307 Tasting Notes
Having another test of this. I am now expecting the hibiscus on it, but even so, it still overpowers me. There is the tartness, the acidity, and it seems to spread all over other flavours without being balanced by anything else. Maybe there is a peach and berry underneath it all, maybe there is rooibos (rhetorical, there is rooibos evidently on the mix) but the hibiscus just takes over.I am not a good person to rate this, hibiscus really is not my thing.
LaFleurBleue kindly sent me some of this in a swap and she sent some great detailed instructions. Which I misplaced (so sorry, lafleurbleue, I appreciate very much the effort just the same) and then kept postponing trying this in case I got this wrong – it´s my first formosa high mountain oolong, did not want to screw it up. And having found finally the entry for this tea after making it, I did indeed screw up the process but it does not matter because it forgave me and keeps forgiving me.
I used maybe water at 70 -75 for 2 or 3 minutes for the first brew, and then a bit hotter water also for about 2 minutes for the next ones. Which is not as I should have done and will try the brewing instructions next time now I found them. The first brew I got some astringency, but not an unpleasant astringency at all. The next brews are fantastic IMO, a very clear liquor, a very light pure kind of taste but magically invigorating and a herbal type of taste which is just lovely. I am going to keep steeping these leaves – which btw is sort of magic, such tiny tiny little compact balls of green slowly unfurling (only at 3rd steep are they really open) to huge leaves and branches. Magical. If you get the chance brew this in a clear container to enjoy the unfurling.
oh, wow, this is maybe the fruitiest green tea I ever had. It smells amazing though I worried it might be “too much”, like those scented pens or stationery when I was a kid. Brewed up it smells slightly different and at first sip it´s not cloying, but a very strong taste of peaches and melon.
I had to go check on the Theodor website what were the notes of this – the peach and melon are obvious and far stronger than everything else, though I think in retrospect there is a hint of the passion fruit. The website specifies it is vine peach which vindicates my nose, I did think it was vine peach. The melon is the dominant note here, though interestingly it seems to spread, move to the forefront as it cools – when I poured the hot water the peach was more obvious and also more present at first sip, then it started to get more in the background with each cooler sip. It´s still there on the last lukewarm sips but just as a background.
This is just lovely. I think this would make an excellent (though probably quite expensive) ice tea. And it´s very summery as well, a great tea to have, hot or cold, on a warm day (is spring finally here? cross fingers!). While Mélange de Galice, another peach Theodor tea, was a sort of summer dreaming tea to have in the darkest of winter, Pêché Mignon is a summery tea to have when summer is coming – or maybe that is just me being fancy.
This is going on the to-buy list for sure, though in practical terms, it might not happen anytime soon.
PS – second steep, using a little hotter water, a bit less water and a slightly longer steep also good. But less intense melon and more noticeable peach. Not sure peach is stronger actually, I think it is just that by the melon being more toned down you notice the vine peach more.
I have never (or not yet) had plain lotus tea. I have seen it for sale, plain lotus on chinese grocery stores, but never quite dared (most of tea in the local chinese grocery stores seems to be intentionally medicinal and/or for slimming and taste even worse than you would expect. Very dangerous places to buy tea if you are not totally sure what you are doing).
I think I am learning what lotus brings as a flavoring by comparing mentally teas that I have had which have had lotus as a flavoring (this, elixir d´amour), though not sure that is leading to the right image. Sultry and floral maybe.
Barbara and I have been swapping teas and since we are both fans of Theodor teas, we have been sharing a lot of our Theodor purchases. This is an interesting blend she sent me, one which I have been half eyeing towards purchase. Green tea with fig, and named saigon, ah, tempting (though admittedly just about everything from Theodor sounds tempting). Barbara has warned me about being careful when brewing this. I got to test with the rest of the sample, but I think I followed close enough. The result was lovely but I think I am probably not a lotus person (if I can figure out what lotus is). The fig was maybe in the background a dried fig like flavour and it was mostly a sultry floral-type. I could not detect the lemon. The tea base was lovely and not bitter.
Not rating this right now, since I want to try brewing this a couple more times to figure out if I am really brewing this right. And what lotus is supposedly to smell like!
Having this again and this is just not for me. It sounded so very much like my thing I would have ordered it sooner or later. But it´s just too much, too strong, too floral. Like a lychee-geranium smell and sadly it´s just not my cup of tea.
So finally found a Mariage Freres rooibos I did not love, took me a while!
The weather has been so bad that somehow I am finding myself buying new teas in April! Picking new teas often is an autumn thing for me. But I was craving vanilla tea which somehow I just did not have at home, and found myself returning home with 50 grams each of vanilla tea and nothing less than 2 emperors. The vanilla tea, I will get to it because first brew has not been what i wanted, but this Tzar Alexandre, oh my, am sort of in love. Though a warning, this is a very personal love.
