2157 Tasting Notes

96

Yummmmmm. How do they do it? How does this tea (#5) taste so much like buttery caramel goodness? They are magicians over at DF, as far as I’m concerned. Never thought I would need two different caramel teas in my cupboard at all times, or that they would be from the same company, but there you go. I also would have thought that I would want to stick to fruits or florals for a green oolong base, but this one also dissuaded me of that notion.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

no. no. and no. i tried one on a black base and it just doesn’t work the way salted caramel works with an oolong. soooooo drool worthy

Patricia

Sounds great, can’t wait to try it!

Dinosara

Yeah I think the butteriness is key for the salted caramel.

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86

The last time I drank this tea (#6), I said I wanted to try it at a higher temp to see how it performed. And I actually read the note before steeping it, so I remembered to do it! The answer is: not very different? It’s still hugely chocolatey and creamy and sweet, and the base tea is still a little thin. I think I would have been happier if this had been on their usual black tea base instead of a roasted oolong. Still, it is quite tasty.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Stephanie

I really like this one too but agree that the base is a bit light for it

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85

This one (#7) comes from the last ever Fauchon sale on the now-defunct Vente-Priveé. The last time I had this it was a little too robust for me and I ended up adding milk (I usually keep it at home), so today I lowered my steep temp since I am at work. It worked out pretty well. This is definitely burnt-sugar caramel, almost more like creme bruleé. I am happier with some of the other caramel teas in my cupboard, but I like this one well enough.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Dustin

Which caramel teas do you favor over this one?

Dinosara

My favorite caramel is Dammann’s Caramel-Toffee. I also love their Oolong Caramel au Beurre Salé, but since it is an oolong base not black tea it’s a bit different.

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87
drank Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave
2157 tasting notes

As I mentioned in the other note, this was one of several teas Equusfell and I had today at our gongfu session. I’m not going to write notes for the others just now, to keep interruptions to my cupboard sip-through to a minimum, but since this is the only time I will likely have this one a note is in an order.

Anyway, this is totally like drinking gingersnaps. Definitely baked ginger cookie flavor going on here. It became a bit more floral as the steeps went on, but overall I definitely got a gentle, not spicy, ginger flavor, with even a hint of cinnamon. Very tasty; it would be interesting to try it as a western brew too.

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Taking a quick break from my cupboard sip-through notes to write one for this tea, which I shared with Equusfell during our marathon gongfu party this afternoon. She came over and we had Verdant’s Early Spring TGY (2014), Tea Ave’s Ginger Lily and Magnolia Oolongs, and this one. Now I am a little sloshy in the belly.

Anyway, this was an interesting tea. I kind of “packed the pot” (well, the gaiwan) and used an entire sample pack in a medium-large gaiwan, and it was pretty intense. We agreed that the overarching flavor was that of artichokes. When it started it was fairly green and fresh, with a bit of sweetness. As steeps progressed it became more fruity, although not in an indentifiable way, and woody. It was kind of a spicy wood, like cedar but not quite. It also got more bitter and astringent as the steeps went on, which was somewhat unexpected. I am going to blame that on the somewhat excessive amount of leaves used. But then again it would not be considered excessive by some (based on various gongfu instructions). I was having a hard time placing the fruity/spicy notes at the time, but now I think it was quite reminicent of some of the black leafhopper teas I’ve had in the past. The taste of injured leaves, LOL. Anyway, an interesting tea to try and very different from all the others!

Stephanie

Yum injured leaves :)

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78
drank Sans Complexe by THE O DOR
2157 tasting notes

Such a funny name for a tea. This one (#8) is the one THE-O-DOR tea on my list that I was actually able to get at a shop in Brussels; they hadn’t gotten a restock in a long time. I drank it once after I got back but made it too hot and it was bitter, and I never wrote a note for it. So this will actually be my first note!

The flavoring on this is lemon meringue pie. It is definitely reminicent in aroma of DF’s Noël à Venise, although the caramel notes in that one have been replaced here by a definite creamy meringue note. Brewed at these parameters I am not getting the bitterness (maybe a tiny hint), and instead it is lemony with a decidedly creamy meringue note. Overall, pretty tasty, although a little finnicky (and more bitterness is coming out as it cools, which is not really pleasant). I would still go for Noël à Venise over it any day.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Marzipan

Do you know of any place to find some information on what is actually in the The o Dor teas? Their website isn’t very informative.

Dinosara

If you go directly to the shop and bypass the main site (http://www.theodor.fr/shop/lang-en/5-flavoured-black-teas) you can click directly on the tea name and it will take you to a page with a flowery description, but it usually has the flavors in there somewhere.

Sil

you can also just search for flavours eg. caramel, toffee, chocolate

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88
drank Saint-Valentin by Mariage Frères
2157 tasting notes

Officially on the last page of my cupboard! It seems odd that I’ve only ever logged this tea (#9) once. I enjoy the super bergamot, super floral aspects of it, although I guess I do prefer the added richness of chocolate and almond in DF’s Amore, which is otherwise very similar. Possibly one of the reasons I don’t reach for it is that it isn’t in a tin but stuffed in an old Teavivre bag, so I don’t think about it super often. I will have to figure out if I can shuffle some things and get it a tin.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

Ah, my impulse-buy tea (#10). It just smelled too good to resist, despite the fact that it is one of the only-in-a-tin expensive editions. Fortunately, it is quite tasty. Not perfect; honestly it could be more caramel-y and more rosey, but still a nice cup to drink. I think the base this one might benefit from being steeped at a lower temp (while Love Song is fine at boiling), as it gets a bit harsh and the caramel becomes almost burnt tasting. Will try to remember that for the future.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Marzipan

This is me being jealous of all of your French teas!

Dinosara

Haha well soon you will have your own huge order, too! Maybe you’ll have to organize a MF group buy next. :D

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94

Ooh, it’s time for the tea I picked up in Europe last fall! This one (#11) was high on my list to get, and fortunately easy to find at the MF in Berlin. I am very happy with the rose and almond in this. It doesn’t quite reach La Naissance levels of awesome, but it is quite delicious nonetheless. Today was particularly almondy, which is awesome.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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86
drank Pomme d'Amour by Dammann Freres
2157 tasting notes

This tea (#12) would be awesome if it lacked the maraschino cherry flavor. Otherwise, apple and caramel are great. I still like it enough to drink it and defintiely enjoy it, but it wouldn’t be a re-purchase for me because that hint of cherry is enough to keep me from reaching for it often.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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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: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: 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
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
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.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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