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72

Uggghhh… will to stay awake flagging… Although it’s totally that situation where I am exhausted and totally wiped because my body thinks it’s 2:30am, but I did sleep a lot last night and yesterday so I don’t know if I could even really fall asleep. And my contacts are doing that “it’s late and you should go to sleep so we’re going to dry out an make it impossible for you to see” thing that they like to do. Oh, 12hr jetlag is the worst.

I decided to delve into my Le Palais des Thes gift set, which arrived while I was away in China. I’ve wanted to try Le Palais des Thes for a while now because I love Dammann Freres and a lot of French blends, which tend to be relatively complex with lots of flavors going on. I’ve also enjoyed the Kusmi teas I’ve tried, though I’m not a big fan of Mariage Freres because I don’t like the black base blend they use, so where does this company fall? We shall see! I wanted a black tea, which narrows it down because there seem to be not as many blacks as greens in there, but most of the others didn’t really speak to me today. I decided to try this “powerful yet refined Earl Grey” as they put it on the insert. The dry leaf certainly smells bergamotty, so hopefully it will be powerful enough to keep me awake.

I steeped this at 205°F since that’s what they recommend, and if a company recommends a slightly lower temp for their blacks I know I should follow it since blacks can go too strong and bitter for me easily. The black tea base comes out to play a bit more in the aroma. It’s nice, though I can’t quite place it. Familiar but not familiar enough for me to be able to identify it. Definitely Chinese and not a Ceylon or Assam, though. The bergamot is there but it’s playing back up, bright and citrusy. The flavors are good, a nice balance of the base and the bergamot. This is pretty high on the bergameter, but the base doesn’t get lost in the process. First notes are definitely bright bergamot, and then the warm, slightly bready, slightly malty black tea base comes out. The bergamot in this one is a bit on the harsher side, almost getting that pithy bitterness as it cools, so if you’re not a bergamot fan I could see how this could come off poorly. A strong bergamot is very difficult to pull off perfectly, and this tea does a pretty good job of it, but it’s not going to replace my Todd & Holland any time soon. The really promising part of this tea is that the base is very well done, so I’m looking forward to trying their other blends.

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

Hmm, you made me curious enough to ask, what black tea base is in your opinion, the black tea base for MF? To my nose, their black tea bases are pretty different.

Dinosara

I had a similar taste from Marco Polo and Trois Noix, but I haven’t tried a lot of the others. It’s kind of an odd reaction, and I know it’s not common, but it was the exact same thing from both teas. It could be that those share a base and I wouldn’t find any issue with others, but they’re not really accessible enough to me to do much sampling.

cteresa

ah, i never tried trois noix, am now curious. I was a bit surprised, for me mariage freres bases seem pretty different from each other (though maybe with exceptions, some teas seemed a bit twinned)! But keep in mind, even if you do not like the base for marco polo, wedding imperial (just for example) is totally different (Assam, actually I think) and so on.

Dinosara

Thanks, that’s good to know!

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Comments

cteresa

Hmm, you made me curious enough to ask, what black tea base is in your opinion, the black tea base for MF? To my nose, their black tea bases are pretty different.

Dinosara

I had a similar taste from Marco Polo and Trois Noix, but I haven’t tried a lot of the others. It’s kind of an odd reaction, and I know it’s not common, but it was the exact same thing from both teas. It could be that those share a base and I wouldn’t find any issue with others, but they’re not really accessible enough to me to do much sampling.

cteresa

ah, i never tried trois noix, am now curious. I was a bit surprised, for me mariage freres bases seem pretty different from each other (though maybe with exceptions, some teas seemed a bit twinned)! But keep in mind, even if you do not like the base for marco polo, wedding imperial (just for example) is totally different (Assam, actually I think) and so on.

Dinosara

Thanks, that’s good to know!

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Profile

Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: I’m in LOVE with these teas.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Tasty teas that I enjoy, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but wouldn’t seek out. They don’t quite do it for me in one aspect or another; often just not quite my style
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.

Location

Ohio, US

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