I love lapsang souchong but usually prefer the bergamot in earl greys to not be too strong. This is a light lapsang souchong with light bergamot and somehow tea body. It´s awesome, like how did nobody think of this before, where has this concept been all my life? BUT a warning, not sure if this is a tea for those who do not love lapsang.
The brewing details are not a recommendation, just a note. I brewed it slightly too hot and/or slightly too long, will experiment a bit with it. It survived wrong brewing details with honors, but I think it will be better with water some 5 or 10 degrees cooler.
I have certainly been having trouble making a taste note of this tea. There are no less than 3 entries for it on steepster, and I could not seem to add any taste notes to the original entry for it. (and accents on tea titles seem to just not work with steepster search). testing now….
And it worked, wow! to add the taste note now
This was a sample for a swap with Toitoi, thank you so much! This was a tea which had been on my wishlist for a while and which I was so glad to have a chance of trying. Ysaurella was the one which pointed out that it had hazelnut flavours, after I had already had a couple cups of it without identifying those, and she is totally right. Not sure where my nose was what, except that I think the brewed liquor smells quite different than the loose leaf. The dry leaf, particularly concentrated on the awesome foil bag Toitoi used smells intensely of sweet hazelnuts, with caramel and vanilla (that is: sublime). The liquor itself, at least how I brewed it, the hazelnuts meld and it´s the caramel vanilla which rules. And it is a lovely tea indeed.
But, I had my other Mariage Freres tea around and remembered to compare this tea´s scent with Wedding Impérial and Pleine Lune. Comparing just the scent of the dry leaf, Phénix wins it: smells much more balanced (Pleine Lune has that sharpness of the bitter almonds, Wedding Impérial that malty ovomaltine like smell) more delicious, just more right. But and this is a big but, the liquor seems to have less character, be less memorable than for those other more famous MF tea (and I also prefer Thé du Loup to Phénix). Not sure if this means the others are more justly famous, or if it´s me being biased towards the teas I have had more often and am more familiar with. Interesting.
This tea would, by the way, be a buy-more if I ever get the chance without being lured away from it from all the other so-alluring hard to find Mariage teas…
This is a tea which grew on me – at first try it was not what I was expecting (too mellow, too natural. Too classy… And yes, those are not bad things, just not what i was expecting somehow!) but each time I loved it best. So rebuying a new package of this how could I not love this at first sip? It´s even better than I remembered. Very smooth and mellow, a really classy flavoured tea.
Some brewing tips, this resteeps very well as long as you are using a bit more tea than usual (maybe 25% more) and do not use the first steep´s water too hot. If so, it´s definitely worth it to keep using the leaves till the tea stops being great – you can probably get a couple more good steeps out of it.
Seeing the other reviews, I think I was probably very lucky with brewing process or there was some magic in my water´s reaction to it. This is a bag very kindly sent as a surprise in a swap with Toitoi and it is (I think) the nicest bagged black tea with strawberry I ever had (must try ahmad´s though). It tastes very strongly and somewhat accurately of strawberries (or at least of strawberry flavoured stuff), the tea underneath is not particularly distinguished nor strong (at my brewing details) but wow, the strawberry really is nice. I like it very much and it is a bagged tea I would buy if I ever see it for sale, it´s a convenient portable cheering little tea.
If this does not have hibiscus hidden somewhere on it, I will eat my hat. My non-existant hat, but there you have it. A tiny tiny little itty amount of hibiscus but that it does have it, oh I strongly suspect so.
Dry leaf or while steeping this smells divine. Peaches with berries on a rooibos base. LaFleurBleue who sent me this sample would know what I mean when I say this is a fruity rooibos like Berry Berry Nice instead of a blend fruit rooibos like Carpe Diem or Marco Polo Rouge.
But then you taste it and instead of mellow rooibos, the underlying taste is a sharp sour acid hibiscus like tang.I can not get either the peach or berries promised in the scent or the mellowness of the rooibos which should be underneath. Nope, there is something hibiscus and just does not work with my expectations. I will keep trying though.
I got this massive urge to go and separate the rest of the sample and just barely refraining from doing DNA analysis on anything which might be hibiscus to see if it really is. But really, I would swear I can taste the hibiscus right on the middle of my tongue. I have a test where I leave a little bit in a cup overnight and then seeing the color and shape of the residue, will check.
Thank you very much for the sample, LeFleurBleue, this smelled heavenly indeed and I think I am learning somethings about TWG blends!
PS – the overnight cup test hints strongly of hibiscus as well, the residue is blue-ish pink rather than orange-brown as it with most rooibos. Examining the dry leaf, there seems to be rooibos, little tiny pink berries (a filler? they look somewhat like pink peppers used in spice teas and which taste like nothing), rose petals and tiny little pink bits of petals which could be hibiscus. Hmm, enough evidence?