68 Tasting Notes
This morning I start a new life phase and it seems only right that I go along with this new friend of a tea. I was in Paris for ten days in May, a long-awaited birthday trip, and on the day of we celebrated with brunch at the Mariages Freres in le Marais. Brunch came with a full-sized pot of tea for each person, which should be the standard, in my opinion. I chose French Breakfast on a whim although I virtually never drink breakfast blends (gourmand all the way for me), and when I poured the first cup from the round silver teapot I didn’t regret it.
The taste is rich and full, a welcome into the morning. I’ve always associated breakfast blends with harshness, a wake-up full of tannins to brace you for the day ahead – but this is indeed breakfast in France, a gentle cup that feels like the last warm moment wrapped in your bedcovers before you rise for a day you’ve been looking forward to. Allow me my sentiment; I’m only freshly back in Los Angeles and looking to a day of drudgery applying to temp agencies and likely-looking jobs. The skies outside are a dreadful pessimistic grey but at least for the moment I have my French Breakfast.
So tasty!! I got this as a free sample when I placed a Tiesta order last fall. Their sample sizes are very generous – I think this had just over 9 teaspoons. Just enough time to get addicted! I’m sorry to finish it up today.
I have to admit the flavor doesn’t strongly remind me of any of the listed ingredients. In fact I tend to be iffy on both goji and lemongrass, so I’m surprised and pleased that those flavors don’t jump out. Instead I just get a light, fruity sweetness, more like blueberry and strawberry. From my experience with other Tiesta teas, this is something they do really, really well. The flavor is always just sweet enough, it never overwhelms.
I wish I had some more of this, I’m glad Tiesta included it as a sample because I wouldn’t have grabbed it on my own. It resteeps well, so at least I’ll get another go out of this cup. I bet it would be tasty iced as well.
Woo, this is potent! Surprisingly delicious for a medicinal tea, it’s helping to clear my head so I can actually taste it. I’m spending this Valentine’s Day trying desperately to stave off the cold that wants to break through. I have had so much green tea with honey and ginger that it’s coming out my ears. So I was happy to remember that I had this sample in my drawer from my last David’s Tea order!
Really liking this cup, it’s my second of the day. The first resteeped pretty well too. I can really taste the eucalyptus oil. I wouldn’t have expected it to go so well with orange and mint but somehow the flavor combination really works. I actually wish I had more of this to drink when I need to clear my head. Definitely something I’ll consider purchasing in the future.
I bought this to try as a hot tea, so I must confess I just cut the bag open and have been brewing it by the teaspoon. The dry leaf is cut very fine and dusty! I don’t know if that’s the usual thing with SBTs. It smells great through, the marshmallow is heavier than the maple.
I wasn’t super wild about the first steep of this. I did it for three minutes and I think this one might fare better with two or two and a half as the tea got more astringent than I’d like. The flavors were present but dominated by the taste of the black tea. It was drinkable but not wonderful.
I resteeped it for three minutes though and I must say I love this second cup! The flavors really shine through on the second steep, both the maple and marshmallow elements are clear and the maple in particular is a very good quality flavoring.
I think next time I’ll try a shorter steep the first go and definitely remember to resteep this one! Yummy.
Flavors: Maple, Marshmallow
I’m on my last cup of this and I wish I’d ordered more than an ounce! It’s such a beautifully smooth, sweet cup, and I’ve finally figured out what the taste reminds me of: coconut milk caramels. I’m always on the hunt for a good vegan caramel and the ones made from coconut milk have so far been the best I’ve found. This tea really captures the essence of that flavor for me, and the creamy mouthfeel of a coconut milk caramel.
I found this company through a sale they were having linked on the miscellaneous sales thread, and I’m so glad I ended up giving them a shot! They have a really unique approach in how they flavor their teas and create blends, I’ll definitely be ordering from them again.
Flavors: Caramel, Coconut
Hmm. So I just received this, and added it to Steepster since it’s so new it didn’t have an entry. At the Tealux website the ingredient list is as follows: apple pieces, date pieces (dates, rice flour), cranberry slices (cranberries, sugar), melon pieces, almond pieces, apple cubes, flavoring, cinnamon rods, pistachios, freeze-dried pumpkin pieces, fig pieces and cranberry slices, beetroot.
