1499 Tasting Notes
I have had this tea before, as recently as yesterday. I’d intended to write a note about it then, but I got distracted and let the tea get cold. So I decided to give it another go this morning.
In the tin, the dry leaves smell nutty and a bit liqueur-like, with really big almond slices interspersed among the leaves. The smell is the same, but deeper, after steeping. The tea is clear, and a dark amber color.
Just as I find the variations in vanilla teas interesting (is it beany? is it creamy? is it a little of both?) I find the variations in almond teas also quite interesting. This is not a cookie or pastry flavored tea, it’s definitely a liqueur flavored tea. While I haven’t had Amaretto in a while, the aroma of the almond in this tea has a syrupy quality to it that reminds me of the drink. And while it’s not heavily alcoholic, I couldn’t find “liqueur” in the Steepster flavors and scents options, so I settled for alcohol. I don’t mean by this that this tastes of alcohol, just that it reminds me of the liqueur.
So it’s not a substitute for Brioche, which I was kind of hoping. More reminiscent of the Mariage Freres Almond than the Teavana Almond Biscotti, SpecialTeas Almond Cookie, or Brioche, which were all variations of the same idea and all, sadly, no longer available. I am pretty sure I liked the Mariage Freres better. So I’m bumping that one up a tad.
Someone make a substitute for Brioche please!
Flavors: Alcohol, Almond, Nutty
I’m a little confused. I think I had shoehorned this tea under another entry that wasn’t exactly the same tea. I think I have it straightened out now.
I steeped this according to label directions. Steeped this way, it is very second-flush like. The dry leaves are dark, but tippy, and they have a sort of a spicy smell — like a gingerbread on first whiff, but that then becomes more winey and earthy.
The liquor is really pretty. It’s the rose gold color that is popular in jewelry for the past ten or so years. Its clear, and smells of stonefruit pits. Peach, I think. And earth. And there’s that pungent wine note that characterizes second flush darjeelings, but without the sharp bite. And weirdly, that gingerbread smell is still there to some degree.
The flavor is smooth. None of the sharpness of some second flushes, but with just a hint of the fullness in some first flush darjeelings that make me feel uncomfortably overfull (what I sometimes think of as a waterlogged feeling). There’s grape in the flavor, and wood, and trees, and peach pits, and just a tiny bit of that unusual gingerbread note.
It’s a solid first flush darjeeling with the qualities I like in teas of this genre. I’d like to taste this one cold.
Flavors: Earth, Ginger, Grapes, Peach, Stonefruits, White Wine
Sipdown no. 71 (no. 427 total).
Delicious and different as a cold tea. I don’t think I’ve had a cold tea before that was in part rose flavored. I was rather expecting it to taste like a mouth full of perfume but was pleasantly surprised. While the other flavors aren’t individuated enough that I can pick them out in the cold version, but they tamp down the rose and keep it from being soapy.
Sipdown no. 70 of 2018 (no. 426 total).
Another one bites the dust in project lapsang sipdown!
I think I’m down to just a couple now besides the Samovar, the Mariage Freres and the Tea Trekker.
Of course, it’s entirely possible there are more buried among the 400+ containers still in my cupboard.
Sipdown no. 69 of 2018 (no. 425 total).
This sipdown results from several batches of this made cold — as the temperature goes up around here, I’ve been going through cold tea faster and faster.
It made a weird, but tasty, cold tea. No. 2 liked it.
One comment on the design of the The O Dor tins — that lip at the top is murder on getting the last bit of tea out of the tin without getting it all over your kitchen counter. More user testing, people!
This is a sample I’ve had for a long time but never opened. I’m trying it as part of project white tea tasting.
Because it’s been so long since I got this, Todd & Holland is no longer selling it. I can’t find anything about it on the internet. I think it’s a white peony. It’s a bit too messy in the leaf department for silver needle.
The leaves in the packet have the earthy, honeydew smell that I’ve smelled in other white teas. After steeping there’s a still a bit of the honeydew, but there’s also a bit more non-melon generic fruitiness in a delicate sort of way.
I steeped the hell out of this — steeped it at boiling for 7 minutes, aka as an herbal, and yes, there is color and flavor. The color is a clear golden yellow, and the flavor is much like the smell. There’s a soft mouth feel to the tea, and a sort of light pungency that I often taste in white teas. This one isn’t too planty — it’s more of a flavor on the back of the tongue that says tea, but in a very white tea way. Hard to describe, but it’s the reason I think people sometimes say white teas taste like black teas a little.
There’s also a dewy sweetness with a tad of honey.
Tomorrow I’ll try this at a lower temp for less time, but I know exactly what I’ll get. Liquor color just a shade off of clear water, if that, and a find the flavor game.
So it’s a white tea, but comparing apples to apples, it’s pretty tasty as these go. Better than some others I’ve had.
But I still don’t get white tea. I keep hoping, though.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Honey, Honeydew
Sipdown no. 68 of 2018 (no. 424 total).
Tried the last of this this morning at a lower temperature (185F) and a shorter steep time (4 minutes).
Prepared this way, it’s a completely different tea. Virtually colorless liquor, very little aroma, and I can’t taste much other than hot water and the chocolate muffin I had for breakfast.
I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to me (but it does). It’s typical of my experience with white teas. Unless I steep them like herbals, I get a big fat nada.
All hail the weekend!
I have had a difficult few weeks at work. I’m enjoying the new management gig, but I wasn’t fully prepared for the increased workload.
The name of this tea was very familiar to me, so I googled it — yeah, there’s a Truffaut film called The Story of Adele H. I have to assume that this tea is somehow connected to the film, or to the subject of the film, Victor Hugo’s daughter Adele.
I don’t know the story of the film except for what I’ve read in Wikipedia, which is interesting mostly because it takes place in Canada rather than France during the 1960s. Also, apparently it’s about a romantic obsession. So I’m thinking about all of this as I try this tea.
In the tin, the tea has a fruity smell (the peach) and a spicy smell that is not hugely specific, though I can smell the pepper.
The steeped tea is very dark, like a dark beer but not quite as opaque — the light shines through and where it shines there’s a dark, winy red.
The word I’d use to describe the smell and flavor is stout. I made it the way I normally make black tea and it is extremely strong. Fortunately, the strength doesn’t translate into bitterness, but man, it knocks you back! I think I’ll try steeping it at a lower temperature next time as the other note-writers here have done.
Because I’m so preoccupied with the strength, I find it a bit hard to differentiate the flavors. There’s definitely a peach flavor, and some pepper, particularly in the aroma. I can taste clove as well, but fortunately it’s not too overpowering.
No. 1 tasted it and said “It’s good — peachy but not sweet peachy if you know what I mean.”
Yeah, I do, but I’m having a devil of a time rating this. I can tell it’s a quality tea, and I suspect user error here, but for me it’s not as lovely as I wanted it to be. I’m rating it lower for now until I figure out if I can open up the flavors some with a lower temp.
Flavors: Clove, Peach, Pepper
In the packet, this smells very rosy with a hint of citrus and pepper.
After steeping there’s a more orangey smell. Less rose, but still some pepper. The tea is a clear, medium brown orange.
The flavor is a nice mix of all the scents, heaviest on the rose. It’s not one of my favorites from Mariage Freres, but it’s pleasant. Though I might not put it on a shopping list, I’d drink it again if offered.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Pepper, Rose