408 Tasting Notes


This tea is a gift from a friend of mine. She bought it at the Picadilly store when she visited London.

I took all the caution for the preparation and as I read on tin (in very small characters) that it was a strong tea, I decided not steeping it too long.

Good idea, because it is really a strong tea ! Waouh it’s a real breakfast tea : it sounds the bugle to ensure you are awake.

The palate is heavily malted with a light bitterness after taste. No doubt it’s robust as assam can be.

I had it plain with sugar and I liked it but I’d like to try with a cloud of milk next time.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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well…it’s not a tea but “une eau de fruit” en français dans le texte…let’s say something similar to a tisane but really stronger in taste…closer to a decoction.

This eau du verger is really incredible ; it is really just like you are drinking a sorbet (a hot sorbet !)

you can see like real big pieces of fruits mixed with herbs : apples & orange- flowers as well : marygold. other aroms are peach, pear & strawberry.

The head note for me is really red fruits.

It is delicious and I am impatient to taste it iced as well.

The taste is strong so it may be not necessary to put too much leaf in the cup.

195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more

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drank Earl Grey by Twinings
408 tasting notes

I have a special story with this tea.

Few years ago I had the habit to drink Earl grey every morning at work.I liked tea especially because I was not a great coffee drinker.
I was buying any type of Earl Grey in tea bags and often very cheap ones (I was drinking a lot of cups !)

One day I had a cup of one of this cheap Earl Grey and just behind a cup of Twinning’s Earl Grey…it was a revelation ! The difference of taste was so evident.
I understood I had to taste and explore other teas and I began from this date to increase my interest for teas and began to use almost exclusively loose leaf tea.

Even if I know Twinning’s Earl grey is made of “dust in bags”, I should thank twinning for the electroshock. However it is a “regular” tea, classic, made to be appreciated by many publics.

This is a very comfortable tea and it is quite nice.

I continue drinking it some morning at the office when I am stuck with an empty tea tin and by the way need to buy tea at the local supermarket.

3 min, 0 sec

I like your story. Many of us have stories like that one too.
I used to drink Good Earth Tea in the late 1970’s when I could only buy the tea bags at their restaurants and not in the supermarket. I didn’t drink any loose tea until this year!


the funniest with me is my mom was a tea lover…using loose tea since I was a child. But you know sometimes we don’t want to follow our relative’s way…but we often finish to do and for the best !


My daughter was the tea lover and laughs at me now because I know more about tea than she does.


The same types of teas certainly do taste different when it comes to quality :) If you like the Twinings pre bagged version you will enjoy Clippers Earl Grey which you can also get pre bagged. I used to be a Twinings Earl Grey fan until I tried Clipper and I have been happy for the change ever since, price wise they are about the same anyway. Clippers version is stronger in both black tea and bergamot flavour :)


thank you ch3rryprinc3ss, I’ll try Clippers as soon as possible because I do really like bergamot flavour and black teas.

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drank Russian Earl Grey by Lipton
408 tasting notes

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drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
408 tasting notes

Well, how to say that in English…the word BOF in French is exactly the expression of my feeling about this tea.
I cannot say I like it but cannot say the inverse.
I recognize some qualities but I am very disapointed by the difference between the smell of dry leaf and what I get in my cup.
Maybe too much caramel vs red fruits for me.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec

I think you got the idea across that you don’t care for the tea and that there was a disconnect between the aroma and flavor that was disappointing.


“Meh,” peut-être?

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drank Boléro by Mariage Frères
408 tasting notes

Opening the tin, it is a fireworks of colours : yellow and blue flowers everywhere mixed with loose-leaf. This is very beautiful.

The smell is amazing : to me the head note is apricot, more than peach but both are present. I cannot smell any fig even if Mariage says there is fig in this tea.

The steeped tea was amber and the taste is really very sweet. So sweet that it makes this tea a little bit strange because as Rijje said we can just feel a very thin bitterness behind it.

Boléro is really a very strange and adorable tea.

I tried it iced as well and it is really appropriate too.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

I did not know it was supposed to have figs! I agree about the apricot, in part. But do you know what loquats are? They are this originally chinese fruit which is now almost like a native fruit in some southern european countries. That to me is what Bolero smells like! The sweetness, almost too much sweetness as well.


Hi cteresa, never taste nor smell any loquat (May apple for japanese ?)…I am very curious now :)


it is hard to describe. Sweet, maybe sort of mangoish-with-plum. Pretty sweet. Slightly astringent. it´s very common in Portugal, and Spain as well. Bolero did remind me of it!