But I’ve just opened up my 25 gram pouch, and it has white tea in it. I mean not JUST white tea, it also had some of the other ingredients listed (definitely apple, date, melon, almond, lots of fruity bits, and chamomile buds, which weren’t on the list either). But the white tea base was a surprise since it wasn’t in there! And the tea itself isn’t in the white tea section on the Tealux site, it’s filed under fruity tea. And as you can see in the picture that went with the listing, white tea isn’t visible.
This is a puzzler. Did they send me the wrong tea in the correctly labeled bag? It does resemble what’s pictured here, only with the addition of white tea leaves, possibly a bai mu dan.
On to the tasting! Dry the leaf had a vaguely fruity scent, a muted melon that was more watermelon than cantaloupe. Steeped the scent is all chamomile! I’m afraid to take a sip, but in the interests of science…well, it’s alright. Flavor-wise I’m getting very mellow fruit, but it’s a whisper under the warring tastes of white tea and chamomile. More of the fruitiness peeks out as it cools. I had dazzling visions of this being a bright sparkling fruity marvel of an iced tea, but I don’t think reality will see that through.
Let this cool to barely lukewarm and it just tastes like chamomile now. :(
Going to contact Tealux about this tomorrow and see what they say!
Got my Tealux order in today from their recent sale! Trying a bunch of new things from them as usual, I’m so weak for companies that sell 25g or 1oz at a time. I’d just almost always rather a new bunch of many things rather than larger quantities of fewer things. STUFF! THINGS! TEA!
I don’t know why I hadn’t tried this one before as it’s right up my street! Nice smoky lapsang and my beloved ginger. It’s a nice bacon-y lapsang souchong they’ve used here, good flavor. The ginger doesn’t come through very strongly in terms of taste, but I can definitely feel that it’s there as a mild gingery tingle follows each sip and lingers for a moment.
I’ll probably do a longer steep next time, as I let this go for only about three and a half. I think next go round we’ll try five minutes and see what that does for it. As it is I’m still enjoying the cup though!
I’m in a sales-y spirit so I’m doing a sale for my Etsy vintage shop today until midnight…10% off everything with the code 10PERCENT. Check it out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SaraLouiseVintage :)
Pretty bold to take the name from Harney & Sons and use it to make the same type of tea! Like a designer imposters fragrance (anyone else remember those from the 90s?).
And yet, having tried both…I like this one much better. Sorry, H&S. I feel like hazelnuts are tricky to get right in a flavoring unless you’re working with a creamier beverage. Harney’s Florence didn’t quite nail the hazelnut flavor for me, and I recall it being more pushed to the front than in this blend. It was one of the few teas of theirs that I struggled to finish when I went on a buying spree a few years ago at the Soho store.
This is quite lovely though. The dry leaf is very strongly scented, rich chocolate layered over hazelnut, and the scent practically fills the house once it’s brewed! Powerful stuff. The taste is similar – the rich milk chocolate leads, then the hazelnut comes right in. It’s very much like the sensation of biting into a chocolate-covered hazelnut, which I’m sure I’ve done having spent a great deal of time in Oregon hazelnut country!
This tea was a gift from a visiting friend, and I’m definitely going to look into purchasing from this company.
Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut
I must confess…this tea is merely a vehicle. I’ve started making my turmeric ginger honey for tea again and while I usually use it to flavor up second steeps of other teas, I saw this at a local Armenian market and figured it would go well as a more neutral base tea to add my honey to. And I mean, it was nice-looking loose gunpowder green for $6 a pound. Not an enormous investment for a tea I can play around with.
I have to say it was a good purchase! On its own this tea is a perfectly pleasant cup. There isn’t a great deal of nuance to it – just a simple gunpowder with an edge of smoke, a tea you don’t really have to think about drinking. I think it would be very nice iced as well. And as I suspected it takes my turmeric ginger honey very well. I think I’m also going to use it to experiment with adding other herbs to make more savory teas.