8 Tasting Notes

I brewed some of Macaron Mangue Jasmin in parallel with a cup of Si Nancy m’etait conte, for a comparison, since both are green macaron teas. By the way, is there a difference between a macaron flavour and an almond one? I can’t tell.

Anyway, I don’t know if the temperature was too low for this one (72 or so), or if I didn’t put in enough tea or… but the flavours just didn’t come out. It tastes perfectly pleasant, but it also doesn’t really taste like much. Nancy, on the other hand, has a nice taste and aroma with the same temperature and amount of tea. Will have to play around with this one more before I give it a grade. I think I must be missing something, what with all the raves on here.

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81

This is one of my favourite Betjeman and Barton teas. It reminds me of a green version of Coquelicot Gourmand, but it’s less sweet and lighter – and green, obviously (or not so obviously, if you haven’t had Coquelicot Gourmand. Which you maybe should, because it’s lovely). It smells absolutely scrumptious – I sometimes open the tea jar just to sniff at it for a while. Its flavour is more subtle, but still lovely. I usually go for citrus-y or flowery flavours with green tea. This one is on the sweet side of things, which I think may be harder to pull of well with greens, but it works like a charm.

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91

Utterly lovely. I bought Pleine Lune and Dammann’s Coquelicot Gourmand around the same time and I got a very similar impression from them both: sweet, almondy, lovely. I realized that I didn’t really differentiate between the two, so I decided to do a comparison and brewed a cup of each, and whoa: suddenly I could really taste the spiciness in Pleine Lune! I have no idea now how I missed it before, but sometimes I really just need a comparison to let all the individual flavours and notes come out. I think this makes is a more complex tea than Coquelicot, though not a ‘better’ one, since they’re both kind of perfect.

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82

When I first made this tea, I couldn’t taste the chestnuts at all… I can’t say I have the most refined tea palate, but still. Then I got a cold one time and decided to have this as my ‘get better’ tea, with some honey, and suddenly the chestnut was there! Doesn’t work the same way at all if I just add sugar. So I love this with a bit of honey. Not too much, though, otherwise it overpowers the tea flavour.

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90

I am very fond of this tea. It’s my favourite un-flavoured black tea for milkless consumption. I think I may have tasted it with milk once, but it’s not really strong enough for that in my opinion (the colour is off; makes it look like ditch water a bit). But just on its own, it’s absolutely wonderful. At first I had a hard time believing it wasn’t flavoured, the aroma and the taste are just so complex and lovely. It makes me think of chestnuts a bit… It’s a wonderful tea to have with something sweet on the side, especially pound cake. Very good with pound cake :) It’s not at all bitter, but I do like steeping it for only 2 or 2.5 minutes, it doesn’t seem to need more.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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30

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Just re-steeped the leaves from try 1, and it’s still yummy. The fig has disappeared though – pure chocolate goodness this time. And no bitterness.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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This is my first tasting note and it’s making me strangely nervous. I am still working out what kinds of tea I like (but then – isn’t everyone?) AND how to prepare them properly/to my liking, so I don’t feel quite ‘qualified’ to be assessing a tea, but here we go!

I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago and raided Mariage Freres. I only found out about them because of Steepster, so – thank you Steepster. Then I had to wait for 3 days before I could try any of the teas, since I couldn’t boil water at the hotel. Now that was a mild form of torture. Oh, by the way – does anyone know why tea is so expensive in Parisian cafes? It tends to be around 5-6 (or more) euros per cup.

I absolutely loved MF’s De-stress tea (green & flowery/herby) and Confucius (smokey oolong! the joy!), but while I was decently happy with both Marco Polo and Pleine Lune, I wasn’t over the moon about them. [sorry, couldn’t resist.] I’d always been drawn to flavoured black tea, but with the exception of a whole lot of variations of chais and Earl Greys/citruses, I hadn’t had much luck.

Then I read someone’s comment here about how Dammann does flavoured blacks better than MF, and went ‘Sh&&&&&&&t! And I just got back from Paris!’. Well, turns out there was no cause for alarm, since Dammann ships to all of Europe for free for orders of 40 euros or more, so I notified a couple of tea-lovers-in-training and we ordered ourselves a package.

The package arrived 4 days later, i.e. 20 minutes ago. First thought – getting a package full of tea is BRILLIANT. Second thought – Charlotte au Chocolat!!

THIS BE WHERE THE ACTUAL TEA REVIEW STARTS

This tea smells amazing. Clearly chocolatey, but somehow ‘deeper’. After steeping it smelled even more chocolatey, and still completely lovely. As for the taste, that’s what’s got me here and typing. First of all – it’s delicious. I tried Tesco’s chocolate tea as a first attempt at chocolate teas, and it was actually quite tasty. But this one is nothing like it. It’s much less obvious and much more complex. There was a slightly bitter note, but not in an unpleasant way. There was chocolate – really yummy chocolate – but not in a hot chocolate kind of way. More in a hot cocoa with no milk way, but better. [I actually love no-milk hot cocoa. With tons of sugar, naturally]. And then there was – FIG. Lots of fig.

I couldn’t remember anyone mentioning anything figgy about this tea, just almonds and sunflowers. So I double-checked, and sure enough, no fig mentions. No fig in the ingredients. I even for a second thought I might have accidentally received one of Dammann’s fig teas, but then I remember the strong chocolateness of the smell [and taste] so that wasn’t possible. A tea mystery. But, seeing as I absolutely love fig, all of this just ended up making me very very happy. Especially since the fig flavour is pretty much exactly how I would have hoped a fig tea would end up tasting. A successful flavoured black tea experiment with a fig bonus! Joy.

I first tried the tea plain, then got the craving for something a bit sweeter and creamier and not-at-all bitter, so I added first sugar and then also a bit of milk. Tastes marvelous in all incarnation. Must try this tea again. But before that – I hear Everglad (green tea with pink grapefruit) calling ;)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Tea drinker/explorer.

I like all sorts of tea, though I’m still figuring out Rooibos and I haven’t had much luck with Darjeelings.

I love a nice tea mug/cup/pot.

Tea = happy.

My favorite typo is ‘go tit’.

Location

The Netherlands

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