This is a delicious blend of black tea with berry and vanilla flavorings. The description says there is also caramel, but I couldn’t detect that. It’s a nice, smooth black tea — no astringency, and not super-strong. The flavors are delicate, not “in your face” like some flavored teas, and there aren’t little bits of dried fruit and such in the tea.

This tea is kind of like Mariage Freres Marco Polo’s older, more reserved sister. The two teas are quite similar, but whereas Marco Polo is practically bursting with strawberry flavor, Paul et Virginie is content to let the flavors slowly build and achieve more of a balance with the black tea. Even so, I think I slightly prefer Marco Polo, because when I want a strawberry flavored black tea, I want the flavors to be bold. I’ll definitely enjoy the rest of this tea, though; it’s a real treat.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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I like strong, robust flavors. My current favorites include strong black teas (Keemuns, Yunnan teas and Assams, for example), flavored blacks such as Harney’s Paris, oolongs of any kind, and gyokuros. I like Rooibos and honeybush teas as well, and other herbal blends to help me relax in the evening.

I am willing to try just about anything, but I am not particularly fond of jasmine tea, very fruity or heavily flavored blends, anything with pineapple; and I know this is practically heresy, but I don’t like Darjeelings.


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