328 Tasting Notes

79
drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
328 tasting notes

This is a very nice strawberry flavoured black tea. Not sure what else to say about it, the rhubarb I am not familiar with enough to be able to spot it with certainty, but any background flavour melds very well with this wild strawberry flavour.

It is a little bit thin for my taste and for some reason, despite being flavoured it could not stand up to my tap water. But in all, very nice.

From a swap with sil, thank you so much!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

welcome!

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86

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.

Preparation
Boiling
Sil

i think? i like american breakfast just a little more…

Ysaurella

I need to compare next time I’ll go to MF tea room

cteresa

Sil, I would be pretty happy with this one as well. And I think French Breakfast is easier to find, I know I have seen it for sale locally and American Breakfast I think no – so when I finish my stock, will definetely consider. They really are siblings, aren´t they?

Ysaurella, they are both very nice (and IMO both very french!) blends!

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90

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.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Ysaurella

I should try this one

cteresa

oh, that can be arranged!

I am definitely getting more or their plain unflavored teas, though LOL they are also awesome at flavored so massive shopping wish list.

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51

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).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Pouchkine by Betjeman and Barton
328 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

that’s so funny ! I made a full pot of this one today and was wondering when you would decide to taste it ! I like the smocky taste of this Pouchkine tea and need to do a better tasting note one of these day.
I was pretty sure you would like this kind of Earl Grey’s spin of !

cteresa

I have had it before I confess! Sometimes it is such a treat to have a new tea, but I do not have the time to write a taste note immediately afterwards and I decided to delay the next taste note. But this was only the second taste, so not too bad! I must go and check if I did taste notes of a few more I have already had!

Ysaurella

yes not bad for a kind of EG especially for you who don’t like so much EG but Pouchkine is different, really

Anna

I always loved how his name is spelled in French – it sounds like a cute little monkey.

Ysaurella

a monkey,yes why not :)

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78
drank Violette by Mariage Frères
328 tasting notes

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!)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Dustin

Have you tried the La Palais De Thes violet tea? That is the first and only violet tea I have had so far and it was pretty good. I wonder how it compares with the DF version.

JustJames

i love the DF violette, myself.

Ysaurella

agree, DF violet tea is the best vs MF one and from far to my opinion.
I’m glad you appreciate both

cteresa

Dustin, no, never tried it – maybe one day.
James, it is so lovely, like drinking fresh flowers. This Mariage Freres version is just different, more candy like but not quite as charming.

Ysaurella, thank you very much, loved trying both of these. I completely agree the DF is superior, just captivating in a way this one was not.

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80

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Ysaurella

I am very picky for cherry teas and I think this is probably the only one I would keep in cupboard. I am happy you liked it

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89
drank Orange Pekoe by Gorreana
328 tasting notes

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C
Tuscanteal

I find I always down play the simple teas until I have a cup and think to myself “MMMM, why havne’t I been drinking more of this??”

JustJames

oof, you can tell i’ve just come out of holidays. i read your first line as: ‘family breeds contempt’. lololololol.

cteresa

My spelling particularly in English is not awesome. That was not totally unlikely a spelling, James!

Tuscanteal, yeah I got a few like those, so nice to came back to them….

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86
drank PU-ERH MAPLE CHAI by Tealux
328 tasting notes

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.)

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

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89
drank Je T'Aime by THE O DOR
328 tasting notes

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.

Anna

On my list of tea things to try next year is a tea (any tea) from The O Dor, thanks for the reminder. I LOVE Mariage Frères, as you know, but I am so, so underwhelmed by Dammann Frères (And they’re much like Fauchon, right – some blends are almost exactly the same?) So it seems The O Dor is the one big contender left on my list. Would you say they’re more like MF or DF?

cteresa

I am a little bit underwhelmed by Dammann (and Fauchon) – they are nice teas, but they are a bit samey-samey, and the base is boring. Though Dammann is quite nice at pricing (not somethin which can be said for Fauchon).

I think Theodor is much more like Mariage Freres than Dammann is, but with a definite more quirky side. I heard right here http://steepster.com/tuscanteal/posts/205248 the owner used to work at MF and that for example Coincidence Noir is a very cheeky version (his version) of a better Marco Polo. But their teas are truly very good, different tea bases, intense, interesting (even when strange! The tomato and lemon darjeeling which somehow works) flavours. They are good at rooibos as well and very interesting plain teas – though they seem to specialize more on japanese green teas, and sadly have not started exploring those, mostly due to budget.

Anna

Thank you so much for explaining, it was beyond helpful. I’m even more determined to try The O Dor now.

I’ve always been both impressed and annoyed by their website; I admire the concept and the quirkiness, but since flavour plays such an important role in tea consumption, I wish they’d offer alternate, boring old descriptions. Plus the shipping is murder.

But you’ve inspired me, I’m going to Castroni later in the week! I’m pretty sure they carry Fauchon.

cteresa

The site is annoying and I was pretty prejudiced against them because of that (well, and because the tins I saw for sale here were 20 euros for english breakfast blend and a hibiscus tisane. But they do have a peculiar tin pricing thing).

The trick I use on their site is the search function which gives short one or two lines description for teas. Search for bergamot and it lists all teas with it, search for part of a tea´s name and gives it back a short description of that tea. Does not make up for the rest but helps (build monstrous tea shopping lists…)

Anna

Yes, you’re right – great idea. (Oooh, peach! Oooh, vanilla!)

This is going to get very decadent very fast.

MissB

Jin Patisserie sells The O Door in the US, and if you call them directly, shipping is much more reasonable than what’s posted on their website.

MissB

Ah! You’re both in Europe. My bad.

Anna

Haha, yes, at the very source of fancy tea! But that’s a great tip, nonetheless – I’ll check out the website; thank you.

cteresa

MissB;thanks in any case!

Ysaurella

thanks Teresa for the tip about the leaf amount, I’ll retry your sample soon :)
Anna, Dammann is thetea provider for both Fauchon and Hédiard…you can find the same tea cheaper at Dammann.
There are exceptions as Mélange Fauchon, I think this is a exclusive creation of Dammann for Fauchon

cteresa

Ysaurella, I can send some more – I think this really has potential ( though comparing to Tribute, perhaps it is natural to always prefer the first). But the fillers, the huge huge petals, it needs more tea than usual to be strong enough – but when done right, it´s something.

This is one tea I can not imagine ever not being able to identify, it´s so unique.

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Bio

Inconstant tea drinker – I mostly drink tea when not too hot. I hang around steepster much more frequently in (northern hemisphere) cold season.

- Teas -

I like all sorts of tea, flavoured and unflavoured, though I am picky. I am always willing to try anything new. I am now particularly interested in single origins.

I am one of those people who actually loves Lapsang Souchong. I am not crazy about Earl Grey, in general. I don´t quite get Darjeeling teas, but I am trying to make sure …

I like rooibos, though not all bases. I loathe hibiscus. I do not like fennel/liquorice/anise in blends or teas with chicory. I am picky about what I consider true cinnamon.

As you can probably tell from my cupboard, the brands I find more interesting right now are Mariage Fréres,Thé-o-Dor and Yumchaa.

Location

Portugal

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