THE O DOR
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Recent Tasting Notes
I love Lapsang Souchong teas. Theodor is probably the tea company I find more interesting currently. When Ysaurella offered to share her Theodor Lapsang Souchong with me, I jumped at it, and was the very first tea of the very tempting package I tried.
Much as I love LS, I wish I was more educated about the differences regarding those, to understand better the (very obvious) difference s. My inevitable comparison of this Lapsang Souchong was with my current favorite, Mariage Freres´s Lapsang Souchong Imperial and the dry leaf of both smells unmistakably different. Like totally different tree smokes – the MF is sharper, maybe more piney. This reminds me of something else, something almost eucalyptus like or oak (not the same at all, but I truly can not describe better), a smell almost umami-rich. It was so different from what I expected I was sure at first sniff I was not going to like it! But no fear, that old magic of lapsang souchong tea, the ability to taste so very different was at work – this is just wonderful, extremely smooth. And now the first shock of not recognizing the smoke smell, I love the smell at least as much as the other Lapsangs in my collection.
A very lovely tea and perfect for a rainy afternoon…
My tea of the morning. Another Theodor tea from my order on vente privée.
For my daughter , this tea tastes and smells like barbecue & charcoal. Well … it’s a bit more complex than that a Lapsang Souchong ! Personally I like the smoked teas but it is true that the first step in this universe can be difficult to initiate .
The smell : wood- fire , comfort , tranquility that’s what we can breathe here .
The dry leaf looks nothing special , short cut , curled and very dark.
The taste : the tea obtained has a very pronounced smoky flavour and is extremely soft and mellow like all Lapsang Souchongs I met but this one is really particularly mellow . No ounce of bitterness.
I made a full teapot . I think this was a mistake because it is not a tea that I enjoy more than 2 cups at a time. However, I swallowed everything … Very successful this unpretentious LS .
For those who like to see, some pics are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/lapsang-souchong-theodor/
Oh ! This is an extremely surprising flavoured tea.
First we have a very small cut leaf with dried red berries.
Theodor says it is a mix of non smoked black tea and smoked black tea . The smell escaping from the bag is slightly and gently smoked and red fruits are immediately detectable .
I took my “old” Japanese teapot to prepare this tea. I love this teapot . It was a gift but I had chosen it myself 15 years ago in the shop Le Chat Huant, rue Galante in Paris. This shop sells Japanese objects and still exists even though I have not seen a teapot for a while in. I used it very little since it was sold without a filter … and I never found one that fits … until now !
The taste is divine and yet I am not the biggest fan of red fruit teas . The Smoked side is extremely discreet. I think a smoked tea beginner should start exploring these types with a tea as Madame .
The tea base is not hidden by the scent of red fruits : smoke taste associated with red fruit is very unexpected and absolutely irresistible.
Finally, another point but not least, lapsang souchong (probably used here with a second non- black tea smoked) in this blend offers a deep mellowness making Madame a velvet tea . Yes … Madame likes. Velvet … and plays the card of a masculine/feminine boudoir.
I love it.
Pics of Madame and of my “old” Japanese Teapot are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/madame-theodor/
Flavors: Berries, Smoke
Second tea from my Theodor order on Vente Privée . I must admit that I kinda chose this tea by default just to have a plain tea and because it was quite cheap . Now Ceylons never really transported me . I have at least 5 of them right now in my collection -because every time I think it will be THE little TEA Ceylon that will transcend me … and each time well no it’s not …
The smell is similar to all those little Ceylons. Are there only Great Ceylons somewhere ? I guess so .
The dry leaf is very thin and it has the typical twigs.
And the taste ? So we have an unpretentious and correct tea. Like all I tasted.. except 1 Ceylon I ’ve had … with my great aunt … a Mariage Frères …very good… but which one? mystery. In any case this Theodor is not his twin..oh no.
Some pics are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/ceylan-op-superieur-theodor/
Yesterday I received the Theodor order that I placed on Vente Privée . Oh joy to see the postman emerging at my doorstep in the middle of the afternoon .
Obviously Theodor wanted to sell its so-called kimono bags , in aluminum . The 5 teas I ordered were in this type of bags that preserve wonderfully the qualities of tea. Well I personnaly do not care because all my teas end in an airtight dedicated tin but for those who keep their tea in the original bags , those ones were perfect.
This morning I had an embarrassment of riches with five new teas to test but my love for the legendary Earl Grey outweighed everything else. And seeing the sublime osmanthus flowers and corn flowers mixed with black tea leaves I cracked .
During the infusion the yellow flowers rise to the surface and we can see them only !
The liquor is very dark and smells delicious bergamot-y.
