303 Tasting Notes

drank Vive le Thé! by Palais des Thes
303 tasting notes

Unsurprisingly, this reminds me of another ginger-lemon green tea – the one by Kusmi. Maybe I’m just more used to that one, but this packs less punch and seems flatter and less complex in terms of taste. The dry tea is beautiful to look at, though, and smells very good – two areas in which Kusmi fail to deliver. This is a very fair ginger-lemon tea, and I have a feeling it’ll grow on me.

I usually stick to 1.5 minutes steeping time for greens, but I went with the 3-minute suggestion on the bag for this one, and there was no hint of bitterness.

Flavour wise, not significantly weaker re-steeped.

[Sample from Le Palais des Thés in Tel Aviv, June 2013.]

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Bravissimo! by Lupicia
303 tasting notes

This is not a typical Lupicia tea to me – generally, I find them (I only buy their fruity teas) simple, but yet perfectly balanced in terms of flavouring. Bravissimo!, however, strikes me as fairly complex. I really love everything about it, from the appearance (lush with flower buds) and scent (floral, berryful) of the dry tea, to the initial flavour, and then finally to the aftertaste, which adds yet another note that lingers beautifully. It’s not really similar to any other tea I have tried, and it’s my absolute favourite at the moment.

The only negative aspect, really, is the significant loss of flavour when I re-steep.

I should try this cold, but I fear I’ll be all out by the time I get around to it.

[Purchased at Lupicia in Kyoto, July 2013.]

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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This tea smells absolutely gorgeous dry, but this doesn’t really translate to the cup. However, I do prefer the very natural, albeit subtle, vanilla flavour to something artificial that’s more present. For me, this can be summed up as a very basic and plain green tea with hints of vanilla that almost completely disappear after a re-steep.

So I find myself still looking for a green tea with a flavour that better matches the scent of Les Palais des Thés’ Thé vert à la vanille – rich and warm, with a hint of caramel.

[Purchased at Le Palais des Thés in Tel Aviv, June 2013.]

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.


* *


This will be a year of in-betweenness and logistics. Where to put the teas. How to arrange the teas. Which teas to replenish – which ones to say goodbye to.

Still doing Project Green.
Still doing Project Jasmine.
Still doing Project Peach.

Dr. Tea is the name, I’m ahead of my game
still, steeping my leafs, still f*ck with the temps
still not loving Assam (uh-huh)
still rock my Bosch kettle with its high-pitched shriek
still got love for the greens, repping Lupicia
still the cup steams, still doing my thang
since I left, ain’t too much changed, still

(With apologies to Mr. Young.)


This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.


Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.


* *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.


Rome, Italy

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