Yesterday morning I woke up at quarter to three, courtesy of jetlag. I decided then to indulge in a nice teapot, while reading, before getting ready for the office, to make up for that way too early awakening. I picked up Jardin Bleu’s sample that Ysaurella had sent me, which kept calling my name but which I wanted to keep for a special day. Here it is.
The tea looks quite nice with little yellow and blue petals mixed with the tea leaves and also smells good dry.
Once brewed, the color is golden honey; the smell very pleasant.
The taste is very mellow, almost tart at first, very fruity, and at the same time there’s a bit of tanginess, a little something that makes it not overly sweet. The strawberry flavor is quite noticeable, but is however not domineering. I honestly did not recognize rhubarb, but I haven’t eaten any over the last 2 years and that probably makes it more difficult.
Overall it’s a very delicate brew, very easy to drink, and which I did not tire of. I could have brewed a second tea-pot right away, had I still been thirsty. While drinking it, I really had the feeling, blue was the perfect color to embody this tea: neither navy, nor baby blue, but sapphire blue, which is IMO neither cold nor warm, and very relaxing.
I’ve seen description of this tea as a morning tea. IMO, it’s much more an afternoon one.
I really look forward to my second and last brew of the sample and will most probably buy it sometime soon (after having emptied a bit my overfilled cupboard though).

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a cousin of this one is IMO Thé du Hammam Black leaf from Palais des thés, but smoother, on a keemun basis

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a cousin of this one is IMO Thé du Hammam Black leaf from Palais des thés, but smoother, on a keemun basis

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I’ve started drinking much more tea quite recently, almost completely quitting espresso for it!
I’ve been introduced to high quality tea by one of my best friend, MF Marco Polo addict since more than 20 years. I’ve only rarely bought tea-bags since then, preferring the quality-price ratio of loose leaves.
I drink my tea natural, without any milk, sugar or sweetener. I only add honey when a sore-throat is coming along.
I usually either brew a large pot at home or resteep my leaves at the office. I cannot seem to learn to master the use of a gaiwan in an elegant and not clumsy way…
My tea preferences :
- I really like flavored black teas, with a preference for fruity flavors, from a tangy Earl Grey to a real fruit smoothie-like tea. I’m trying some single origin unflavored blacks from time to time but always end up having trouble to finish them. I usually do not really enjoy the strong breakfast teas.
- I do not like chai or teas with strong spice flavors. Strange considering I really like spicy food, but not what I drink.
- I am quite afraid of pu-erh and lapsang souchong, though I probably have never drunk any real good ones and I’m quite sure it can make a huge difference… A few years ago, I had been introduced to scotch whisky and can definitely attest that you cannot say you don’t like whisky, if you’ve only drunk blended stuff and not tasted yet single malts. I hope to get the same happy discovery for those teas.
- I discovered very good oolong, without going through the step of drinking bad-one first, and really enjoy it, especially with a meal. I’ll definitely try some flavored oolongs in a near future.
- I’ve just started discovering white teas, which feels very delicate. The only problem is that those can be awfully expensive…
- I also really like rooibos which I discovered a few years ago while searching for low-theine/caffeine teas that I could drink at night without suffering from insomnia.
- As with green tea, we’ve had a long-standing difficult relationship. I’ve occasionally had some that were real smooth, refreshing and so very many that turned bitter very quickly. And I cannot stand a bitter tea.
- As for jasmine tea, I used to like it but have indeed drunk too much of some bad quality bitter brew, and now I even have problem finishing the high-quality pearls I bought in Beijing.
- Yerba Mate: I’ve had some in one blend and am quite convinced that I would never like that as bitterness is one of its main characteristics. I’ll try to avoid it like the plague.
- Herbal tea: I used to drink more or those before discovering rooibos; finding good ones is unfortunately really difficult – even in organic shops, the herbs sold are far from great.
I loathe artificial flavoring of any kind in any beverage or food.

I’m quite opiniated and try to leave room for further improvement and better discoveries, which explain why I haven’t rated any tea in the 95 and above range.
Teas above 80 are among my favorites
Between 60-80, I could or could not give them a second chance or recognize that they are made with high-quality ingredients though their taste does not please my buds.
Around 50, it starts to be rather bad and a not so pleasant experience to drink.
25 to 40+ cover low quality products that I manage to drink when nothing else is available.
Below that, it’s really vile and basically almost undrinkable IMHO.



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