The taste obtained is strong bergamot, very present and very bright , almost slightly spicy . This is an extremely invigorating and joyful blend. Ideal in the morning. It reminds me a lot of Mademoiselle another blend by Theodor , another Earl Grey but scented with lavender . The Bergamot oil used is most likely the same . I don’t think I am wrong on this . It is also probably the same Chinese tea base between medium and full -bodied in terms of strength .
A good Earl Grey in conclusion even if I denote nothing very extravagant here .
You can have a look at pics of my session with this tea here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/earl-grey-royal-theodor/
So, it’s autumn. In the interest of attempting to embrace my inner (and I suppose outer) white girl, I tried a pumpkin spice latte from a certain major coffee shop chain in London on the weekend when I was DESPERATE for a warm drink before catching the coach home to Oxford.
Oh my sweet lord. Why. WHY WOULD I BE SO FOOLISH AS TO PUT THIS HORROR IN MY MOUTH. It was thick and sugary and tasted of no coffee whatsoever but just nutmeg and nutmeg and nutmeg and OH GOD WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS NO NO NO. Maybe my palette is just not the right kind of middle-class, but the only spice I want going anywhere near my coffee is cardamom, as is justly popular across the Mediterranean and Middle East, and which I learned from a Saudi graduate student I worked with on proofreading her academic writing in English. So thank you for that, Roaa! That was some of the most enjoyable work I’ve done in this country.
Sometimes you need a tea you know will be good to get the memory of something awful away from your taste buds, and this tea really fit the bill. I was intrigued remembering that it was some kind of tropical fruity oolong, but forgetting exactly which fruits were involved. Somehow, what I got was a blend that was at turns dominated by instances of pineapple, leafy and autumnal oolong, and what it turns out was bergamot. Would I have ever thought of putting these flavours together? Goodness no! Have they completely surprised me in the best possible way? Heck yes!
This. THIS is what autumn tastes like to me. I rather love it. Thanks for sharing, Ysaurella!
Winter is coming! Or at least autumn is, you should have seen what it rained this morning. Summer is on the way out and I was finally in the mood to make some tea. This is a new purchase, from this very summer, and my first, fast tasting of it
First, this smells like the french-est tea ever blended. French teas, do you have a mental idea of what that style is? This is precisely it, like the most paradigmatic french tea ever. (well, and there is Vert de Provence as well. Maybe a few others, Thé au Tibet also comes to mind as the most french imaginable Earl Grey tea, but no other tea I ever had, and I have been having a lot of french teas, is more French tea than this). Really sublime perfume, far too complicated to categorize – fruity, flowery, with tea underneath. And it was one of the few The-o-dor teas I could buy locally and hello, welcome Acte II.
But at my first try I suspect lotus is an ingredient even if they do not explicitly mention it. And lotus in tea is for me like tuberose in perfumes – it ruins things. I did not quite love it as much as I loved the smell, but I must experiment some more.
It is still a wonderful, balanced, quality tea by the way.
This tea smells so delicious. Sweet rooibos with notes of caramel and pastry. The rooibos itself seems like it’s of good quality and is actually a little bit finer than others I’ve had. It makes a beautiful red cup.
Sipping… the rooibos is softer and smoother than others I’ve had. There is still a rather distinct woody flavor that always comes with rooibos, but I appreciate how smooth this one is. There is a gentle sweetness that wraps itself around the cup, but I can’t really tell what it is… to me, it tastes awfully similar to a caramel rooibos. This sweetness pairs very well with the rooibos that it almost seems like they’re one. I am a little confused about the apple as I can’t taste any, but I think that I’ll have to experiment with this blend a bit more to see what other flavors I can get.
I really enjoy the smoothness of the cup and love the strong notes of rooibos and caramel, but I feel like I’m missing out on the other apple and toffee flavors. I will play around with this a little more to see if I can bring them out of hiding.
This tea was taken from the EU TTB round 2.
I just had to Google guanabana as I’ve never heard of it before, Wiki has it listed as Soursop which I have heard of but I don’t believe I’ve tried it before. That makes comparing this tea impossible so I will just have to go by my own sense of taste.
It smells sweet and berry like though impossible for me to clarify which berry. At any length it does smell very exotic and rather juicy, a nice and interesting start.
Once steeped it has the same fruity scent that is somewhat berry like. It’s a little sour but also does have some sweetness present.
Flavour is mild, no Rooibos flavour as such which is a positive sign but the fruit flavours are just very light and they disappear as quickly as they come. It’s lightly fruity and again berry like but also somewhat perfumed which leaves a slight dry after taste.
This tea just isn’t for me, it’s a pleasant enough tea but just not for my taste buds. Happy to have tried it though :)
I have been desperately craving another Theodor the, their Peché Mignon, their melon and peach green tea. This is their green mate with melon and peach and well it was on stock – and it´s just as amazing!
