307 Tasting Notes
This is from a swap with Sil, and I have been kinda of saving it for when I needed a new tea – and this one I thought really likely that I would love. In the shop when smelling all of MF´s breakfast mixes this and American Breakfast (and Sultane) were the clear winners. I ended up buying (and not regretting) American Breakfast, but funnily enough ended up having a swap with Sil because of these two breakfast mixes – I sent her American Breakfast and she sent me this French Breakfast.
And this indeed a lovely elegant breakfast mix, a very classy one. I keep comparing it to American Breakfast which seriously it´s its fraternal twin and they might just fit the stereotype perfectly – french breakfast has a hint of smoke; american breakfast is more exhuberant, maybe sweeter and more intense. I love both, though, despite me usually loving french flavoured teas better, I might just prefer the american breakfast mix (as done by these Frenchmen!). But a difficult choice, they are both excellent.
Just a short note to up the rating once more. Wow, this was not love at first sip, but the cup I am drinking right now seems some kind of perfect to me. And yes hazelnuts, they were right.
But while making this tea, I keep saying to myself, this is not a black tea, not a black tea. It does even not look like one, green and silver like olive leaves, not sure why i insisted on scalding it. But water not too hot, not too long and then this is amazing.
One of the few teas I got at Betjman and Barton, I am always looking for more rooibos suppliers and new different blends.
But it turned out to not be my cup of tea. I was sort of dubious when I opened the package – full of little pieces of I suppose dried pineapple but the rooibos itself looked small and broken. I opened my tins of other rooibos blends and this rooibos does indeed look a bit lower grade than my favorites. But it turns out that it is not necessarily a problem, it is the flavouring itself I do not like – pineapple I can not detect on the taste, only a kinda of cream flavour with coconut which makes me think of coconut gone rancid (sorry, not meaning to imply that is happened here, just that the particularly combination is evocative of that to my nose).
Another tea from a swap with Ysaurella which was a tea I really really wanted to try. It was on my shopping list, tried to buy it a few months ago but was out of stock. But, and not for the first time, Ysaurella came to the rescue!
This is probably the nicest (do not check numeric ratings, I am seriously considering deleting all) Betjman tea I have tried yet. It´s a “russian” french tea and very much so – some citrus, some bergamot and an elegant base. For me it works very well, I get little bergamot but more orange, some smoke and a hint of bitterness which somehow make it even more drinkable. Very nice indeed.
just a really short note, because I have just been remembered of this.
I love violets, in perfume and in candy and preferably in the flesh – some of the sweetest, wildest, more perfect of flowers. A perfect flower and a perfect flower scent.
Now I have been lucky enough to try a few violet teas, a strange idea which can be surprisingly good. Two of those teas came from Ysaurella, a Dammann Freres versions and the Mariage Freres version. This might just be the only tea concept ever where I think the Dammann take is better (and pricier!) than the Mariage Freres one. Very good, but somehow only the second best violet tea I ever had – try Dammann´s instead. (Though, do not extrapolate from that to other kinds of tea!)
This is a lovely cherry tea. Kindly sent in a swap with Ysaurella, and been drinking and drinking it and just not leaving taste notes. Perhaps because I do not know what to say about it, it´s a totally correct take on what it is supposed to be.
It´s cherry, and a nice kirsch-like cherry flavour, not like cherry flavoured lip balm or medicine. I mean it tastes natural and that is a total wonder in cherry flavoured anything. The base is absolutely adequate. Liked it very much.
Lovely tea, does what it says on the label, so to speak.
Familiarity breeds contempt or something – I seriously have not been giving this its dues, though I suspect being familiar with this as being the kind of “normal” tea makes me rate a lot of garden-variety black teas as being unsatisfactory.
This on the other hand is just right black tea. Smooth full bodied but not too much, organic, average priced, just right
Oh wow, this is not a tea I would dream existed but a friend sent me some and it smelled so appealing, it was tried at once. And it´s lovely – the earthiness of the pu-erh, the exquisite sweetness of the maple and a touch of spices. Really wonderful combination of flavours.
And just to say this maple tastes so much more natural and less fake than the flavouring in Oh Canada (not that I disliked Oh Canada, oh no. But this is better.)
I am liking this more and more each time I have it (good thing because I got 100 grams). The trick to brew it is IMO to use more leaf that you would normally use – this is a very pretty tea, filled with petals and things, but you need to compensate for those pretty things by adding more real tea.
It´s sweet (macaroon tea! Parisian macaroon tea!) and feels like a total indulgence, but somehow perfect for this post Christmas season where I am totally tired of food particularly rich food (clementines, rucula and tomato and sushi are somehow OK. Chinese hot and sour soup as well). The coconut and pistachio in this tea are somehow just perfect for this mood of mine.
This is a tea I did not expect to bring home with me. I am always on the hunt for good rooibos, particularly in Winter. I am rooibos-picky, I like rooibos strong and seem to crave a nightly cup in all these winter evenings.
I wanted a new Mariage Freres rooibos, but was expecting to want Rouge d´Automne (the rouge rouge d´automne if that makes sense). I was not too enthusiastic about Vert de Provence (the original take of which this is is a spin-off), and floral rooibos, did not seem appealing. Plus, lavender in tea just not my cup of tea (with some exceptions). But sniffing the samples, there was no competition – it smells as divine as Vert de Provence did, but with a punch from the rooibos probably.
And brewing it up, it lives up to its scent. The rooibos adds something to the floral and fruity exhuberance, it is just fabulous. Love it.
(btw is there just a tiny touch of juniper here?)