterness be the sour apple flavor rather than leaf bitterness? Or is it astringency?

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83
drank Jasmin by Nina's Paris
592 tasting notes

A lovely Jasmine tea from VariaTEA!
This lasted me through two steepings, and one for my roommate. This is a great jasmine, and not at all bitter :)

VariaTEA

I’m glad you enjoyed it. Knowing how you feel about jasmine teas, I thought you’d appreciate it.

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80
drank Gemini by Nina's Paris
4421 tasting notes

Backlog:

So, I’m gemini so I wanted to try this. I’m not sure exactly what grapefruit, strawberries and vanilla have to do with the sign of the twins, but … I still liked this.

Nutty, woody, notes of fruit, the grapefruit is uplifting and bright, the strawberries are sweet and tart and the vanilla softens it with a beautiful creamy note. Very enjoyable.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/05/24/gemini-rooibos-blend-from-ninas-paris/

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80
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
731 tasting notes

From the Round 3 Here’s Hoping Tea Box

Tea of the morning. I have to admit that this tea caught me off guard. I didn’t read about it before I steeped it, but for some reason I thought it was a cherry flavored tea. Needless to say, the first sip was quite a surprise. It was a good surprise though! This tea is full of caramel and vanilla flavors along with some yummy roasty, toasty notes from the rice. This would make a better evening/dessert tea than a morning tea, but it was still very tasty.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65
drank Jamais Vu by Nina's Paris
20 tasting notes

Dry leaf aroma: Strong and pleasant orange scent.

Dry leaf appearance: http://instagram.com/p/rv49b7FcKV

Preparation: Brewed in an infuser mug.

First/only steeping: 3 minutes at 210 degrees. The aroma is fruity with hints of blackcurrant; as the cup cools I detect a bit of orange. While the tea is still quite hot the fruit flavors are muddled together with a subtle bitterness and I get a slightly tart aftertaste. After the cup cools I can pick out the orange but I do not taste the pineapple at all; the bitterness remains.

I have to confess that I dumped out my first cup as I thought I messed up the steep due to the bitterness. Unfortunately, the second cup was still bitter, though less so (I used less leaf for the second brewing).

I might try this iced to see if it makes a difference in the flavor and bitterness.

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Orange

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Cheri

I hate when I screw up a cup of tea and it’s just not drinkable.

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83
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
918 tasting notes

Second Nina’s sample of the day! Thank you again Laurent for the opportunity to try your teas! So far they have not disappointed!

The dry smell of this was caramelly and good, with a hint of toast. I steeped for 3 mins with 175 degree water, the whole sample again, and the steeped scent is caramel genmaicha. I love genmaicha and haven’t had any in AGES, so this is a nice change and now I want to order some plain genmaicha too lol.

As for the flavor, this is quite good, although I admit, my expectations were VERY high after reading the reviews. It mostly tastes like genmaicha, a good quality one, and then the caramel flavor comes in at the end of the sip. YUM! It’s roasty, popcorn like, nutty and caramel. Probably closest in flavor to a toffee, good stuff.

Overall, this is a tasty toffee like tea, but it is fairly sweet, and I do find it interesting that genmaicha, generally a savory tea to me, is paired with the sweet flavors of caramel and vanilla. It is tasty and good, but I am still a bit undecided on whether I would order more of it in the future. It definitely is sweet and delicious, but not an everyday tea, more of a treat one haha. Caramel popcorn reminiscent! Thanks again Laurent and everyone at Nina’s Tea for the free sample of this tea!

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85
drank Pour Maman by Nina's Paris
918 tasting notes

First of all, a big thank you to Laurent at Nina’s Tea for the free samples! I am finally getting to them :) this is the first one I had to try due to the great reviews and the fact I have a migraine today and thought some caffeine would help. The dry smell is very fruity, definitely a red fruit scent, slightly tart, with some strawberries in there too. I steeped the entire sample (not sure how much tea, probably a TBSP, give or take) with 175 degree water for 3 minutes. The resulting scent is lovely strawberries, fruit and creamy vanilla. Yum!

As for the flavor, this is very similar to the strawberry cream black tea from Zen Tea, but with a stronger vanilla aftertaste and it’s a much smoother tea. The red fruit flavor also adds a punch of fruity flavor. First taste is strawberry, and the aftertaste of sweet, soft vanilla lingers on the palate in a wonderful way. This is a soothing and delicious tea!

Overall, this is a very nicely flavored tea. The fruits and vanilla meld together in a lovely way. As the cup cools a bit of a floral flavor comes out. I like how the cup has changed but has stayed very smooth. Brewing at the low temperature definitely was a good choice! Ooh, a tiny touch of green tea flavor coming out in the far aftertaste as well. I am very pleased that I chose this as a free sample, and once again, thanks to Laurent at Nina’s Tea for the opportunity to sample his teas! :D great start to the day!

Flavors: Red Fruits, Strawberry, Vanilla

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73
drank Etoile du Nord by Nina's Paris
1384 tasting notes

Thank you Nina’s for the samples! This one sounded very intriguing – rhubarb and violet with a keemun base. For some reason this sample was an individually wrapped pyramid tea bag. Nina’s suggests 1-2 minutes for this one, so I went with about 70 seconds. I probably should have steeped for two minutes, as the base wasn’t tough enough for me. The flavor is good but I wouldn’t say it was rhubarb. The something extra reminds me more of lychee. There is something sweet and floral to it as well, but I’m not sure what violet tastes like! I’ve tried the keemun base on its own and it’s a standard delicious keemun but I could swear this is the other base that they have. This doesn’t taste like the keemun to me. I would have liked the rhubarb to be more rhubarb-like but this is an interesting and unique idea for a blend. The same keemun that I tried before would have made this blend better though.
Steep #1 // 7 min after boiling // 70 second steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min

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80
drank Magicienne by Nina's Paris
498 tasting notes

Another sample from Stephanie! I generally like to jump on any chance I get to try one of the famous French brands (Nina’s, Mariage Freres, Fauchon, etc) because they tend to be a pain in the ass to get ahold of. Although this is not true with Nina’s anymore, since they have a lovely new store website (http://www.ninasteastore.com). Flavored green teas aren’t generally something I ever consider when purchasing tea, just because I usually only drink green tea as a digestive or palate cleanser. But I love pina colada, so I had to try this one! The leaf appears to be sencha. It smells quite sweet and vaguely coconutty.

Brewed aroma is mostly coconut. I added a little bit of sugar (and noticed there was still golden Yunnan fairy dust on my teaspoon, cute!) just because I almost always end up adding it anything with flavored teas. Hmm… I’m finding the flavoring to be fairly light, which I suppose I should expect from French teas. The coconut is very present at the front of the sip, and then I start to get pineapple near the end. The base tea itself tastes grassy and has a slight autumn leaf element.

Overall, quite lovely and light for a coconut tea, and I do enjoy that little hint of pineapple near the end, but I wish there was more pineapple in general!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Coconut, Grass, Pineapple, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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