I made it iced, cold brewed and then strained for maybe half a hour (with mate and tea, I find it gets bitter if I leave it much longer than say one hour even when cold brewed. Even hibiscus I do not like to leave overlong. Only rooibos I leave overnight). It really tastes a lot like Peché Mignon, even their own page makes a reference to it, but with a mate base. I suppose this description won´t be much help to anybody who never had the fortune to try Peché Mignon but it means it tastes naturally and strongly like melon and peach, in balance somehow. Pecadito reportedly has some passion fruit as well, which I think i detect on the aftertaste and makes it non-cloying somehow.
Love it, this package will probably not survive the summer here.
Flavors: Melon, Peach
I’m sharing this with my BFF because it’s tomato tea.
It’s so weird. So so weird. Tomatoey. A bit lemony. Floral. A bit weirdly mentholy astringent. My BFF says it’s like drinking the remaining liquid in the bottom of a salad bowl, with the tomato seeds and stuff. Or tomato stems. So green.
So, uhh, thanks for the sample MissB! :)
I got this tea along with Scandale when Urban Tea Merchant was selling out of them. I’m a sucker for all things chocolate so this one was a no-brainer. I’d normally take a tea like this with milk, but I wanted to try it plain first. The scent was more hazelnut that chocolate but it made a solid appearance in the flavour profile as a lovely smooth, rich cocoa. Mixed with the nutty hazelnut flavour it reminds me a bit of chocolate hedgehogs – which I adore. It’s quite a decadent blend that feels very ‘Parisian’ if that makes any sense – I could see classy french ladies delicately sipping this tea in a stylish outdoor café. Terribly cliché, I know. ;)
I’ve been saving up my The O Dor teas ever since the supplier, the Urban Tea Merchant stopped carrying the brand. But unfortunately teas can’t really be ‘saved’ for an indefinite length of time so I figured it was time to crack open the tins I bought on the cheap when they were clearing them out. My aunt, who does tea leaf readings, recommended this blend to me and she generally has good taste when it comes to these things.
I recently tried another cinnamon pu-ehr from Davids Tea and I wasn’t terribly impressed, but this blend is vastly better. The pu-ehr has a lovely depth of flavour and is a pleasant mix of woody and earthy notes without being overpowering. The cinnamon and vanilla flavour go well with the base and unlike the Davids Tea one they don’t go for the cinnamon heart candies flavour and frankly the natural flavours are already sweet enough. I guess there’s something to be said for purchasing tea from a high-end retailer. Now if only I can find another supplier that ships to Canada.
Hey hey, I had this earlier today! Only was able to get to it after it cooled, and I found it a bit floral for my tastes, although quite lovely for a deeper green. I think I oversteeped it however, because it was also a bit bitter at the end of the sip.
I wish I remembered more, however it was a crazy day, and I just feel like I can settle down now (at 2:54am!) Thank you Ysurella you’re incredibly kind for sharing this with me. :) I owe you!
Confession: I’m getting kind of bored with my sipdown extravaganza. Well, maybe not bored, just missing my regular black teas, LOL. On the other hand, I’ve made it through 49 teas, & it feels good to be making progress! I don’t really expect to clear out my entire stash, that will take the rest of my life, but it will be very freeing to get through all these samples.
For this one, I’m delving into the new box from Sil. So many of the teas in that box are in too large of a quantity for a sipdown, & are mostly flavored teas, but I wanted a cup of something with some substance to it, so I fished around & came up with this one, which is the final cup of a sample Ysaurella shared with Sil. I love how our tea samples can have a history of their own!
This is a nice roasty oolong. It doesn’t really taste like coffee or chocolate to me, but that is probably because of allergies muting my sense of taste. It is a tasty cup, & somewhat satisfying, so I’m enjoying it, & that is good enough for me!
Teresa, you’re right lol it is somehow a Darjeeling …I brewed it at 80°c and 4 minutes and yes ….it a kind of ;)
How do you find it ?
I am so happy to have the chance to try this one thanks to cteresa. Obrigada :)
I probably brew it too hot (90°c instead of 85°c) but it is really pleasant this way.
Teresa you mentioned it is not really a black tea but to me it is really works as a black tea and even if a Theodor mentions Shangri Lâ Temple is as good as the best Darjeelings it is to me very different except maybe on the body of the tea.
The tea texture is mellow, I got some raisin notes, not the hazelnut promised but I’ll brew it colder next time.
I need to play more with that one and should thanks cteresa for having sent me a so generous sample.
Finally finishing this sample from ages ago that has been tucked away! Today I’m noticing a tiny bit of malt with chocolate and caramel flavors that are a little stronger. This is reminding me of a couple other French caramel/chocolate teas like Palais’s Toffee and MF’s Wedding Imperial, but with softer notes and no bitterness. I added a touch of sugar and it seems to have made it a bit bland! How is that possible?! I’m still not able to pick up the hazelnut notes, but I could have sworn I tasted a touch of mint in the after taste. I steeped it a little hotter than suggested because I was guessing on the C to F conversions. I really need to learn the metric system! US public schools… you have failed me again!
