82 Tasting Notes
Just had the pleasure this afternoon of being treated to afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason, to top off a touristy day since it’s not often my relatives visit from France :) This is the one I picked after much deliberation (the staff confirmed that the tea is served with the leaves still in the pot, so a green tea or anything more delicate was out of the question. Pity! I wanted to try a green single estate tea…) -As it was an afternoon tea after all, I thought a black tea would be best.
And how lovely it was! A fresh but rich orange blossom scent that came through with the smooth China tea, and the more robust flavours of the Indian tea really hung in the mouth along with the perfume of the orange. It was a good balance of fruit and floral flavours since I find orange blossom often leans too heavily one way or another. I had planned to drink the first cup black and then add milk, but it was so delicious I asked for some lemon slices and continued to drink through my pot black with a squeeze of lemon. Absolutely perfect addition to the meal.
Purchased this because I’ve been having some hectic sleeping patterns lately. Waking up in the early hours for no reason, being unable to sleep in the first place, or just waking up an hour after sleeping. Nothing like insomnia, and it hasn’t been for long, but it’s been annoying!! So here I am, resorting to herbal remedies first.
I was looking for valerian root teas and it was a toss-up between this one and Pukka’s Nighttime blend since both of them have won Great Taste awards… the other one had plenty more liquorice root in it, though, and when it comes down to it, I’m never going to be a fan of liquorice!! I’ll brave Yogi Tea’s love affair with peppermint and cardamom if it means I get to avoid the greater quantity of liquorice!
The fennel is the most dominant flavour here, and then naturally the peppermint and the cardamom, although the aftertaste is aaaaall fennel. I don’t actually know what valerian root tastes like so I’m unable to pick that out. Somehow this brew feels much more refreshing than sleep-inducing, but I suppose it’s just for settling the system? It’s enjoyable, either way — and I’m definitely appreciating the spices sweetening the fennel at the finish of each sip! (I might try the Pukka if I get through this packet and I’m still sleeping badly…)
Finally opened this one as I’ve cleanly polished off a couple of other flavoured black teas (it’s easy to accumulate lots when they all sound so good!) – have been looking forward to it for a while. The first and last time I drank this tea was in Covent Garden, with my girlfriend, over pastries, and I remembered it being so, so sweet and delicious…
Funnily, it’s not giving me the same sweet surprise this time round! I’m finding familiarity in the cornflower and wild strawberry flavours as are in Yumchaa’s Notting Hill, although it’s a little more floral to begin with, and leaves a splendid, slightly acidic finish with the rhubarb. The black tea base is definitely there but it doesn’t overpower the added flavours at all – I think this might become my next comforting go-to tea once I run out of Notting Hill.
Felt the need to update this yet again because as I measured out my serving, poured in the water, lo and behold: a piece of strawberry floated to the top of the infuser! One step closer to cracking the champagne flavour code!
Come to think of it, the Neal’s Yard Tea Emporium also made a champagne tea once, a sencha with strawberry and jasmine flower. Maybe this is a typical flavouring. This time round I brewed it at a slightly hotter temperature than usual, and, the tea leaves tasting sharp, the added flavours are coming through more strongly. There’s definitely a flower taste that could be jasmine there, and it isn’t too disagreeable when it’s scalded slightly like this.
Soooo this is going to sound a little weird, but… I made this one iced! Cold-brewed for about half a day, in preparation for a garden party tomorrow where we’ll be having iced tea (but I wanted to make some non-alcoholic iced tea too, for the non-drinkers…)
Thinking it would be interesting to offer a champagne-esque non-alcoholic tea to guests, I added barely a shot of fizzy lemonade to this and… what do you know, it tastes like a sweetened, floral champagne — what I imagine champagne tastes like for those who aren’t so susceptible to the kick of alcohol! (I definitely am!) If you get the chance, try this one cold, too!
