356 Tasting Notes
What a strangely wonderful tea. A recommendation from Excelsior made me very curious to try it, the blender´s description seemed tempting, and it was the very first tea listed on their chart (ah that chart….), I had smelled it before on their breakfast tea shelves, and was on my list for my next Mariage Freres spree. And it´s the first tea of that spree I try and I am a bit in love.
This is a breakfast, morning tea, no way about it. It´s absolutely tiny, dusty (cleaning my infuser is going to be messy), a BOPF tea which sells for 9 euros a 100 grams (and it´s not because it is Mariage Freres, on that chart they have single origin teas starting at half this price). It´s natural, not flavoured smells incredible when dry, like malt and chocolate, yes, maltesers almost, and maybe like honey as well.
And it tastes like it promises, I added milk and sugar and it made a fantastic, traditional morning tea cup.It reminds me of their American Breakfast blend, but somehow more natural. And possibly with more caffeine as well, I am writing this note as I finish it so too early to tell but I think this is going to have a real punch. What a great black tea.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
I have not had a lot of genmaicha teas. The first one I tried was from a purchase, from probably one of those generic german blenders. I thought it quite strange at first and downgraded it for gardening tea, tea I have while doing some (lazy gardening) on winter weekend mornings (when it´s not raining or TOO dreary. lazy…). And somehow it really worked for that purpose, the toastiness and the green energy, I have been quite fond of it. I was very curious about what a better version of genmaicha would be like, and Ysaurella was kind enough to send me some.
And this is probably going on my shopping list. It really is a different, much more refined, hints of floral genmaicha than the one I had before. Really lovely, I am converted. Though I am also wondering about Lupicia´s genmaicha teas….
A sample from a swap, which has been languishing for a while – it´s winter, and I am craving tea and new teas but trying to watch caffeine intake which is annoying.
This was a perfectly nice earl grey, just the right level of bergamot for me. I can not particularly noticed the vanilla, but I was absentmindedly enjoying it.
A sample from Ysaurella, and a great idea for a rooibos team.
The dry tea smells just heavenly, like coconut yes and cookies and maybe a bit of vanilla. The rooibos itself was a bit smaller than I expected, but it turned out to be a very smooth rooibos base. Good for those who do not love plain rooibos. And full of beautiful whole coconut shavings.
The brewed tea, makes for a very pleasant cup. I don´t know how long ago the tea was blended is, but coconut oxidizes and I think I got a hint of that in the background here – not going to rate this because of it. In all a very good idea for a blended tea, a beautiful balance of flavours.
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…
I was interested in rooibos earl grey last year, at the Thé-o-dor shop, while smelling all of their sublime rooibos blends. With limited luggage space, I ended up restocking a few other favorite blends, thinking this simpler idea might be easier to find, and test, from other blenders. And did find this one. It was a bit cheaper, a reasonable around 5 euros per 100 grams. And that kind of shows – the rooibos is not as smooth as from some other brands, the bergamot is a bit too-much. It still makes for a very nice cup of tea, if I am careful to not brew it too hot (bergamot goes bitter) nor too weak. It´s just perfect for a late afternoon cup of tea, when I am already weary of too much caffeine but want something more tea-like than a mere tisane.
This is the last, the little bits at the bottom of the tin – am clearing a lot of teas, I have a totally unprecedented number of available tins. Weirdly with no compunction to have a large mega order yet, almost as if I am not really sure what teas I would really love to have. I have been trying so many flavoured things, I might have tired from the concept a bit, at least in general. So for now, am just happy to be drinking what i got at home.
This is one which is no chore to finish and might be a rebuy though I need to see how much I will miss it now I have finished it . There is something so perfectly civilized, so elegant and smooth about it, the smoke I love so much, the bergamot just a hint.
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.
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
A little while ago Anna sent me a sample of Lupicia´s Jardin Sauvage – a Jekyll and Hyde tea for me. I loathed it when brewed hot and absolutely loved it when I cold steeped it overnight. It did wake me to the possibilities of cold brewed flavoured green rooibos, which is such an awesome concept for me in the summertime.
I was reminded of that Lupicia tea when I chanced upon this green rooibos with peach. Blender is another of those kind of generic german (austrian in this case, i believe) blenders – you know, not expensive teas, lots of flavoured teas, a certain propensity for adding sunflower petals, dried carrot or pineapple or grapefruit rind to unlikely teas. This one just has the sunflower petals and it´s pretty much what you would expect – not as awesome, or subtle or full ot interesting secondary flavours as the Lupicia. But it is nice, and it is much much cheaper than the Lupicia, a definite plus particularly for a iced tea. Flavour is mostly artificial, but not too cloying and it´s kind of one of those correct does-what-it-says-on-the-label teas. No surprises or hidden depths, but it does make very nice, and very lazy, iced tea – put some tea in a bottle, pour water and put in dridge, strain whenever you want it, sweeten if you want. I suspect the 100 grams I got will not make it to autumn.