This is a tea that I’d gladly cross paths with again someday!
I’m having this chilled today with a little sugar and a bit of cream! I was surprised at the low steeping temp, but it seems to work! The chocolate comes through for sure, but the hazelnut is a little more hidden for me. Nutella is my go to hazelnut/chocolate association and this isn’t nearly as bold as that. It is still really good and I look forward to trying more of it.
Thanks for the sample Barbara!
From the queue
This came out of the EU TTB round 2. Cream, vanilla and roasted hazelnuts. What, I ask you, could possibly go wrong? I lurve vanilla, I’ve quite fallen for nutty blends recently, and I can imagine what the cream must add to this. I can’t actually in anyway at all imagine this not being awesome. Therefore I looked shifty and filched it. I can’t remember if I’ve had any of this before. I haven’t really been buying very much of the European blends, tending to look more towards the East and the UK.
This smells awesome! All roasty nutty! Also a lot of sweet sweet vanilla that makes the whole thing remind me of hot white chocolate. (I’ve got some powder for that from Whittards of Chelsea. It’s luxuriously awesome made up with warm milk) I can’t really detect any notes of actual tea, though, which is the only thing about the aroma which I can find fault with. I can’t smell any cream either, but I expect that more in the flavour than the aroma in general. It always surprise me when I can actually smell cream in cream-flavoured teas. In this particular one I’m also expecting it to be more a question of texture than of taste really, so I’m not too bothered about not being able to find it here.
Oh my giddy aunt, this stuff is fab! First a lot of hazelnuts, then the sweetness of the vanilla and a smidge of cream onthe swallow. I think the base tea must have some cocoa notes in it, because while it is definitely primarily a nut-flavoured tea, it all reminds me largely of chocolate. I think I’ll sum it up in one word.
As it cools a bit the flavours meld more, enhancing the nutella-y impression, and if you drink it with a sleepy cat in your lap there really isn’t much left to improve here.
I greatly enjoyed this one.
Dry leaves have a nice, nonspecific floral scent. I get a bit of jasmine, I think, in the steep. I’m not sure I know what lotus tastes or smells like. What I have the impression of overall, though, is roses. And to me, the taste is best described as the scent of roses that have been shut in a hot car all day long. Nice at first, but then cloying and overripe. I am glad to have tried this, Ysaurella, and I think the tea base is decent, from what I can tell, but I don’t think it is one I’d go out of my way to purchase.
I opened my cupboard to find this tea because spelling is not my friend. I was amused to discover that Detox from DavidsTea is my most-drank tea, and since I tend to only drink it after a night of too much booze, that just says a whole lot about my life, doesn’t it XD.
Anyway, I coldbrewed this overnight in an effort to both use this up and have something different. The leaves were a bit of a disappointment as I strained them out. Usually oolongs unfurl beautifully, but these were just brown wilted leaves. Sadness.
I’m not a straight tea drinker, so I couldn’t tell you about any of the nuances of the tea, but I will say it is light and refreshing in a way a black tea could never be, but for me it is nothing special.
I wish I knew what the trick is to rooibos. What makes a good and a not-so-good flavoured rooibos so completely different? When I first had delicate, French-style rooibos I could barely believe it was the same thing as the cardboardy German stuff. Do they water the bushes with gold? Sing to them? It can’t all be in the flavouring. No flavour profile, no matter how adeptly put together, could ever mask that much cardboard.
Anyway – what I wanted to get to was that this reminded me a whole lot of a horrible Teavana tea experience I had with a blend called Rooibos Tropica. It smelled tasty from a distance, but then as you came closer, the citrus turned all chemical and brewed up it was seriously the horror of horrors. Cold-brewed it was seriously window cleaner in a cup. I haven’t been able to drink citrus-flavoured rooibos since, so I figured I’d better give this a try, seeing as it seemed a suitable back-up-on-that-citrus-rooibos-horse contender.
This is the sample that had leaked ever so slightly, so smelling puts me back in the state of excitement one unavoidably enters when receiving one’s swap box. (Oooh!) This one you can smell forever without it turning chemical, too – the citrus/rooibos balance is perfect and there’s a sweet note rounding everything off. This is more or less what you get in the cup as well, but the aftertaste has a warm, slightly creamy, vanilla-esque note to it that is very nice.
This is just good, delicately flavoured, high-quality rooibos.
I don’t need a citrus rooibos in my permanent cupboard, but if I did, this one would be a very fair contender. In terms of a rooibos-off between French tea merchants, Mariage Frères would still be in the lead, however.
Thank you for sharing, cteresa!
[Sample from the second round of the EU Travelling Box, spring 2014.]