Another tea brought back from Paris, specifically from the lovely little THÉ O DOR shop near the Trocadéro Metro stop. Out of the way and adorable, I was served by a very friendly lady who took the time to open lots of caddies of tea for me and chat to me about each one even though my French is a little rusty! She recommended me this, as I asked about flavoured white teas, and it smelt so decadent in the tin I just caved…
That said, I find that the leaves smell more like champagne than the brewed tea does! Maybe it’s because it’s fresher-smelling, and you don’t often drink champagne hot? It’s flowery and with an unmistakeably sharp fruit scent that seems to call the sharpness of alcohol. Light body, very fragrant, I find the champagne flavour is mostly in the aftertaste, which is really quite nice and subtle, builds up after a few sips. And strangely I can’t detect any one distinct floral flavour like rose or anything — that’s an indicator of how well-blended and harmonised the flavours in this are! I can’t find any specific details on the contents but there are yellow petals amongst the leaves.
Very smooth, only sliiiightly dry, which makes a nice change — most alcohol-flavoured teas I’ve tried were strong black ones. This goes down much more easily :) A nice tea, but not quite my own “Jour J” occasion tea!
I wish they’d noted what kind of tea base this is, China or India… either way, it’s brewed to a fairly dark colour and smells gorgeous. Nearly candylike, which is surprising, since I always associate ylang-ylang with bath products. Never had it in a tea before!
Although… taste-wise, it does remind me of a bath bomb or a shower gel. Possibly only by association – the strong floral taste isn’t off-putting or soapy-tasting. It’s rather like the way rose tea tastes strong without being medicinal. The aftertaste is sweet like a syrup, an unmistakeable natural flavour (I’m starting to love MF’s use of flowers! mallow flowers, rose petals, violets-!) and there’s minimum dryness on the tongue. Love it!
Bonsoir Steepster! I’ve just returned from another trip to Paris, a daytrip this time, and again I’m loaded with various teas I’m all excited to try :)
First off: I bought this tea because of the name. As a classics student anything with a mythology or ancient language-inspired name is going to catch my interest. However Artemis seemed too similar to another rooibos I had which I didn’t like, and Apollon was out of stock – so this is the next best thing! Métis, which called to mind resourceful Odysseus’ cunning plan when he told the cyclops that his name was ‘me tis’, “nobody”. Turns out Métis is also the name of Athene’s mother whom Zeus swallowed. The more you know!
The scent is very pungent, not purely because of the rooibos base, but there’s a hint of spice and, dare I say it, the lavender seems to be the root of that floral liqueur, as well as the sharpness of the red berries. The taste is overall very complex and floral and sweet without being like a perfume (as lavender and mallow flowers can be!) – more like a sweet, candied-flower dessert? Apparently spices are in this tea as well but they aren’t coming out as strongly as they do in other MF rooibos teas such as Nil Rouge – if they’re there at all I wouldn’t say they do anything other than round off the flowery, fruity flavours to something clean and fresh-tasting.
Something different, and with such a pretty name I don’t think I’ll have any problems getting through this :)
Fiiiinally working through my collection! The more teas I drink, the closer I get to buying some on my shopping list and opening ones I’ve already bought! My mouth is watering just thinking about the Jardin Bleu I have in storage, but first, let’s get through all these teas I’ve amassed over the months!
Last year I placed an order with Yumchaa for their Wanderlust but there was a delay in posting the tea, so to apologise, they sent me a bag of this tea, as well. I’m not much of a fan of rooibos with spices but the fruit and almonds included really piqued my curiosity – and hey, it was free, so why not?
This is my last serving, and in the effort to empty out the bag entirely, I may have brewed it a little stronger than I would normally for rooibos. First off; the aroma is POWERFULLY fruity. Strong citrus, probably helped along by another of the spices, but the scent is so juicy I feel like I could be approaching a fruit tea! And certainly the apple and kiwi come out very strongly in this one; the spices and almonds kind of round off the flavour, but the fruit are definitely the star of this tea. Not much going on in terms of spicy mouthfeel, but I’m glad for that.
What an excellently fruity tea, in any case. Thank you for this adventurous experience, Yumchaa! :D