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drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
408 tasting notes

Anastasia is such a promissing name…full of mystery like the story of the last imperial Russian family

In my mug, each time, I am impressed by the amber colour of this tea…bringing me back to Russia again , St Petersbourg… The Amber room…

It’s clearly a bergamot tea but citrus notes are predominant to my opinion.

Even if bergamot + citrus is often used in a lot of tea’s composition, the mix of these two flavours makes this Kusmi tea’s original composition absolutely unforgettable and unique.

Of course, you need to be a bergamot unconditionnal lover…this is my case.

I am generally not impressed by Kusmi (except by their tins) , Anastasia is one of the rare exception and is really my favourite Kusmi’s creation.

So perfumed and so sweet in the same time.

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From the beginning, Thé à l’opéra is a shock.

First an olfactive shock with dry leaves : candy berry flavour is so present that we have the impression to open a bottle of perfume rather than a tin of tea.

Drinking it, the taste is not so violent.
The vanilla is really creamy and is a perfect base for the sweet taste of strawberry. Vanilla & Berry’s balance is perfect to me.

The green tea is absolutely not astringent and not bitter (this is always my fear with green teas so it was great news for me)

I always wonder how the tea names are chosen…I have an idea for this one : the red colour is haunting this tea…red like the incredible strawberry’s scent of the dry leaves. Red like the violent shock of this fragance. Red as the beautiful and heavy curtains of the Opera’s stage.

And maybe a little blue like the fantastic ceiling paintings of the Opéra Garnier in Paris…thanks Mr Chagall


Agreed. This tea is pretty much the Phantom of the Opera.


What a lovely picture you paint with the tea leaves.


It sounds lovely!

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First thanks to Palais des thés for this rare oriental tea.

Why rare would you ask…because for one time we have a very oriental tea without any mint ! And this is an exploit!

Green date is really tasty and present as well as red fruits and orange blossom – a perfect balance.

A small regret because I don’t feel the rose very well…

Anyway Thé du Hammam is my evening tea. I drink it almost every night. It’s so sweet, like a dessert, like a promise for a 1001 nights tale trip (I think in English you call that book Arabian nights)

Thé du Hamman was the first green tea I really appreciated…à la folie…


Ca sonne bien. I really should try Palais des Thés.


Sounds good. One question though, does this tea leave some greasy puddles at the bottom of your teapot and/or cup after drinking, as a result from essential oils flavoring ? Or does the cleaning just require a quick water rinse ? I might be willing to try it, as your enthusiasm is highly seductive…


Sounds good. One question though, does this tea leave some greasy puddles at the bottom of your teapot and/or cup after drinking, as a result from essential oils flavoring ? Or does the cleaning just require a quick water rinse ? I might be willing to try it, as your enthusiasm is highly seductive…


Hi LaFleurBleue,

I took this tea this morning with me at work so I can answer you with precision : no I can rinse very easily my mug. Essential oils are used here for 2,5% only.
But you know essential oils are the main way to flavour teas, flowers and pieces of fruits are there to do this too but the main flavours are given by essential oils.


Thanks for your precise answer
I realize that essential oils give a strong flavor, way more easily than flowers or fruits could do, but I got bored to have to scrub my teapot and cups each time I drank some Le Palais des Thés blends, especially Thé des Songes.


I see…I never have the problem but I read that traces of teas can vary a lot depending of the area you’re living (different type of water). Not sure if this is true.
here is a link (in French) where a tea lover explains how she manage to erase all the traces without scrubing with a “clay stone” universal cleaner http://www.monblogdethe.fr/comment-nettoyer-taches-the-tasses-3516
here is the product she speaks about : http://www.biostein.com/shop_fr.htm
page is available in English.

never tried thé des songes…I should !

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First, please forgive me for my English and all the grammatical mistakes you’ll find in my posts.
As English isn’t my mother tongue it sometimes makes things more difficult to express cleverly and accurately what I feel.

I was mainly in black flavoured teas, green as well if not bitter.
I’m now drinking much straight teas because my palate is now developed enough to appreciate them .

My favourite brands are : Taiwan tea Crafts, Teavivre, Mariage Frères,Theodor,Butiki Teas,Dammann Frères, Betjeman & Barton.
My ratings are as follow :

100 to 95 : my darlings; always in my cupboard (or very often ! )

94 to 90 : Excellent tea

89 to 80 : very good tea, a pleasure to drink it

79 to 70: not bad even quite nice, why not having it sometimes, but well,it’s not so urgent !

69 to 50 : Meh, deceptive or just not for me – but has some qualities

49 to 30 : I just don’t appreciate it

Under 30 : is this thing supposed to be tea ?!?!?

My tea blog (in French)


Paris, France



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